Iowa Board of Regents

Chang proud to be part of Iowa’s writing legacy

Iowa Writers’ Workshop Director Lan Samantha Chang will have a lot to celebrate next month. 

Chang, who also is a Writers’ Workshop alumna, is one of eight individuals who received an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an achievement that will be celebrated at a ceremony in New York City in late May. But before the ceremony, she will head to New Hampshire to begin a residency as one of the most recent MacDowell Fellows. 

“I’m really proud to be part of the Workshop,” she says. “I’m proud to be among the many Workshop graduates who have been honored this year by so many institutions.” 

In addition to Chang, two Writers’ Workshop alumnae, Michelle Huneven and Elizabeth McCracken, also received Arts and Letters Awards. Awardees are given $10,000 to honor and encourage their creative work.

“For me, it’s a tremendous honor to be granted one of those prizes, because it’s a sign of confidence from the American writing establishment,” Chang says. “I spend a lot of my job trying to encourage people’s creative work, and there’s something kind of wonderful being on the receiving end of encouragement at this point. I feel lucky at this time in my life to have that encouragement to produce more work.”

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