The SLF Older Writers Grant is awarded annually to a writer who is fifty years of age or older at the time of grant application, and is intended to assist such writers who are just starting to work at a professional level. The $500 awards support any purpose that the writers choose to benefit their work.
Deborah (DK) McCutchen is a senior lecturer for the UMass College of Natural Sciences. Her nonfiction science and travel book The Whale Road, received a Pushcart Prize nomination and a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book Award. She’s now writing “gender-bending, scientifically accurate” speculative fiction. Her first novel, Jellyfish Dreaming, has been excerpted in an upcoming issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. The second, Ice, is set in the near future, amid climate disasters and loss of species.
Michael Fontana’s first novel, about teenagers with mental illness, was published after he turned 48. His second novel, an exploration of the meaning of God, was published when he was 50. A chapbook of meditations is forthcoming in 2015 from The Medulla Review Publishing. Michael believes that fiction “ought to be constantly transcending and blending literary boundaries to develop new forms.” When not writing, Michael raises funds for a nonprofit organization serving people living with mental illness.
The SLF also awarded honorable mentions to Janice Croom and TM Waldroon.
Jurors for the 2014 Older Writers Grant are Lilla Smee, Stephanie Feldman, and Malon Edwards, Managing Director and Grants Administrator for the Foundation.