Announcing the Winner of the 2018 Working Class Writers Grant

The Speculative Literature Foundation is delighted to announce Nemma Wollenfang as the winner of the 2018 Working Class Writers Grant.

Science fiction, fantasy, and horror, Wollenfang says, are the genres she generally writes when she puts pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard), but she is “absolutely thrilled” that the excerpt within her application for the 2018 Working Class Writers Grant, I, Phoenix, caught the jurors’ interest this year. And for good reason.

A perennial applicant for the Working Class Writers Grant, Wollenfang was named Honorable Mention for the grant twice: once in 2015, and then again in 2016. This isn’t the first time Wollenfang has gained attention for her writing, though.

Her unpublished steampunk novel, Clockwork Evangeline, won the Retreat West First Chapter Competition in 2016, and was also ranked as a finalist and Judges’ Favorite for the Insights Novel Award in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Clockwork Evangeline is well remembered by the Speculative Literature Foundation and its jurors, as it was the work that garnered Wollenfang her two previous Honorable Mentions for the Working Class Writers Grant.

It should be no surprise then that Wollenfang finally made the impact she wanted upon the jurors for the grant this year. Working Class Writers Grant juror Rebecca Gibson said of Wollenfang’s winning entry and excerpt from I, Phoenix: “This story is thoroughly fascinating, making me want to know more—the world and character building are tight, the premise is sound, and the attached synopsis shows that the story will be spectacular when fully fleshed out.”

Honorable Mentions for the 2018 Working Class Writers Grant go to Julie Borden, Dominik Parisien, and Alanna Faelan for their entertaining and thought-provoking submissions, which made the selection of the winner a difficult but enjoyable process for our jurors.

Awarded annually since 2013, the Speculative Literature Foundation’s $1,000 Working Class Grant is intended to assist working class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers who have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction due to the financial barriers that have made it much harder for them to access the writing world.

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Click here for more information on the Working Class Writers Grant.

Questions about the Working Class Grant process may be directed to our grants administrator, Malon Edwards, at grants@speclit.org