Delaney Creative Development Fellowship
Friday, April 17, 2015
Friday, April 17, 2015
In 2014, the MFA program launched the Delaney Creative Development Fellowship. Designed to support a woman fiction writer currently enrolled in the program, the Fellowship aims to help the recipient enrich her professional development and arts administrative experience on and beyond campus. The Delaney is a full-year working fellowship.
The inaugural Delaney fellow is Kate Berson, a gifted and dedicated writer. Berson is serving as the Public Relations Director for FC2 (Fiction Collective Two), one of the oldest independent publishers of literary fiction in the country. Working at FC2 with Noy Holland, Berson is responsible for publicizing the press’s current and backlist. She organizes events at universities, bookstores, and other venues dedicated to the arts. This year FC2 celebrates its 40th anniversary, and Berson has helped to celebrate FC2 publications and authors, including many MFA graduates: two collections of short fiction by Susan Steinberg, The End of Free Love and Hydroplane; Joseph Cardinale’s The Size of the Universe; Hilary Plum’s They Dragged Them through the Streets; Ryan MacDonald’s The Observable Characteristics of Organisms; and the debut collection is titled Fourteen Stories, None of Them Are Yours by Luke Goebel, winner of the Ronald Sukenick Award for innovative fiction. Of the anniversary reading she co-organized in Amherst, Berson says: “I was thrilled to help provide a venue in the Valley for four authors I admire, whose voices I think should be heard by as many fiction lovers as possible.”
A second year student in the MFA, Berson has participated in many creative writing workshops and programs, including UMass’s Juniper Summer Writing Institute, for which she helped establish an FC2 scholarship for an emerging writer. Berson will be teaching young writers at the Juniper Institute this summer. A graduate of Tufts University with a B.A. in English and Latin American Studies, Berson has published her stories in Monkeybicycle, Green Mountains Review, Route Nine, The Rumblr, Big Big Wednesday, and other journals. Much of Berson’s professional background has been with immigration and refugee-focused nonprofits in New York, Boston, Haiti, and Israel where she served as a coordinator, administrator, and grant writer. She has taught creative writing and ESOL, and completed two oral history projects – one on rural Salvadoran communities, the other on farmers in the U.S. Midwest and Mexico.
The Delaney Fellow receives a stipend of approximately $10,000, a tuition and curriculum fee waiver, as well as credit as part of our Arts Administration Internship program. However, the benefits of the fellowship extend well beyond the individual recipient—it supports artist-run independent publishing, and also encourages and promotes the boldly-experimental creative endeavors of so many MFA graduates. The Fellowship will be offered again in the 2015-16 academic year. If you have a strong affiliation or affinity with an independent press or literary arts organization and would like to explore collaboration with one of the Delaney Fellows, we’d like to hear about it.