Maria Dadouch has one of the most incredible stories we’ve heard lately. Not only did she complete her Certificate in Fiction Writing from war-torn Damascus, Syria, but she went on to apply for and receive the inaugural Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing.

“I received an email from my instructor, Terry Pierce, urging me to apply,” says Maria. “‘It certainly sounds like you could use this opportunity,’ she said. I’d already learned a lot from Adam Prince, my short story instructor and after following the tips of Robert Eversz, I applied and won.” Maria managed all this “despite the power outages, missiles, and other war conditions.”

“The day I immigrated to the USA, I graduated from the Writers’ Program and attended the ceremonies. Jorge Ramos was the guest, and as a successful immigrant himself, he was an inspiration to me, too.”

We are so inspired by Maria’s story, and are thrilled to have her as one of our 2015 scholars. Congratulations, Maria!

If you have a success story, we want to hear about it! Write to writers@uclaextension.edu.

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