UCA Announces Porter Prize MFA Scholarship

The University of Central Arkansas is pleased to announce the creation of a scholarship to support its MFA students by the Porter Prize literary organization. For the next four years, the College of Fine Arts and Communication will select a graduate assistant to receive the $4,000 Porter Prize scholarship.

Terry Wright, interim dean, noted that “UCA is grateful that a prestigious literary organization like the Porter Prize has awarded this gracious gift to the Arkansas Writers MFA Program. Such a generous donation fosters the next generation of creative writers and further enhances the flourishing literary community in central Arkansas.”

The Arkansas Writers MFA is a writing-intensive studio program in creative writing that will uniquely prepare graduates for careers in writing pedagogy and publishing.

Graduate students have the opportunity to concentrate on the study, practice, and teaching of creative writing in a highly focused writing program taught primarily by writers for writers. At 60 hours, this three-year program will ensure that graduates build multi-genre backgrounds in the popular discipline of Creative Writing through workshops, forms courses, topics courses, a wide variety of electives, and specialized teaching and editing practicums.

The Porter Fund was founded in 1984 by novelist Jack Butler and novelist and lawyer Phillip McMath to honor Dr. Ben Kimpel. Kimpel was noted professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. The Porter Fund prize is named in honor of Kimpel’s mother, Gladys Crane Kimpel Porter. The annual prize of $2,000 is given to an Arkansas writer of merit and has been awarded to 30 poets, novelists, non-fiction writers and playwrights. In October, Pat Carr was given the 2013 Porter Fund prize in a ceremony at the Main Library in Little Rock.

This year novelist Charles Portis, a native of south Arkansas, has been selected to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Porter Fund, an organization supporting the literary arts in Arkansas. The Porter Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award is given out every five years to an Arkansas writer with a substantial and recognized body of work. Portis is the third Arkansas writer to be given the Lifetime Achievement Honor following Donald Harrington in 2004 and Miller Williams in 2009. The Lifetime Achievement Honor comes with prize money of $2,000.

The scholarship funds will be presented at a gala at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion on April 3, 2014. Tickets are available by calling Phillip McMath at 501.396.5416.

For more information about UCA’s MFA program, please go to uca.edu/writing/mfa.