The Speculative Literature Foundation is pleased to announce Lilliam Rivera as the winner of the 2015 Working Class Grant.

Rivera won the grant for her short story “Between Staying and Going,” which was published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in November 2016.

According to Rivera, her characters in the story may be professional weepers who wear high-tech costumes, or mythical monsters. “Whomever they are, they always seem to live a double life or hide behind ‘masks’ to survive,” she told the Speculative Literature Foundation.

Rivera’s speculative stories are sometimes set in a futuristic Mexico, or a Puerto Rico inhabited by mythical monsters. Her writing is inspired by her parents, who grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to the United States. Based in her heritage, she, through her stories, seeks to answer the question, “How do you create a better home without abandoning those that you leave behind?”

Managing Director Malon Edwards, who coordinates the award process, noted that recent applicants for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s grants have shown persistence and consistency in applying for the awards, including Rivera. “Writers do apply more than one year in a row and it pays off. They may not receive the award immediately, but Lilliam is one of several writers to have applied one year and received the award on a later try.”

Rivera’s contemporary young adult novel, The Education of Margot Sanchez will be published in February 2017 by Simon & Schuster. She is a 2015 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop at the University of California, San Diego.

The Speculative Literature Foundation received a total of 120 applicants for the Working Class Writers Grant. In addition to Rivera’s win for the grant, L.L. Madrid, Nemma Wollenfang and Michael Strayer were named Honorable Mentions by the six-judge volunteer panel.

The $750 Working Class Grant is intended to support 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 have access to 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 managing director at managing_dir@speclit.org