Minnesota Write Like Us: 20 Fellowships awarded to BIPOC students, including four Normandale students, to work with local author mentors in year-long residencies

By Creative Writing Instructor Kris Bigalk

BIPOC community college creative writing students from five area community colleges have been awarded Write Like Us mentee fellowships to study with local BIPOC writers LM Brimmer, Nicola Koh, Michael Kleber-Diggs, and Taiwana Shambley. Winners also receive a $500 scholarship.  

Participating campuses in the Write Like Us program are Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Century College, Minneapolis College, Normandale Community College, and North Hennepin Community College.  

The list of Normandale mentees are Lupe Escoto Flores; Selah Jacoway; Stephanie Johnson; Jesse Navarro Vazquez.  

Author-mentors will work closely with their five selected student mentees, immersing them in the local literary community, networking with other writers, providing candid academic and career advice and feedback on their creative work, with the intent of showcasing it. With their mentors, mentees will attend special private events with acclaimed visiting Minnesota State Write Like Us authors in March and April 2023, as well as a panel discussion of BIPOC publishing professionals. Each of the nationally prominent BIPOC authors will also participate in public, live, on-stage events featuring interviews conducted by the local author-mentors.

The 2022-23 Write Like Us Fellowship Winners are:  

Anoka-Ramsey Community College: Teresa Fernandez; Eva Figueroa Jusino; Max Saguindang
Century College: Kiarra Ballard; Brian Kayega; Ofelia Louise Pineda; Sophia Tatge;
Minneapolis College: Jo Gambill-Read; Kaija Long Crow; Leticia Lopez; Lucas Mangelsdorf
Normandale Community College: Lupe Escoto Flores; Selah Jacoway; Stephanie Johnson; Jesse Navarro Vazquez
North Hennepin Community College: Trei Betow; Kevin Greger; Winnie Godi; Isabella Thoulouis; Yer Vang