Ghanaian writer Nadia Owusu and Nigerian writer Tochukwu Okafor are among the 28 fellows and mentors (14 each) selected for the class of 2021.
In its 25th year, the Emerging Voices Fellows Program, an initiative of PEN America, brings together new writers from across different states in the US and from a broad range of experience, to “partake in a five-month immersive mentorship program with virtually accessible programs that emphasize the business of books.”
The 14 fellows for the class of 2021 were selected by a panel that included poet and founder of Costura Creative Eloisa Amezcua; vice president and editor-in-chief of Counterpoint Press Dan Smetanka; literary agent at Folio Literary Management Erin Harris; writer and fiction editor at Barrelhouse Christopher Gonzalez; and author and contributing writer at The New Yorker Lauren Michele Jackson.
Tochukwu Okafor, who was shortlisted for the Brittle Paper Award for Fiction in 2019, will be mentored by American writer Naomi Jackson. Tochukwu’s work had appeared in the 2019 Best Small Fictions, the 2018 Best of the Net, and has earned him fellowships from the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods, Jack Straw Writers Program, GrubStreet, and the Worcester Arts Council, among other honors.
Nadia Owusu will be mentoring San Francisco-based writer Lilly U. Nguyen. Owusu is the author of the bestselling memoir Aftershocks. She has also been published in the The New York Times, The Lily, Orion Magazine, Granta, The Paris Review’s “The Daily,” The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Catapult, Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure, and others. She is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award.
Go here to see the full list of fellows.