Chicago writer Nino Cipri has received the 2014 Working Class Grant from the Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF). The $750 award supports any purpose that the writer wishes to benefit their work.
The Speculative Literature Foundation created the Working Class Grant to support under-served and under-represented writers in speculative fiction, specifically those from working class, blue collar, low-income, or homeless backgrounds. While the award cannot provide all needs, it is intended to aid writers in overcoming financial barriers to writing speculative fiction.
Nino Cipri lives in Chicago, and is a speculative fiction writer and essayist. A 2014 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop, Nino's speculative fiction has been, or will shortly be, published by Tor.com, Fireside Fiction, Betwtixt, Daily Science Fiction, the Journal of Unlikely Entomology, and the Eunoia Review. Nino also reads submissions for Crossed Genres Magazine, and has authored book reviews for Strange Horizons and the Future Fire. They have written, staged, and worked on production for plays, short films and podcasts.
Currently a part-time mechanic at Divvy, Chicago's public bicycle transit company, Nino grew up in a working class family that struggled with poverty. Making ends meet continues to be a challenge, combining part-time work with writing, even with impressive hard work and a rapidly-growing list of publications.
About Nino's story submitted for award consideration, "The Shape of My Name," jurors said, "This is a very original story, with an unusual take on time travel as well as gender and transgender issues . . . . pitch perfect. Very polished and potent."
About their family and storytelling, Nino wrote, "My family collects and distributes stories like heirlooms. Mostly small tales, funny ones with good punchlines. I grew up with these stories, and the ones I read or watched play out on TV, and it didn't take long before I was making up my own. Stories made sense of an otherwise incomprehensible world."
Jurors for the 2014 Working Class Grant include Linda Wight, Samuel Montgomery-Blinn, Rebecca Gibson, Andrea Hull, Jim Frenkel, Michael Lowrey, James Nicoll, Irene Nexica, Jake Casella, Fateh Singh, and Malon Edwards, Managing Director and Grants Administrator for the Foundation.
Founded in January, 2004 to promote literary quality in speculative fiction, the all-volunteer Foundation is led by Mary Anne Mohanraj and 30 other committed volunteers. The Foundation maintains a comprehensive website offering information for readers, writers, editors and publishers of speculative fiction, develops book lists and outreach materials for schools and libraries, and raises funds for redistribution to other organizations in the field, as well as four awards made annually to writers, of which the Working Class Grant is one. The others include the Gulliver Travel Research Grant, Diverse Writers/Worlds Grant, and the Older Writers Grant. For more information about the Speculative Literature Foundation, contact Malon Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at http://www.speclit.org.
The Mission of the Speculative Literature Foundation: To promote literary quality in speculative fiction, by encouraging promising new writers, assisting established writers, facilitating the work of quality magazines and small presses in the genre, and developing a greater public appreciation of speculative fiction.