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Boise State Faculty Authors Receive Prestigious National Writing Fellowships

By: Sherry Squires   Published 11:00 am / November 23, 2011

Mitch Wieland and Alan Heathcock, faculty members in Boise State’s MFA in Creative Writing program, have been named National Endowment for the Arts 2012 Literature Fellows. They are among only 40 writers nationwide to receive the $25,000 fellowships, and were chosen from among nearly 1,200 applicants.

Designed to give writers the time and freedom to pursue their work, the creative writing fellowships are the NEA’s most direct investment in America’s artists. The new fellows come from 20 states and the District of Columbia.

“Both Mitch and Alan have received a stunning amount of critical acclaim for their writing recently and prestigious awards for their recent books, but this really is the icing on the cake,” said poet Martin Corless-Smith, director of the Boise State MFA in Creative Writing program. It is such a huge accomplishment for them both, and of course it highlights what amazing talent we have here at Boise State.”

Wieland is one of the founders of Boise State’s MFA program. His novel “Willy Slater’s Lane” received starred reviews in Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist and was optioned for a film The New York Times called the novel “immensely moving.” “God’s Dogs” was named the Idaho Book of the Year in 2010, and was featured in the Best of the West 2009 prize anthology. It also was a finalist for the 2010 John Gardner Fiction Book Award and was cited as a Book of the Year by New Wieland’s short stories have appeared in The Best of the West, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, TriQuarterly, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, StoryQuarterly, Prairie Schooner and other publications. Wieland also is founding editor of Boise State’s literary journal, The Idaho Review.

Heathcock is a graduate of Boise State’s MFA in Creative Writing program and teaches fiction writing at Boise State. His fiction has been published in many of America’s top magazines and journals, including Zoetrope: All-Story, Kenyon Review,VQR, Five Chapters, Storyville and The Harvard Review. His stories have won the National Magazine Award in fiction, and have been selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories anthology. His latest story collection, “VOLT,” earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, inclusion in the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers series and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. He currently is a Literature Fellow for the State of Idaho.

The NEA fellowships are the latest accomplishments for faculty in Boise State’s MFA in Creative Writing program, whose work regularly is recognized not only by their peers but also by national critics, prestigious anthologies, venerable literary journals and major booksellers.

For more information about the program, visit