2007 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writers Fellowship
Diane Les Becquets, author of the forthcoming novel Genesis, to be published by Bloomsbury USA
The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship, established in 2001, provides a writer with a measure of financial sustenance in order to make possible an extended period of time to complete a book-length work-in-progress, and to assist a writer at a crucial moment in his or her career when monetary support is particularly needed. The fellowship is supported by an endowment fund established by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Past honorees have been Graham McNamee, Lori Aurelia Williams, Franny Billingsley, Amanda Jenkins, and Barbara Shoup.
The Fellowship is made possible by a substantial contribution from PEN member Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, the prolific author of more than 125 works of fiction, including Dangerously Alice, the 22nd and most recent in the acclaimed “Alice” series, as well as Sang Spell and Shiloh, the first novel in a trilogy, which won the 1992 Newbery Medal. On establishing the fellowship, Mrs. Naylor said: “We truly work ‘blind,’ with no assurance whatsoever that anyone will be interested in our final product. It takes enormous stamina and resolve and optimism to live with our characters for a year or more—and it’s my hope that the Working Writers Fellowship, modest as it is, will let the author know that an expert panel of PEN judges has faith in the writer, admires her work, and trusts that she will be able to bring to paper what she sees in her head.”
David Klass, Walter Dean Myers, and Susanna Reich
From the Judges’ Citation
“In the coldness of winter a man disappears on a frozen lake in Northern Maine. The man’s body, if he has indeed fallen through the thick ice, cannot be recovered until spring. As rumors of foul play and whispered dealings begin to surface, the man’s seventeen year old daughter, Genesis, begins her own search for who her father was and, in the process, the woman she is becoming. This well written, evocative work-in-progress draws the reader into a starkly beautiful landscape the author knows well.”