Meet the Recipients of this Year’s Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award

Meet the Recipients of this Year’s Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award

This year is the second year the Iceland Writers Retreat has offered the Alumni Award. This prestigious award is funded in its entirety by generous IWR alumni and friends. It gives its recipients full or partial funding to attend the next Retreat, which will take place April 5 to 9, 2017 in Reykjavik. The winners are chosen based on both merit and financial need, and submissions were reviewed by IWR alumni volunteers. We received almost 600 applications from around the world and the quality of submissions was extremely high.

The recipients are:

Victor Yang: Victor spends lots of time teaching, biking, and thinking about food when he is not parked in front of Microsoft Word at a coffee shop. He spends his days as a labor organizer at the janitors’ union in Boston. His job, as a writer and an organizer, is to listen to other people’s stories and ask that they be shared. His essays are forthcoming in The Rumpus and Tahoma Literary Review. He grew up in Canada, rural China, and Kentucky and is now based in Boston.

Peter Ngila is a Kenyan writer. He graduated from Mount Kenya University in August 2015, where he was studying journalism. His short fiction has appeared in magazines and journals in Kenya and beyond including Jalada Africa, Prachya Review, Brittle Paper, Lawino, Ebedi Review among others. Peter has attended Writivism Creative Writing workshops in Kenya and Tanzania, and taken part in The Writivism Mentoring Process. He also attended the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Migrations Flow Workshop in Nairobi. Peter has a number of manuscripts, including a short story collection, a novella and a novel (in progress). He will go to Nigeria in January 2017 for six weeks to complete work on a novel.

Nathan ‘NJ’ Ramsden (partial scholarship) lives in West Yorkshire, UK. He writes mostly short fiction based on mythology and folktale, though he has also published one novel (Nothing’s Oblong), and is currently working on a translation of the long medieval poem ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’. Nathan taught English for several years before choosing to focus on writing and to set up a small press. In his spare time, he loves baking, bookbinding, and making music with synthesizers and an old jazz bass. Although he enjoys reading and translating Icelandic, this will be Nathan’s first trip to Iceland; he hopes to improve his spoken language as well as see some of the country and stock up on a few more books.

Akvile Buitvydaite (partial scholarship): After exploring many countries on her solitary travels, Akvile finally slowly settled down in Copenhagen. She grew up in a small town in Lithuania and the variety of places that she has visited has given her an opportunity to treasure the diversity of this world. She has been teaching for several years and at the moment is taking a degree in English and Cultural Studies. Writing has always played a role as a very intimate and personal expression of her solitude, whereas lately, she has become more explicit about it and thus received many encouraging responses. Slowly, she began to cultivate this passion and transform it into fiction. She wants her writings to tackle the questions of social justice and to evoke an emotional understanding of a human life.

We’ll be profiling all the recipients in more detail in the coming weeks.

The other finalists for the prize were (in alphabetical order):

Kirsten Barkved (Canada)
Brandon Breen (United States)
Tanvir Bush (United Kingdom)
Jenn Carson (Canada)
Emily Craven (Australia)
Julia L Guarch (United States)
Dela Gwala (South Africa)
Rachael King (New Zealand)
Katrina Jorene Maliamauv (Malaysia)
Regomoditswe Mamogale (South Africa)
Kim Parkhill (Canada)
Anastasia Pascoe (United States)
Arsalan Pirzada (Pakistan)
Marcie Rendon (United States)
Lena Rutkowski (Denmark)
Sally Ryhanen (Australia)
Nora Shychuk (United States)
Ryan Skaryd (United States)
Lucy Steeds (United Kingdom)
Lisa Sullivan (United States)
Ingeborg Swart (Netherlands)
Holly Truslove (United Kingdom)
Hannah van Didden (Australia)
Sophie Wellstood (United Kingdom)
Terry Anne Whitebeach (Australia)
Pierre Zahnd (France / United Kingdom)

An additional 52 people received “honorary mention”.

Three Chances to Win a Free Spot at the Iceland Writers Retreat!

Three Chances to Win a Free Spot at the Iceland Writers Retreat!

One award and two writing competitions will help some very talented and lucky writers attend the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat. They all have deadlines that are quickly approaching!

 

Alumni Award:

The Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award is given to one or more writers who demonstrate both merit and financial need. Full funding covers all expenses to participate in the retreat, including transportation and accommodations. Partial funding covers just the participant fee, which does not include accommodations nor transportation. The deadline is Monday, 31 October, 2016 by 23:59 (PST).

For more information on eligibility, please visit click here.

 

Writing Competition:

The Iceland Writers Retreat writing competition is awarded to one person based on the quality of their written submission (essay, story, or poem) that engages with the theme “Iceland – Regard the Moon”. The winner will receive a free retreat package, which includes the participant fee and accommodations. Please note that the winner will still have to pay for transportation. The deadline is Sunday, 13 November, 2016 by 23:59 (GMT).

For more information on guidelines and submissions, please click here.

 

Bonus:

Writing Magazine is hosting a separate writing competition with the theme “Elements”. The winner will receive a free retreat package, which includes the participant fee, accommodations, and a round trip ticket from the UK. Anyone can apply for this, but the transportation is only from the UK. The deadline is 00:00 Friday, 2 December, 2016. Please note that the entry cost for this competition is £5.00.

For more information on guidelines and submissions, please click here.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award!

We would like to thank all the wonderful people who so kindly contributed to the Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award! We are absolutely thrilled that, once again, your donations were so generous that the final amount raised surpassed all expectations providing enough funding to invite and support two writers with outstanding potential to attend our next writers’ retreat in Reykjavík, Iceland, in April 2017.  Applications for the 2017 Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award will open on the 1 September, so stay tuned for more information and updates soon. Thank you for all your amazing support!

The IWR Alumni Award Donors:

Anonymous

Jane Berman

Carol Binkowski

Charlotte Bolliger

Jennifer Cockrall-King

Gordon Elliott

Jennifer Eremeeva

Randver Fleckenstein

Jose R. Garcia

Erica Jacobs Green

Nina Hamza

Megan Herbert

Tonny Hollanders

Ásdís Ingólfsdóttir

Ellen Girardeau Kempler

Katharine Kroeber-Wiley

Wynne Kontos

Edna McNamara

Sabrine Modder

Dawn Mok

Jennifer Moore

Elizabeth Nunberg

Ruth Nybro

Elizabeth Pentland

Catherine (Cathy) Raphael

Eliza Reid

Lisa Gail Shannen

Jan Stanley

Liz Sterling

Kate Todd

Janice Trylinski

Martine van Bijlert

Molly Watson

Florence Wetzel

Sara Winokur

*Names in bold denote contributors gifting EUR 100 or more.

Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award: April Wolfe’s Story

Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award: April Wolfe’s Story

The economy dive hit me hard. I’m a writer by trade, but not the fun kind, which left me little time to work on my own creative projects, let alone remember what they were. Going to a writing retreat was out of the question — who had the time or money? So when Eliza called to tell me I’d been granted an award to travel to Iceland and study with renowned authors, I nearly dropped to the floor.

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