Congratulations are in order for the six recipients of the Claire Carmichael Scholarship in Novel Writing! Claire Carmichael has taught over 90 courses and mentorships for the Writers’ Program since 1994, has helped numerous students get published, and is a UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor. She created the scholarship to provide promising novelists an opportunity to work on their novels-in-progress in a supportive, educational environment.
Let’s meet the winners!
Camille Alick, Los Angeles, CA
Novel-in-progress: One of Them
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn and develop my writing through the Claire Carmichael Scholarship. I’ve worked professionally with other writers but have longed to complete my novel for some time. Receiving this scholarship is both exhilarating and a little scary, as it feels like I’m stepping out from behind the curtain to move in a new direction. I believe it will make all the difference in finishing this project and getting published. Being of Arab-American Muslim background, I am especially thankful to be able to have the support of those in the Writers’ Program to help develop diverse and underrepresented voices.”
Blaire Baily, Los Angeles, CA
“One of my heroes, James Baldwin, said that what you really need at the beginning, as a writer, is somebody to let you know that your effort is real. That is exactly what receiving a Claire Carmichael Scholarship has meant to me: recognition that my work, and my novel, are real. I am so grateful. The chance to take several UCLA Extension courses at this stage of my writing career is invaluable to me. Now, thanks to the scholarship, I look forward to a wonderful, rigorous, writerly year ahead.”
Haley Crigger, Long Beach, CA
Novel-in-progress: Lost in the Knackery
“Every writer and artist knows that a long-term creative project can be a lonely, intimidating endeavor, despite the fact that we love what we do. This scholarship gives me what every scatter-brained dreamer needs: instruction, accountability, and a supportive community. I’m really excited to learn from professionals and other talented writers who will help me finish what I started and hopefully get it out into the world.”
Ben Fussiner, Culver City, CA
Novel-in-progress: Giant Steps
“With two children under 5 and a more-than-full-time job, finding time to dedicate to my novel is a challenge. The Claire Carmichael Scholarship gives me a space, a reason, and a classroom of fellow writers expecting me to produce. It is like Weight Watchers for writing, except in this case you hope the weight of the manuscript keeps going up.”
Cori Clark Nelson, Pioneertown, CA
Novel-in-progress: untitled“If gifts of experience are the most fulfilling, then I’ve won the jackpot with the Claire Carmichael Scholarship. In addition to being the most welcoming community I’ve known, The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program has given me insightful mentors who improved my writing and enriched my life. I look forward to new teachers, new challenges and exciting experiences that will help shape my novel. It’s my “If gifts of experience are the most fulfilling, then I’ve won the jackpot with the Claire Carmichael Scholarship. In addition to being the most welcoming community I’ve known, The UCLA Extension Writers’ Program has given me insightful mentors who improved my writing and enriched my life. I look forward to new teachers, new challenges and exciting experiences that will help shape my novel. It’s my wake up call to stop listening to the siren song of life’s daily distractions and get to work.”
Landon Spencer, Three Rivers, CA
Novel-in-progress: Riding in Robin’s Egg Blue
“I thought the only thing cooler than traveling the world with the circus show Cavalia was writing a novel based on the experience. Now, thanks to the Claire Carmichael Scholarship, I’m working on this project with the community, guidance, and yes, the deadlines, provided by the Writers’ Program. My smile just got wider.”
The Writers’ Program is thrilled to be able to provide these recipients the opportunity to continue their creative pursuits. Additionally, the recipients will have the opportunity to submit their best 75-100 pages for judging at the end of the program, and one manuscript will be chosen based on the quality of the writing and its potential for completion and ultimate publication. The winner will receive a two-month, one-on-one mentorship with Writers’ Program online creative writing instructor Lynn Hightower.
Congratulations Camille, Blaire, Haley, Ben, Cori, and Landon!
Carla Janas is the Program Representative for Creative Writing (Onsite). You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.