“We are thrilled to tell you that you have been selected as our 2013 Ivan Gold Fiction Fellow! Our readers were deeply moved by your writing sample, you anticipated project, and your statement of need.”
The Writers’ Room of Boston was founded in 1988. According to their website (writersroomofboston.wordpress.com), the Room “is an urban writers’ retreat committed to providing a quiet, affordable, and secure workspace for emerging and established writers. Members can choose to meet regularly for readings, the WROB salon, and other community events. An annual reading of the members’ work is organized every summer and open to the public.
The Writers’ Room of Boston is committed to supporting emerging local writers in need by providing a safe, secure workspace. We are proud to offer our Emerging Writer Fellowship program, which gives four juried writers full access to the workspace for one year. Awards are based upon the quality of the submitted writing sample, the project description, and the statement of need. The Fellowships are open to writers of any genre.”
In December, I submitted 20 pages of my novel-in-progress set in an unnamed Latin American country on the brink of war. This project began as a short story during my first semester in the MFA program at Lesley University. After graduation, the story grew into an idea for a book and has been the main focus of my work for the last three years.
I went to the Writers’ Room yesterday to have a tour and pick up my keys– as the Ivan Gold Fiction Fellow! I hadn’t planned on lingering since I was joining my partner that night for a celebratory dinner. But I couldn’t help myself; I sat down at one of the desks beside a large window overlooking downtown Boston and I wrote. I could hear Michael Lowenthal, who had earlier sent me this message:
“Great great great news! So happy for you and proud of you. May this be just one of many honors to come. Now: get to work!”
Three other writers were also selected as “Emerging Writer Fellows.” They are: Betsabe Gomez for Poetry, Joelle Renstrom for Nonfiction, and Matthew Socia for Fiction. We were told that “this was an exceptionally competitive year, and the Fellowship Committee is super excited about the projects our Fellows are going to work on in the Room.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone connected to the Writers’ Room of Boston. I am so grateful for both the honor and the opportunity!