The Center for Fiction is pleased to announce the 2014 Emerging Writer Fellows:


Lisa Armstrong (Brooklyn), Cedrick Mendoza-Tolentino (Manhattan), Stephanie Miki Arndt (Manhattan), Dwyer Murphy (Brooklyn), Zeeva Bukai (Brooklyn), Belal Rafiq (Manhattan), Elysha Chang (Brooklyn), Wil Weitzel (Manhattan), and Su-Yee Lin (Queens).


About the Fellows:


Lisa Armstrong is a Brooklyn-based journalist with credits in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast and other publications and websites. Born in New York, she grew up in Nairobi, Kenya and travels frequently on assignment. She has won awards from the National Press Club and The American Society of Journalists and Authors for her reporting. She teaches at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and is currently working on her first novel.


Stephanie Miki Arndt is a freelance writer and editor from Kobe, Japan. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Writing and received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Her fiction has most recently appeared in the Colorado Review and she is currently working on her first novel. 


Zeeva Bukai was born in Israel and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her fiction has appeared in WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Calyx, Lilith Magazine, The Jewish Quarterly, Heeb Magazine and the Brooklyn Review. She has attended the Sewanee Writer’s Conference and Hannah Tinti’s One Story Master Class. She is a graduate of the MFA program in fiction at Brooklyn College where she taught writing. Zeeva has also taught composition and literature at Adelphi University and is the Academic Support Specialist at Empire State College, SUNY in Brooklyn.  She is currently at work on a novel. 


Elysha Chang is a writer from Virginia who lives in Brooklyn. Her work can be found in The Literarian, Park Slope Reader and Her Royal Majesty. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2011 and is currently at work on a collection of stories.


Su-Yee Lin is a writer of short fiction with an MFA in Fiction from UMass Amherst and a BA in Literary Arts from Brown University. She was a 2012-2013 Fulbright Fellow in China, researching Chinese folktales for a collection of short stories exploring place and identity, and recently completed a residency at Writers Omi at Ledig House. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in, Fairy Tale Review, A Cappella Zoo, Interfictions, and elsewhere. Originally from Long Island, she currently lives in Queens.


Cedrick Mendoza-Tolentino graduated from Columbia University with honors from the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program and from Cornell Law School. He has had work published in Liars' League New York, Joyland, Slow Trains and Plain Spoke. He is currently working on a novel.


Dwyer Murphy grew up on the South Coast of Massachusetts and lives in Brooklyn. His writing has appeared in Guernica and Paris Review Daily. He is currently a reader for A Public Space and at work on his first novel.


Belal Rafiq grew up in the Washington DC Metro Area. He has been writing fiction for as long as he can remember, publishing his first piece when he was seventeen. He recently received his MFA from Columbia University where he was a Fiction Fellow. He currently lives in Harlem, and is at work on a collection of poetry, a collection of stories, and a novel.


Wil Weitzel received a PhD in comparative literature from Harvard University and lives in New York. He has just completed a first story collection devoted to forests, deserts, and oceans and is at work on a novel set in alpine Pakistan showcasing mountain ecologies and contemporary human relations to wild spaces. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Southwest Review, New Orleans Review, Chautauqua, Conjunctions, and The Kenyon Review, and he was nominated in 2013 for a Pushcart Prize.


The fellows were selected in a blind judging by a panel of writers: Marie-Helene Bertino, Seth Fried, Kristopher Jansma, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, and James Yeh.





About the NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship


This grant is generously funded by a grant from the Jerome Foundation, matched by additional funds from individuals. Nine writers were selected in 2014 and during the one-year fellowship period will receive:

  • A grant of $4,000
  • Space and time to write in The Center’s Writers Studio, available 24/7
  • The option to engage in a mentorship with a selected freelance editor
  • The opportunity to meet with agents who represent new writers
  • Access to our Writer’s Collection of books on the craft of writing as well as career-oriented publications such as Literary Marketplace
  • A Center for Fiction membership that includes borrowing privileges for our collection of 80,000 volumes of fiction and fiction-related titles
  • Free admission to all Center events for one year, including our Craftwork lectures series on writing
  • 30% discount on tuition at select writing workshops at The Center
  • Two public readings as part of our annual program of events




Applicants must be current residents of one of the five boroughs, and must remain in New York City for the entire year of the fellowship. Students in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply. This program supports emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence. Applicants can be of any age, but must be in the early stages of their careers as fiction writers and will not have had the support needed to achieve major recognition for their work. We define “emerging writer” as someone who has not yet had a novel or short story collection published by either a major or independent publisher and who is also not currently under contract to a publisher for a work of fiction. Eligible applicants may have had stories or novel excerpts published in magazines, literary journals or online, but this is not a requirement. 


Application Guidelines


The application period for 2014 is now closed. Guidelines for 2015 fellowships will be announced in late fall.



2013 Fellows




The 2013 Center for Fiction Fellows were: Lexi Freiman, Patricia Park, Jane Rose Porter, Onnesha Roychoudhuri, Ricco Villanueva Siasoco, Bezalel Stern, Lauren Wilkinson, Brennen Wysong, and Courtney Zoffness.


Click here to view the video of the fellows reading their work in September 2013.





2012 Fellows



The 2012 Center for Fiction fellows were: Leopoldine CoreRosalie KnechtLisa LeeDaniel Long, Manuel MartinezTracy O'Neill, Tim O'SullivanJackie Reitzes, and Seamus Scanlon


Click here for the video of the fellows reading their work in October 2012.





2011 Fellows


The 2011 Center for Fiction Fellows were: Ted Bajek, Marie-Helene Bertino, Mitchell Jackson, Caleb Leisure, Geneviève Mathis, Elizabeth Shah-Hosseini, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan and James Yeh.


Click here to watch the video of the fellows reading their work in October 2011.









The Center for Fiction Fellowships for NYC Early Career Writers are made possible through a grant from The Jerome Foundation with matching funds from individual donors.


Please join The Jerome Foundation in supporting New York City's most talented early career writers, and help us grow this important program.