Columbia College Chicago
Jessica Love is a candidate in the MFA in Fiction program at Columbia College Chicago. She earned her BA in Creative Writing at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, where she was the editor of the school's literary magazine, Castings. As a graduate student at Columbia College, Jessica teaches Writing and Rhetoric. Originally from a small farm outside of Memphis, her own writing sets the fantastic against the realistic, rural everyday. Jessica is currently at work on a collection of short stories.
Columbia College representative - Patricia Ann McNair is an Associate Professor in the English and Creative Writing Department of Columbia College Chicago, where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award and a nomination for the Carnegie Foundation's U.S. Professor of the Year. Her short story collection, The Temple of Air, received the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award, Southern Illinois University's Devil's Kitchen Reading Award, and a finalist place in the Society of Midland Authors Awards.
National Louis University
Candace Nzingha Smith is a poet, creative non-fiction writer, certified copy editor, and self-published author. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Marketing and Brand Management. Candace also was the 2017 scholarship recipient for Paris Cafe Writing program. Her writing reflects her passion of bringing people together in love. She's currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in Written Communication at National Louis University.
National Louis University representative - Joanne Koch directs the graduate writing program at National Louis University in Chicago. Dr. Koch has previously written ten nonfiction books, a column for United Features syndicated to 200 papers and numerous magazine articles. Her real focus in recent years has been plays, musicals and screen writing. Her proudest achievement though, is the creative support she has given to emerging writers who have come through her graduate program and to see their own work published and produced.
National Louis University
Jonathan Riesbeck attends National Louis University in the Master's in Written Communication Program. Jonathan has shown strong promise in his production of fiction and nonfiction playwritting and he has already been published in National Louis's annual literary collection, Mosiac.
Update on past winners
Kara Brinkman, 2016 Scholarship winner, was hired for a coveted Lyric Opera Internship. The FAW scholarship helped Kara complete her degree and write and outstanding screenplay as her thesis project.
Patrick Iovinelli, the 2015 Scholarship winner, completed his Master's in Written Communication and has published a young adult novel, Waiting for the Sun (World Castle Publishing, 2016).