Creative writing grad, author pockets another top writing award

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Melinda Moustakis.


KALAMAZOO—A graduate of Western Michigan University's doctoral program in creative writing has another award to add to her growing collection.

The literary journal The Kenyon Review has named Melinda Moustakis a Kenyon Review Fellow. The budding author can add her latest accolade to her other accomplishments, which include a Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction for her book "Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories" and recognition from the National Book Foundation in 2011 as one of its 5 Under 35 award winners.

About the Kenyon Review Fellows

In 2012, The Kenyon Review welcomed the first of its KR Fellows. The initiative was inspired by the great tradition of Kenyon Review literary fellowships awarded in the 1950s to writers such as Flannery O'Connor and W.S. Merwin in their formative years. These fellowships represent a significant fulfillment of one aspect of the journal's continuing mission: to recognize, publish and support extraordinary authors in the early stages of their careers.

This two-year, post-graduate residential fellowship at Kenyon College offers qualified individuals time to develop as writers, teachers and editors. Fellows receive a $32,500 stipend, plus health benefits. After two years, it is anticipated that KR Fellows will be more mature and sophisticated writers, teachers and editors. As a result, they will be extremely attractive candidates for academic positions as well as for significant publishing opportunities.

Melinda Moustakis

Moustakis was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, and raised in California. Before entering the WMU doctoral program, she earned her master's degree in English and creative writing from the University of California, Davis. "Bear Down Bear North" also won the Maurice Prize in fiction. Her work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, The Kenyon Review and elsewhere. She was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University and received a 2014 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Fiction. Her story, "They Find the Drowned," won a 2013 PEN/O. Henry Prize.