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New Scholarships a Boon to SU’s Creative Writing Program

Oct. 9, 2008

SELINSGROVE, (Pa.) – The Writers Institute at Susquehanna University will award as many as four Janet Weis Writers Institute Scholarships of $15,000 each to creative writing majors beginning in the 2009-10 academic year.

The scholarships, partially funded by the Degenstein Foundation, are renewable for four years ($60,000 total) as long as a 3.2 grade point is sustained in the creative writing major. To be eligible for consideration, students must apply with a 10-12 page portfolio of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction or a combination of these genres by Feb. 15. The winners, chosen by the Susquehanna creative writing faculty, will be notified no later than March 15.

“This is excellent news for the Writers Institute,” said its director, Gary Fincke, a professor of English and creative writing. “It will help attract an even better percentage of the very best applicants we receive each year.”

The Writers Institute has grown from nine creative writing majors in its first year, 1996-97, to 144 majors in 2008-09.It produces four student magazines, two of which are distributed nationally. The institute was recently featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and writer Robert Boswell (Century's Son, Mystery Ride, and Crooked Hearts) says unequivocally, “Susquehanna University has the best undergraduate writing program in the United States."

Susquehanna writing majors have been accepted to the best graduate programs, have won numerous awards, have received book contracts from outstanding publishers and have begun to publish in national magazines.

The students’ successes have as much to do with their achievements as those of their professors and mentors, who are a nationally published lot, with awards-filled walls and crammed bookshelves.

Contact: Gerald Cohen


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