We are excited to finally announce the 2012 – 2013 UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Scholarship recipients. This year, the Writers’ Program had the challenge of choosing ten qualified recipients out of close to one hundred applications submitted from individuals all across the country, and from a variety of backgrounds (not an easy task, trust us!). The scholarship is based on both merit and financial need, and we are excited to see how this year’s recipients will progress as they begin taking courses onsite and online, in both screenwriting and creative writing.
The ten recipients share what receiving this scholarship means to them, and some of their goals for the year ahead:
“Receiving this scholarship means a door opening to a literary world filled with motivated writers who are eager to learn from one another. It means me not having to slave away alone in front of my computer for a few hours each week!”
–Shermaine Barlaan, Pasadena, CA
“This scholarship is extremely important to me because it gives me opportunities I would not otherwise have on my own given my circumstances. My primary goal in this program is to gain a better understanding of writing techniques by taking advantage of the experienced professional instructors, and to build my confidence as an aspiring writer.”
–Crystal Everitt, Winnetka, CA
“As my grandfather lay in his deathbed, he gurgled out with his last wheezy breath something that I’m pretty sure sounded like, ‘Get a scholarship at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program…’ Receiving it has been a dream come true. I’d like to come out of the program not only with strong writing samples, but also strong writing fundamentals.”
–Daniel Furlong, Santa Monica, CA
“This opportunity means I am able to pursue my deep-seated desire to tell the stories and truths I feel I am meant to tell, but have lacked the guidance, resources, and structure to manifest into words and pages. My goal is to write personal essay and a memoir that discusses issues of gender, mental health, race, and the immigrant experience.”
–Michele Gutierrez, Cerritos, CA
“While enduring years of seemingly never-ending hardships, I very much needed something good to come into my life in the form of this scholarship. It will enable me to focus on developing my writing skills, expand my writing community, and move forward as I pursue my goals, including applying to MFA programs and submitting to publications.”
–Loretta Kennedy, Shoreline, WA
“My work as a non-violence educator has given me an opportunity to understand that all people strive to connect with one another. I’m determined to write about how, despite some moments of disconnection, people continue to try to make meaning with others. My goal is to translate this perspective on human nature into a collection of short stories.”
–Jessie Lanoil, San Diego, CA
“I spent many years writing for daytime TV, and put my more personal writing on hold while supporting my family. Now that I’ve left the genre to focus on my own stories, I’ve been in search of a community of writers to both challenge and inspire me. This scholarship is a sign of things to come and the possibility of stepping into the career I’ve always wanted, even though I’m not 24 years old. This is an invitation to go for it, and I plan to do just that.”
–Leslie Nipkow, New York, NY
“Receiving this scholarship means fulfilling part of a dream that at one point I didn’t think was possible.”
–Ariana Renteria, San Gabriel, CA
“I am extremely grateful for this scholarship. I tend to write in more non-linear experimental forms that play with philosophy, theology, and poetry, so my primary goal during the program is to take courses in styles and genres that I would not have stumbled upon on my own, such as in screenwriting and fiction.”
–Corey Saucier, Los Angeles, CA
“This scholarship gives me the opportunity to stop making excuses and write, with the added enforcement of having to turn in homework on a weekly basis! It’s extremely helpful to be working with not only experienced instructors but other students with completely different viewpoints who are as passionate about storytelling as I am. I want to finish at least one feature-length screenplay, if not more! If I can complete a Certificate in Feature Film Writing while I do that, all the better.”
–Andrea Zevallos, Burbank, CA
A big congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients! More information about the 2013 – 2014 Writers’ Program Scholarship will be available on our website in April 2013.
Mae Respicio is the Program Representative for Creative Writing (Onsite).