Monday, October 31, 2011

Blackwood Recieves Prestigious Whiting Writers' Award

Scott Blackwood, with wife, Tommi, at the Awards Ceremony! Exclusive Pic!

Scott Blackwood, novelist, assistant professor of literature, and famed Director of Roosevelt's MFA in Creative Writing, has received the prestigious $50,000 Whiting Writers' Award, given annually, to emerging writers! The award has been given to the likes of Denis Johnson, Jonathan Franzen, Lydia Davis, Ben Fountain, and Stuart Dybek, to name just a few! Scott is one of ten writers (four fiction, four poets, one non-fiction, and one playwright) to receive the award this past Tuesday, October 25th, in New York City, from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation.

The Legend. The Novel.

The award is not just based on past accomplishments, though Scott has many! His novel, We Agreed to Meet Just Here, released in 2009, won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Best Fiction, was a winner in the AWP Award Series in the Novel, and was a finalist for the 2010 PEN USA Award! His first book, the story collection, In the Shadow of Our House, was published in 2001. 

He's also the Director of our growing program here at Roosevelt! Says Scott, “My hope is that this award will also bring the Creative Writing Program some attention, partly for our focus on our values." 

But what are our values, Scott? 

This is not what a Roosevelt Writer looks like! No Lone Wolves here!
“Creative writers are not lone wolves. We’re very interdependent and the Whiting Award process, in some ways, is about this interdependence. It’s anonymous and outside the writers’ control, meaning there are no applications, no ambitious writers schmoozing for better positioning, none of that. It’s ultimately about your work and how it affects others. That is the kind of community of writers we are building at Roosevelt University and the kind of community of writers I have been fortunate to have been a part of since my writing career began.”

This is what Roosevelt writers look like! Wolf Pack!

Ah, I remember now!

The Whiting Writers' Award also looks at a writer's exceptional talent and promise. Which works just fine, because Scott is working on his new novel, probably at this very moment! Ask him about it or read about it on the bottom of the Roosevelt article, here! This is a huge award, reported by the likes of the NY Times and Washington Post and Chicago Sun-Times - so, the next time you see Scott, congratulate him enthusiastically!

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