The SLF is delighted to announce the results of our 2004 Travel Research Grant judging! The Travel Research Grant is awarded to assist a writer (speculative fiction, poetry, drama, creative nonfiction) in his or her research. The 2004 Travel Research Grant includes $600 to be used to cover airfare, lodging, and/or other travel expenses. The grant is awarded by a committee of SLF members on the basis of interest and merit. Our jurors for 2004 were: Tiffany Jonas, editorial director for Aio Publishing Co, LLC in the United States, and Colin Harvey, author, in the United Kingdom.
The jurors offered the following comments on Nora’s writing sample and grant application:
- Colin Harvey:
- “Nora’s [story] sample had a clearly defined setting, a logical plot, believable and sympathetic characters, an original idea, and language that crackled and fizzled with care and passion. She…has some clear goals which the award would help her meet.”
- Tiffany Jonas:
- “While we received several excellent applications, Nora Jemison’s story sample was the standout. With a cultural and culinary emphasis reminiscent of Joanne Harris (Chocolat, Five Quarters of an Orange), the characters jump off the page, and the reader can nearly taste the garlic and onion, the seared meat, and the pappardelle. Nora’s synopsis of the novel she intends to write using research partially funded by the travel grant is intriguing and unique.”
And our winner, Nora Jemison, said this:
- Nora Jemison:
- “Over the past few years I have had a strong interest in blending ‘high fantasy’ tropes (e.g., quests for magical objects) with non-European cultures, characters, and themes. I would like to explore the concept, first proposed by Cheikh Anta Diop in his series of African histories, that ancient Egypt and/or Nubia may have had contact with the Americas long before European discovery. …My hope is to explore the universal impact of colonization, through the lens of a fantasy Egyptian and fantasy pre-Columbian native South American society. I also have in mind a series of short stories exploring traditional fantasy elements (e.g. sorcery, dragons) in various uniquely American milieu.”
Nora will use the grant to research Native American cultures as they existed pre-colonization for a fantasy novel and series of short stories. Travel will be to the Navajo National Monument in Arizona and to Monument Valley in Utah during the spring of 2005. She’ll stay in a Navajo-owned bed and breakfast and take tours of the valley with the aid of a guide from a nearby reservation.
Nora has published science fiction and fantasy short stories in Flashshot, Eternally Erotic (eBook anthology), Ideomancer (forthcoming), and Dark Sins and Desires Unveiled (anthology; forthcoming). An additional short story is currently under consideration at Realms of Fantasy.
Click here for more information on the Travel Research Grant.
Questions about this year’s travel grant process may be directed to either of the jurors at firstname.lastname@example.org