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Professor Melissa Febos Receives National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship

Jan 11, 2022
Melissa Febos, NEA recipient

Today, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that Melissa Febos is one of 35 writers who will receive an FY 2022 Creative Writing Fellowship of $25,000. This year’s fellowships are in prose and enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career development. Fellows are selected through an anonymous process and are judged on the basis of artistic excellence of the work sample they provided. These fellowships are highly competitive, with more than 2,000 eligible applications received for the 2022 fellowships.

Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart and two essay collections: Abandon Me, a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and Publishing Triangle Award finalist, and Girlhood, a national bestseller. Catapult will publish a collection of her craft essays, Body Work, on March 15, 2022. A recipient of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary and of other fellowships from MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The BAU Institute at The Camargo Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Foundation, and others; her essays have appeared in The Paris ReviewThe Believer, McSweeney’s Quarterly, Granta, The Yale Review, Tin House, The Sun, and The New York Times Magazine. She is an associate professor in the English department at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.

Since 1967, the Arts Endowment has awarded more than 3,600 Creative Writing Fellowships totaling over $57 million. Many American recipients of the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction were recipients of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships early in their careers.

Visit to browse bios and artist statements from all of the 2022 recipients and past Creative Writing Fellows.