A Lake Forest author and college instructor has received national recognition for her writing through a $25,000 Creative Writing Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Makkai, who teaches at Lake Forest College, StoryStudio Chicago and Sierra Nevada College, is the author of the novel The Borrower and the soon-to-be-published The Hundred-Year House. She is also the author of numerous short stories, four of which have been selected for the Best American Short Stories anthologies.
Makkai was awarded the fellowship based on the manuscript submitted in the application and reviewed through an anonymous process in which the only criteria for review are artistic excellence and artistic merit. Her manuscript included the stories “Other Kinds of Poison,” from the July 2013 issue of Harper’s magazine, and “The Briefcase,” anthologized in The Best American Short Stories 2009.
"This is a formidable group of both emerging and well-established writers,” said NEA Acting Director of Literature Amy Stolls. "They demonstrate an impressive range of styles and subject matter. We are proud to recommend each of them for an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship."
Makkai, who will use the money for travel and research expenses over the next year, said that she was “heartened by this recognition and support at a crucial point in my career.” She said she hopes to use the fellowship to expand “Other Kinds of Poison,” which is about her family’s history in Hungary in the 1930s, into a book.
The works of the 38 fellowship recipients were selected among more than 1,300 eligible manuscripts.