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Mary Anne Mohanraj
Works at University of Illinois at Chicago
Attended University of Utah
Lived in Negombo, Sri Lanka
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We are delighted to announce that Arkansas writer Michael Fontana and Massachusetts writer Deborah (DK) McCutchen have received the 2014 Older Writers Grants from the Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF). The $500 awards support any purpose that the writers choose to benefit their work.
 
The Speculative Literature Foundation created the Older Writers Grants to support writers who are 50 years of age or older at the time of their application, and who are just beginning to professionally publish their work. The awards are intended to aid older writers in overcoming barriers to writing speculative fiction professionally.
 
Deborah (DK) McCutchen is a senior lecturer for the UMass College of Natural Sciences. She and her two daughters and a "Kiwi who isn't green, but is fuzzy" live "on the bank of a Heraclitean stream." Her first book (nonfiction, science and travel), The Whale Road, was published by Random House NZ and Blake in the UK, receiving a Pushcart Prize nomination and a Kiriyama Prize Notable Book Award. Now writing "gender-bending, scientifically accurate" speculative fiction, her novel Jellyfish Dreaming has been excerpted in an upcoming issue of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. Her second novel, Ice, is set in the near future, amid climate disasters and loss of species.
 
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and currently living in Bella Vista, Arkansas, with his wife Marla and a "Zen cat" named Tommy, Michael Fontana has been actively writing since age 13. When not writing, Michael raises funds for a nonprofit organization serving people living with mental illness. His 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." His work strives to "imagine what lies beyond the stretch of time that we call life on Earth."
 
The Foundation also awarded honorable mentions to Janice Croom and TM Waldroon.
 
Jurors for the 2014 Older Writers Grant include Lilla Smee, Stephanie Feldman, and Malon Edwards, Managing Director and Grants Administrator for the Foundation.
 
Founded in January, 2004 to promote literary quality in speculative fiction, the all-volunteer Foundation is led by Mary Anne Mohanraj and 30 other committed volunteers. The Foundation maintains a comprehensive website offering information for readers, writers, editors and publishers of speculative fiction, develops book lists and outreach materials for schools and libraries, and raises funds for redistribution to other organizations in the field, as well as four awards made annually to writers, of which the Older Writers Grant is one. The others include the Gulliver Travel Research Grant, Diverse Writers/Worlds Grant, and the Working Class Writers Grant. For more information about the Speculative Literature Foundation, contact Malon Edwards at managing_dir@speclit.org or visit the website at http://www.speclit.org.
The Speculative Literature Foundation'a mission is to promote literary quality in speculative fiction, by encouraging promising new writers, assisting established writers, facilitating the work of quality magazines and small presses in the genre, and developing a greater public appreciation of speculative fiction.
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Nebula schedule:
Saturday 3:00-4:00: Diversity in Short Fiction—One of the pieces of advice writers are given for avoiding tropes is to have more than one representative in a story, This gets challenging in a small cast. The panel will look at how to create a diverse world even within the confines of a short story. Panelists: Anatoly Belilovsky (M), Catherine Lundoff, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Neil Clarke, Alyssa Wong

Saturday 4:00-5:00: Editing Diversity–Editors talk about the importance of a balanced table of contents, both in terms of content creators and the protagonists of the story. Panelists: John Joseph Adams, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Joe Monti (M), Michael Thomas, Sheila Williams

Sunday 2:00-3:00: Colonialism, Cultural Appropriation and Fairy Tales–Before writing begins, a writer can find themselves already in trouble when the idea at the core of their story is problematic. This panel will discuss how to spot trouble before you even begin writing by looking at historical examples of colonialism, cultural appropriation, and fairy tales and the narrative challenges associated with them. Panelists: Matthew Johnson, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Rachel Swirsky
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Work
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Writer and English Professor
Employment
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
    Clinical Assistant Professor, 2008 - present
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Previously
Negombo, Sri Lanka - New Britain - Chicago - Philadelphia - Oakland - Salt Lake City - Oak Park
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Tagline
Trying to fail better.
Introduction
Writer, professor, mother. http://www.maryannemohanraj.com

Mary Anne Mohanraj is the author of Bodies in Motion (HarperCollins) and nine other titles. Bodies in Motion was a finalist for the Asian American Book Awards, a USA Today Notable Book, and has been translated into six languages. 

Mohanraj founded the World Fantasy Award-winning and Hugo-nominated magazine, Strange Horizons and the erotica magazine Clean Sheets. She was Guest of Honor at WisCon 2010, received a Breaking Barriers Award from the Chicago Foundation for Women for her work in Asian American arts organizing, and won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. 

Mohanraj has taught at the Clarion SF/F workshop, and is now Clinical Assistant Professor of fiction and literature and Associate Coordinator of Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She serves as Executive Director of both DesiLit and the Speculative Literature Foundation.

Recent publications include "Talking to Elephants" (Abyss & Apex) and "Jump Space" (Thoughtcrime Experiments).  She lives in a creaky old Victorian in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, with her partner, Kevin, two small children, and a sweet dog.
Bragging rights
Author of ten books; mother of Kavya and Anandan Whyte
Education
  • University of Utah
    Ph.D. in English Lit. and Creative Writing, 2000 - 2005
  • Mills College
    MFA in Creative Writing, 1995 - 1997
  • University of Chicago
    BA in English Literature, 1989 - 1993
  • Miss Porter's School
    High School, 1985 - 1989
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July 26
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In an open relationship
The Pabellon empanada is delicious -- chicken or beef with black beans, fried plantains, and cheese, wrapped in a tasty fried empanada and served with green salsa. I would have liked it a little spicier, but they do have Tabasco there to heat it up; next time, I might ask if they'd be willing to throw some green chili in too. I had the chorizo arepa another time -- good, but very rich (with all the fried chorizo), and the arepa was too big for my appetite. The empanada is a perfect size for lunch.
• • •
Food: ExcellentDecor: Very GoodService: Excellent
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
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