Creative Writing M.F.A. Student Awarded Prestigious Literary Grant

M.F.A. student Alys Dutton
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M.F.A. student Alys Dutton

The U of A Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is excited to announce that Alys Dutton, a third-year M.F.A. student in fiction writing, has been awarded a prestigious research and writing grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation.

A nonprofit organization founded in 1999 by the novelist Elizabeth George, the Elizabeth George Foundation offers yearly grants and support "to unpublished fiction writers, to poets, to short story writers, to emerging playwrights, and to emerging non-fiction writers."

"The Elizabeth George Foundation has an incredible track record of identifying promising, up-and-coming writers at early and crucial stages in their careers. We are so proud of Alys for joining their illustrious ranks and for earning this much deserved recognition," said Davis McCombs, director of the Program in Creative Writing and Translation.

Dutton will use the award to develop Firebird, a collection of fiction stories about modern and historical women with destructive desires. 

"Thematically, I'm interested in how obsession, survival, and control shapes a woman's life — the twelve stories in Firebirds range from pre-Roman to the modern day, and swing stylistically between anti-historical absurdity and realism. Each story draws conclusions about the danger of want, and the inevitability of it across history," Dutton explained. 

Funding from the Elizabeth George Foundation may be used for living and travel expenses, professional development, and tuition for writers in an M.F.A. program, among other things. 

Founded in 1966, the University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing and Translation in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences consistently ranks in the top 40 M.F.A. programs nationwide, according to Poets & Writers magazine. The Atlantic Monthly named the U of A among the "Top Five Most Innovative" M.F.A. programs in the nation. Noteworthy graduates include Barry Hannah, C.D. Wright, Lucinda Roy and Nic Pizzolatto. 

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Jane V. Blunschi, assistant director, Program in Creative Writing and Translation
Department of English


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