We are thrilled to announce our 2013-2014 Writers’ Program scholarship recipients. Choosing ten students from the dozens of qualified applicants was no easy task, but we are excited as the winners embark on a new and productive phase in their creative journey. Here they share what the scholarship means to them and their goals for the coming year.
“Receiving this scholarship affords me the instruction and feedback I need to polish my existing work–a near-completed novel–and offers me some legitimacy as a writer. I have been working on my novel for several years, and my goal is to complete a first draft within the year.”
“The Writers’ Program scholarship gives me the freedom to tell stories about inner-city issues with experienced instructors and other motivated students. My goal in the program is to further develop my writing, produce a finished polished novel, and get it published.”
“Life throws challenges. We’ve all been there, right? The only way I could finish the work I began at the Writers’ Program was to apply for a scholarship. Coming together with people of all walks of life inspires me. Everyone has a story and I love being engaged by the lively dialogue in the classroom.”
“I live in the Bay Area and take care of my 95-year-old dad. I wouldn’t change that for the world, but television and screenwriting classes aren’t easily accessible for me. UCLA Extension writing classes provide me with a creative space in which I can collaborate with other motivated writers and learn from the best teachers. I’d love to come out of the Writers’ Program with a portfolio of work to help prepare and advance me into a job on a television writing staff.”
“Receiving this scholarship opens the door to knowledge and tools that I otherwise would not have access to. The opportunity to partake in the creative community within the Writers’ Program is a true gift.”
Leo Ríos Márquez
“Receiving this scholarship means that I’ll be able to delve deeper into my writing practice by enrolling in courses that’ll help me learn and grow among other writers, beginning and seasoned. I plan on taking both onsite and online classes. Being in a classroom with other writers creates some super fire writing energy. On the other hand, online classes are cool because at any moment I can log onto Blackboard and read and respond to people’s pieces.”
“It’s not easy to admit this, but I do not have a natural knack for screenwriting. I am a good storyteller, but telling a story is nothing like writing a whole feature script. This scholarship provides me the crucial instruction I need to improve my skills, and the confidence boost that my writing career is one worth investing in. I aim to take courses that will give me a critical eye when developing and editing a screenplay, from forming a strong story arc to crafting unique dialogue.”
“This scholarship will allow me to workshop my fiction in a supportive and receptive environment. The class structure and weekly feedback will keep me consistent and productive, and I look forward to completing my first novel this upcoming year. The scholarship will provide me with the resources and mentorship I would not have access to otherwise. I also plan on revising some of my short stories in preparation for MFA program applications.”
“I’ve spent a great deal of time this last year salivating over the Writers’ Program courses and am beyond excited for the opportunity to finally participate. The program offers access to the best voices in the literary world and I am giddy at the prospect of getting to listen. My goal is to listen, to learn, to participate, then listen and learn some more. If I can manage to put something useful down on a page in between all that listening, well then, even better.”
“Right off the bat I’m taking a class taught by Billy Mernit, the writer of one of my favorite screenwriting books, Writing the Romantic Comedy. My primary writing goal is to fill in as many blind spots as humanly possible in my toolbox. Television is a big one. The business of screenwriting is another. They all inform each other and it’s such an exciting thing to feel as it happens.”
A huge congratulations to this year’s scholarship recipients! Information about the 2014-2015 Writers’ Program Scholarship will be available on our website in late March, 2014.
Katy Flaherty is the Program Representative for Creative Writing (Onsite).