The Sirenland Fellowship



The Sirenland Fellowship provides travel, room and board and fees for attending The Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano , Italy. It is given to a writer who is in the process of completing a project, but has not published a book before March, 2016. The fellowship cannot be applied for; candidates are nominated by a panel of publishing professionals. All entries are read blind and the winner chosen by Dani Shapiro.

Sirenland would like to thank the following nominators:

  • Nicole Aragi
  • Maria Campbell
  • Jim Shepard
  • Julie Barer
  • Brian Pickings
  • U.C. Irvine MFA Program
  • One Story
  • Akashic Press
  • William Morris Agency
  • The Center for Fiction
  • Grove Atlantic Press
  • The Dial Press

Previous Recipients 


49206372014: Scott Cheshire earned his MFA from Hunter College. His work has been published in Harper’s, Electric Literature, Slice, AGNI, Guernica and the Picador anthology The Book of Men. He lives in New York City. His first novel,  High as the Horses’ Bridles was published in 2014.

image2011: Karen Thompson Walker was born and raised in San Diego, California, where The Age of Miracles is set. She studied English and creative writing at UCLA, where she wrote for the UCLA Daily Bruin. After college, she worked as a newspaper reporter in the San Diego area before moving to New York City to attend the Columbia University MFA program. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work—sometimes while riding the subway.

2010: Bruce Machart – Bruce’s debut novel, The Wake of Forgiveness, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October and has been selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers pick. A collection of short stories entitled Men in the Making (also with HMH) will follow in 2011. Bruce’s fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, One Story, Story, Glimmer Train, and in numerous anthologies. A graduate of the MFA program at Ohio State University, he currently lives and teaches in his hometown of Houston, Texas.

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2009: Robin Black – Robin’s stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications, most recently One Story, Colorado Review, The Southern Review and The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol. I (Norton, 2007). A three time recipient of Special Mention from the Pushcart Prize and First Prize winner of the 2005 Pirate’s Alley Faulkner/Wisdom Writing Competition (Short Story Category), Robin lives in the Philadelphia area. Her first story collection, If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This, was published in 2010. Her novel, Life Drawing, was published in 2014.

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Said_Sayrafiezadeh2008: Saïd Sayrafiezadeh – Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’s essays and short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, Columbia Journal of Literature and Art, Open City, and elsewhere. His memoir, When Skateboards Will be Free,  about his experiences growing up communist in the United States, was chosen as one of the best books of 2009 by The New York Times. Saïd lives in New York City.

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2007: Dalia Sofer – Dalia Sofer was born in Iran and fled in 1982, at the age of 10, to the United States with her family. She received her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College in 2002 and has been a resident at Yaddo. She currently lives in New York City . Her acclaimed first novel, The Septembers of Shiraz, is published by Ecco Press.