Graduate Student Chosen for Prestigious Fellowship
Doctoral candidate Michael Shewmaker named a Stanford University Wallace Stegner fellow.
Written by Megan Ketterer
Each academic year, 10 scholars interested in crafting their creative work toward a manuscript are selected to be a recipient of Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner Fellowship.
Michael Shewmaker, a Texas Tech University English part-time graduate instructor and doctoral candidate, was one of more than 1,760 applicants in this year’s pool of creative fiction and poetry writers to apply for the fellowship.
By showcasing his creative abilities in his application, Shewmaker’s was one of the 10 selected for the 2013-2015 fellowship program.
“It means a lot – particularly the time to write and revise, revise and write, toward completing my first manuscript of poems while studying at Stanford University,” Shewmaker said. “It also means being surrounded by people who care as much about the craft and art of poetry as I do.”
After moving to California for the fellowship, Shewmaker will spend his days attending workshops, readings and events while perfecting his own work with the help of his colleagues. As part of the fellowship, he will participate in campus readings and host programs for Stanford undergraduate students.
The application process included submitting 15 pages of poems with a brief statement of plans. The selection committee then reads each application and selects 10 two-year fellows, five in fiction and five in poetry.
Attending Texas Tech was a priceless experience and aided in the creation of his poetic works, Shewmaker said.
“My time at Tech has been invaluable,” he said. “I can’t adequately stress how much it meant to me. The creative writing faculty is outstanding here. They are talented artists, gifted teachers, and, well, all-around good human beings. I’m certain many of the poems I submitted for the fellowship, or, at the very least, wouldn’t be as compelling, if not for the careful attention of my mentors and my colleagues. I offer them my greatest gratitude.”
Shewmaker said although he will miss his Texas Tech colleagues, he is looking forward to the prospect of living in California and working on his manuscript.
“Generally, I’m looking forward to the adventure of moving to and living in California,” he said. “Artistically, though, I’m looking forward to finishing my first manuscript, to having the time to give it my full attention. And, of course, I’m also excited to participate in an artistic community with such a rich tradition. I hope to make my own mark.”
Undergraduate students wishing to write fiction, nonfiction and/or poetry can major in English with a concentration in creative writing.
The creative writing master's and doctoral programs offer students with exceptional ability and potential the chance to concentrate on their art and the rigorous academic study of literature. Students balance creative and scholarly interests, participate in small, intensive workshops and literature seminars, and produce both creative and scholarly work.
The faculty in creative writing are working writers with numerous publications and awards, and they are distinguished mentors and teachers who work closely with graduate students to help them meet their goals and aspirations.