Published April 30, 2017
SANTA FE – The Institute of American Indian Arts’ (IAIA) Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing is offering the first annual Sherman Alexie Scholarship to a student who applies and enrolls in the IAIA MFA program.
The scholarship will pay $7,500 per semester for four semesters, for a total of $30,000, $24,000 of which will be applied to tuition. The remaining $6,000 will help pay for travel, lodging, books, and meals during the five residencies in Santa Fe.
All applicants to the Institute of American Indian Arts’ MFA in Creative Writing who are enrolled members of a Native American tribe or First Nation are eligible. Proof of enrollment will be required. To apply for the scholarship, complete an application to the IAIA MFA program. The creative writing sample submitted with the application will be the competition entry. Applicants should pay close attention to the page limits; additional pages over the limit will not be read.
The initial screening of entries will be done by the IAIA MFA’s Native faculty. Final selection will be made by Sherman Alexie. The judging will be blind; all names will be removed from the writing samples.
The deadline is Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at 5 pm. Late entries will not be accepted. The winner will be announced on Friday, June 9, 2017. Finalists may also be offered scholarships. Winner must enroll for the July 22-29, 2017, pre-fall semester residency. All entrants will be notified by email.
The scholarship will be contingent on the student remaining in good academic standing throughout the two-year program.
Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction, a PEN/Hemingway Citation for Best First Fiction, and the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Sherman Alexie is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and performer who serves as program consultant and workshop leader for the IAIA MFA program.
He has published 26 books including his soon to be released memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, his first picture book, Thunder Boy Jr, and the young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, all from Little, Brown Books; What I’ve Stolen, What I’ve Earned, a book of poetry, from Hanging Loose Press; and Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories, from Grove Press.
Smoke Signals, the movie he wrote and co-produced, won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.
A Spokane/Coeur d’Alene Indian, Alexie grew up in Wellpinit, Washington, on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Alexie has been an urban Indian since 1994 and lives in Seattle with his family.
Jon Davis, Director of the IAIA MFA Program commented, “Sherman Alexie has been deeply involved with the MFA program since its inception. This scholarship is a natural next step and a terrific opportunity for a Native student writer.”
Offering undergraduate degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, and Museum Studies — and a graduate degree in Creative Writing — IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. The school serves 610 Native and non-Native American college students from across the globe. IAIA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges — and is the only college in New Mexico accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.