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NEA Literature Fellowship for Andrew Winer

UC Riverside Professor Awarded 2004 NEA Literature Fellowship

Andrew Winer is the author of "The Color Midnight Made"

(January 8, 2004)

RIVERSIDE, Calif ( University of California, Riverside faculty member Andrew Winer has been awarded a 2004 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for a submission from his first novel, the nationally best-selling "The Color Midnight Made."

Winer, an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, received the honor — one of 42 fellowships in fiction and creative nonfiction awarded nationwide — to allow time to work on a second book. “The award is enough to allow me to take off at least one quarter of teaching - if I wish - and that kind of concentrated time is so valuable because writing a novel requires absolute absorption over an extended period.”

The honor comes with a $20,000 award from the NEA to facilitate completion of a writing project. “Literature Fellowships are the Arts Endowment's most direct investment in American creativity, encouraging the production of new work and allowing writers the time and means to write,” said Victoria Hutter, spokeswoman for the NEA. “The agency received a record-breaking 1,422 applications for its Creative Writing Fellowships from which 42 fellowships in fiction and creative nonfiction were awarded.”

The novel Winer is presently working on is a portrait of a family’s tumultuous engagement with the twentieth century. Probing themes of marriage, fathers and sons, religion, ethnicity and art, the novel traces three generations of characters from pre-Holocaust Vienna to contemporary New York.

“We were excited to hire Andrew in this past year and now here is proof to the outside world that we hire the best,” said Maurya Simon, chair of the Department of Creative Writing. “An NEA Fellowship is such a gift of time to a writer trying to focus on the creative process.”

The awards are open to U.S. citizens with a proven record of publication within a particular genre. Applicants for the fiction award must have published a novel or collection of stories within the past five years. Each applicant submits a maximum of 30 pages of published or unpublished work, and a panel of 12 former award recipients and published authors selects the fellowship awards. Two other members of UCR's Creative Writing faculty have earned NEA Fellowships, Maurya Simon and Christopher Buckley.

The financial award is intended to help the author complete a writing project and may be used for research, travel, materials and supplies in support of the project. Fellowship recipients are expected to move toward completion of a book-length manuscript during the one-year grant period and continue publishing.

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