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Michener Center for Writers Alumnus Success Stories

The Michener Center for Writers recently shared some great success stories from graduates of their MFA program.

Nathan Harris’ debut novel The Sweetness of Water was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. The book was released on June 15 from Little, Brown and Company and it has also been longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize. It follows two brothers in the waning days of the Civil War as they are hired by homesteaders who have lost their own son in the war.

Plus, fiction alum Rachel Heng had her story “Before the Valley” published in The New Yorker. The story follows a woman in a senior-living facility in Singapore as she discovers something unexpected about the career of a fellow resident. New Yorker editor Deborah Treisman interviews Heng about the story and her inspiration.

This made me consider the various ways in which callousness and cruelty are built into our society, in the name of pragmatism or some other utilitarian goal, and the toll this can take on the vulnerable, the elderly, the forgotten.

The Michener Center for Writers is the “only MFA program in the world that provides full and equal funding to every writer.” The program is three years and fully funded. Writers are admitted in a primary genre and also study a secondary genre. There are no teaching duties so fellows can commit themselves fully to their writing. As of Fall 2020, they are no longer requiring GRE scores to apply.

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