Submittable is delighted to share the results of our inaugural Eliza So Finish-Your-Book Fellowship. Quite frankly, we were overwhelmed by the remarkable quality and quantity of creative manuscripts we received. Thanks to everyone who participated and everyone who helped us spread the word.

Our fellowship winner for 2017 is Melissa R. Sipin, whose work displayed remarkable depth, tremendous scope, graceful strangeness, and keen emotion. Please join us in congratulating her. You can find out more about Melissa and her novel below. We really can’t wait to read this book.

2017-bio-gettyAbout the author:

Melissa R. Sipin is a writer from Carson, CA. She won Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open and the Washington Square Review’s Flash Fiction Prize. She co-edited Kuwento: Lost Things, an anthology on Philippine myths (Carayan Press 2014), and her work is published/forthcoming in Black Warrior ReviewPrairie Schooner, Guernica MagazinePEN/Guernica Flash SeriesVIDA: Women in Literary ArtsEleven Eleven Magazine, and Amazon’s literary journal Day One, among others. Melissa is a cofounder of TAYO Literary Magazine. Her fiction has won scholarships and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Poets & Writers Inc., Kundiman, VONA/Voices Conference, Squaw Valley’s Community of Writers, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and is represented by Sarah Levitt at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency. She really loves yellow mangoes and strictly believes you’re finally home when you’ve found your favorite Chinese delivery restaurant and a parking ticket on your car’s window dash. More at www.msipin.com.

About the project:

Scorched-Earth follows Dolores, an ambitious immigrant daughter of an ex-meth addict and ex-prostitute. After returning home from a five-year absence and winning a prestigious artist fellowship at the newest contemporary museum in downtown Los Angeles, she finds herself excavating her family’s past for answers. It is a novel based on the Marcos Regime and the experiences of WWII Filipino guerrilla fighters and “Comfort Women,” who were captured and systematically raped during the war. It is a book of mirrors: a mirror between Dolores and her grandmother Pacita, of being born within an empire and during the beginning of an empire’s colonial experiment, and the consuming fire that exists between the love of a daughter and her chosen-mother.

About the fellowship:

The goal of the Eliza So Finish-Your-Book Fellowship is to give a writer time and solitude to help finish a book that is already in progress. The fellowship includes room and board at Las Vegas’ Writer’s Block for the month of June, along with a food and airfare stipend. The fellow is required to work with The Writer’s Block on a public-facing event, such as a reading or lecture. Please stay tuned early next year when our application process opens again.

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