May 3, 2016

New Creative Writing Fellowship Honors Blacklisted Hollywood Screenwriter

The Les River Fellowship for Young Novelists will award $5,500 to a graduating student in the creative writing program to fund the development of a published work of fiction, according to the grand-nephew of Hollywood screenwriter W. Leslie River, Ph.B. ’25.

River’s wife, Dorothy River, created the fellowship in order to continue the legacy of her husband, who was accused of association with Communism by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Leslie River persevered under the haze of Hollywood blacklisting, continuing to write under a false name.

The recipient of the award will be selected by faculty in the department on an annual basis, starting in 2017. Only UChicago students who are set to receive honors in the creative writing department will be considered.

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