2010 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship
The 2010 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship went to Pat Schmatz, author of the forthcoming Bluefish, for which she received the award.
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.
Elise Broach, Dan Greenberg, Suzanne Fisher Staples
From the Judges’ Citation
“Bluefish hooks the reader from the first page with a voice that is fresh, captivating, and assured, and characters that compel us as often with their silences as with their words. Schmatz’s language is imaginative and direct, with pitch-perfect turns of phrase. Velveeta writes of Calvin, ‘You’re more not here every day.’ Travis recognizes Grandpa’s truck by its sound: ‘the slowing-down of it, the ready-to-pounce of it.’ This is a story of ordinary lives that packs tremendous emotional wallop without a shred of sentimentality.”