Los Angeles writer Lilliam Rivera is the recipient of the 2016 Working Class Writers Grant from the Speculative Literature Foundation for her short story “Between Staying and Going,” which will be published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction later this year. The $750 award supports any purpose that the writer recipient wishes to support her work.
Lilliam’s contemporary young adult novel The Education of Margot Sanchez will be published February, 2017 by Simon & Schuster. She is a 2015 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop at the University of California, San Diego.
Lilliam’s characters 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. Her speculative stories may be 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 seeks to answer the question, “How do you create a better home without abandoning those that you leave behind?”
The award received a total of 12 applicants. In addition to Lilliam, L.L. Madrid, Nemma Wollenfang and Michael Strayer received Honorable Mention from the six-judge volunteer panel.
Managing Director Malon Edwards, who coordinates the award process, noted that applicants have shown persistence and consistency in applying for the awards, including Lilliam 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.”
The Speculative Literature Foundation created the Working Class Writer Grant to support under-served and under-represented writers in speculative fiction, specifically those from working class, blue collar, low-income, or homeless backgrounds. While the award cannot provide all needs, it is intended to aid writers in overcoming financial barriers to writing speculative fiction.
[Based on the press release.]