Student News

Natalie Mislang Mann Receives Bennington/PEN America Emerging Voices Scholarship

The Bennington Writing Seminars, in partnership with PEN America, has announced that Natalie Mislang Mann is the recipient of the $10,000 Bennington/PEN America Emerging Voices scholarship. She’ll begin her studies in June 2019, on the 25th Anniversary of the Bennington Writing Seminars' founding.

photo of Natalie Mislang Mann

This is the third year that Bennington and PEN America have teamed up to offer such a scholarship to an alumni of PEN America's Emerging Voices Fellowship program, and she is the fourth recipient. Mann is a 2018 alum of Emerging Voices. This year's scholarship funding was made possible thanks to the generosity of the June 2018 Bennington Writing Seminars graduating class.

“We are pleased to again be able to offer this scholarship thanks to the generosity of our alumni and our partnership with PEN America,” said Mark Wunderlich, director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. “The Bennington/PEN America Emerging Voices Scholarship is one of many important ways we are broadening access to our MFA for writers across the country and we’re delighted that Natalie will be joining us in June.”

PEN America’s Emerging Voices Fellowship, run out of PEN’s Los Angeles office, is a literary mentorship that aims to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career. The Emerging Voices Podcast, hosted by Fellowship Manager and writer Amanda Fletcher, is one such tool that features craft tips, writing advice, agents, query letters, carne asada, trauma, transcendence, and the importance of literary community.

“We are thrilled to continue our celebration of emerging writers with the Bennington Writing Seminars and grateful to offer funding support to those pursuing an MFA through their generosity,” said Fletcher. “Natalie couldn’t be a more deserving recipient of this opportunity to continue pushing and completing her manuscript through workshops and mentorship.

Mann is an educator who holds a master of arts in humanities from San Francisco State University. Before being selected as a 2018 PEN America Emerging Voices fellow, she attended VONA/voices and Tin House Summer Workshops. Her writing has appeared in Angel City Review, The Rattling Wall, and the anthology Only Light Can Do That. Mann is currently working on a memoir based on her experiences growing up in a multi-ethnic family in the San Fernando Valley. 

The Bennington/PEN America Emerging Voices Scholarship was originally established thanks to the generosity of Bennington’s January Class of 2017, and renewed thanks to a gift from the June Class of 2018. Previous recipients of the scholarship include:

Shari Poindexter (EV '01) is a doctoral candidate in Occupational Therapy at USC who has led seminars and workshops on a range of healthcare issues specifically for cancer survivors and underserved populations. She is also a Hospice volunteer. Poindexter was a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, and she earned a John Densmore Scholarship at UCLA and a May Merrill Miller award for outstanding short story.

Monica Carter (EV '10) is Program Director of the Lambda Literary Foundation's LGBTQ Writers-in-Schools program. She was a PEN Center USA MARK Program Fiction Fellow, a Lambda Literary Foundation LGBT Emerging Writer Fellow, and a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow.

Davin Malasarn (EV '08) is Lead Writer and Director of Presidential Communications at Cal Tech. He has a Ph.D. in biology, and was a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. He is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, a finalist for Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction Contest, and was a featured writer for the New Short Fiction Series.