Creative Writing Certificate student Leanne Ogasawara’s story “Bare Bones” won the 2020 Calvino Prize. You can read the story here: She says of the experience, “Around Christmas, I learned that my story “Bare Bones” received the 2020 Calvino Prize, judged by Joyce Carol Oates. I submitted my story to the contest, and I thought how exciting it would be to have Joyce Carol Oates read it, should it be in the long list. I never thought I would win!”

Of her time in the Writers’ Program, Leanne says,” I started the story in Charles Wyatt‘s wonderful short story class. He really pushed me to get the science right. I was so grateful to him for being such a wonderful teacher. His advice led me to start corresponding with about a half a dozen Paleontologists, from Uruguay and Argentina and from Paris to Chicago. I then worked very closely on the story with the wonderful instructor Wendy Oleson. I have loved all of my instructors at UCLA. I started taking classes in 2019 and will complete my certificate this autumn. It has been a wonderful experience for me, and Wendy Oleson’s class was what really lit up my imagination and gave me the confidence that I can do this. Another story I worked on with Wendy will be published in the Bombay Review. Before Wendy’s class, I was mainly taking nonfiction classes as I did not have the confidence to try fiction.

In nonfiction, my classes with Mieke Eerkins stand out since essays I worked on in her classes have gone on to be published in Entropy Magazine, Gulf Coast Magazine, and forthcoming at Pleiades Magazine. I really enjoyed her class on short forms, and my flash essays and fiction have appeared in River Teeth Journal’s Beautiful Things and Kairos. I also took fantastic classes with Alyx Dellamonica and Yelizaveta Renfro. I am so grateful to all my instructors and friends I have met at UCLA Extension!”

Congratulations, Leanne! If you have a success story, we want to hear about it! Click here.

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