by Katy TerBerg
Alum Melinda Moustakis, who received her Ph.D. in Creative Writing from WMU in 2010, continues to rise in prominence as one of America’s most promising young writing talents. After much recognition during the winter and spring, now, her collection of short stories, “Bear Down, Bear North,” has made the shortlist of works of fiction being considered for Stanford University’s Fifth Annual William Saroyan International Prize for Writing (Saroyan Prize).
The awards, announced by Stanford University Libraries, encourage new or emerging writers, honor the Saroyan literary legacy of creativity and innovation, and recognize newly published works of both fiction and non-fiction. A $5,000 prize is awarded in both categories.
Saroyan, an American writer and playwright, is a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winner best known for his short, humorous stories of immigrant families and children in California. In 1944 he received the Academy Award for Best Writing Original Story for “The Human Comedy” and a Pulitzer Prize for his play “The Time of Your Life.” He is the only known author to win both a Pulitzer Prize and an Academy Award.
“Novels usually win this [award], but it’s still nice to have ‘Bear Down’ on the shortlist,” said Moustakis of her collection’s nomination.
Moustakis was named a Gwen Hodder for the 2012-2013 academic year. With her growing lists of accolades, we hope Moustakis will add the illustrious Saroyan award to her accomplishments.