Monica McFawn Robinson, author and assistant professor of English at Northern Michigan University, has received a $25,000 creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is one of 37 fiction and creative nonfiction writers from 17 states selected to receive the grants. The NEA fellowships give writers the time and space to create, revise, conduct research and connect with readers.
“The full list of awardees includes many authors I admire,” Robinson said. “I will be using the money to support the writing of my new novel about the unique world of ‘cruisers’—people who live on sailboats and exist in perpetual transit.”
Robinson, whose pen name is Monica McFawn, joined the NMU faculty in September. Her story collection titled Bright Shards of Someplace Else won a Flannery O’Connor Award and was named a Michigan Notable Book and a National Public Radio “Great Read.” She also is the author of A Catalogue of Rare Movements,” a poetry and art chapbook. Her stories have appeared in numerous journals, and readings of her screenplays and plays have been presented in New York and Chicago. She previously received a Walter E. Dakin fellowship from Sewanee Writers' Conference.
The NEA awards fellowships in prose and in poetry in alternating years.
“Since its inception, the creative writing fellowship program has awarded more than $45 million to a diverse group of more than 3,000 writers, many of them emerging writers at the start of their careers,” said Amy Stolls, NEA Director of Literature Programs, in a press release. “These 37 extraordinary new fellows provide more evidence of the NEA’s track record of discovering and supporting excellent writers. They represent an impressive range of perspectives, interests and writing styles.”
Applications for creative writing fellowships are free and open to the public. According to the NEA, recipients are selected through an anonymous review process in which the sole criterion is artistic excellence. A diverse panel of judges determined this year’s fellows from among 1,763 eligible applications.