The 2016 Emerging Writer Fellows

News February 9, 2016

We are thrilled to announce our 2016 Emerging Writer Fellows: Sasha Saben Callaghan, Kristen Gleason, and Gothataone Moeng. We would also like to thank all of the writers who submitted manuscripts, the readers who spent the past eight weeks evaluating, debating, and championing applications, and the National Endowment for the Arts for its generous support of the program.

Supporting new writers has been an essential part of A Public Space since our debut issue—Leslie Jamison, Nam Le, and Jesmyn Ward published their first stories in the magazine—and with the Emerging Writer Fellowships we hope to continue this tradition by finding writers who have not yet published a book-length work but whose writing shows exceptional talent.

In response to an open call in October 2015, we received nearly 1,100 submissions from emerging writers across the world.

Here is some information about the three fellows, and a glimpse of the stories they shared with us:

Sasha Saben Callaghan is sixty and began writing seriously three years ago. In October 2015 she graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with an MA in creative writing. She is currently working on a graphic novel set in Victorian London about the short but remarkable life of Adelaide Foltinowicz and her relationship with the decadent poet Ernest Dowson. Sasha is the program director of the Big Flame Disability Arts Festival and lives on the east coast of Scotland with her children and granddaughter.

It is NOT A GOOD IDEA. It is a stupid idea. Patrick always GOES OFF, he goes OFF ON ONE. Patrick is always PLAYING HAMLET. Jackie says Patrick is a right MARDYBUM. Patrick NEEDS A GOOD SLAP. — "A List of Some of the Things Martin Knows"

Kristen Gleason was born in California. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Fence, Fairy Tale Review, the Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. In 2011, she was the recipient of a High North Fellowship from the University of Tromsø, Norway. Currently she lives in Athens, Georgia, where she is a doctoral student in creative writing.

He followed the helicopter’s path up the mountainside. There the pale pig slept in her pen of rebar and string. There she slept in the shadow of the great jointed tube that was swallowing and swallowing the waterfall. The tube would never get full and neither would the pale pig, who held in the bowl of her eye all the fruit that had ever been and all the fruit that would ever be. — "The Pale Pig"

Gothataone Moeng was born in Serowe, Botswana, and currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where she is a second-year MFA candidate at the University of Mississippi. In 2015 she was a finalist for the Driftless Prize in Fiction.

Our favorite dresses and tops fluttered all around the room from nails someone had hammered onto the wall. Our room—The Mansion, we called it—seemed to always be writhing and heaving under the weight of all our bodies, our Sheen Straight and Blue Magic, our wigs, our lipsticks, our perfume, our sweat, our laughter, our worries, our convictions that we would tame the city. — "Bodies"

Our 2015 Emerging Writer Fellows were Jai Chakrabarti, Cornelius FitzPatrick, and Arinze Ifeakandu. Our 2014 Emerging Writer Fellows were Vanessa Hutchinson, Mahreen Sohail, and April Wolfe.


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A Public Space is an independent nonprofit publisher of an eponymous award-winning literary, arts, and culture magazine, and APS Books. Under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes since 2006, it has been our mission to seek out overlooked and unclassifiable work, and to publish writing from beyond established confines. Subscribe today, and join the conversation. More

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