Tuesday, August 19, 2014

From the Los Angeles Times:

"Five months pregnant and living off post-traumatic stress disorder disability checks at her home in Echo Park, Cynthia Bond entered PEN Center USA's Emerging Voices Fellowship in 2005 with only a first draft of a novel.

When she finished the program, she had a newborn, an agent and a second draft of her novel, "Ruby." Drawing from her experience with human trafficking as a child, the novel was published last spring, and its sales, along with part-time work teaching therapeutic writing at a rehabilitation center, support Bond and her 9-year-old.

Run out of the Beverly Hills office of the nonprofit PEN Center USA, the program is a unique resource in Los Angeles, offering support to fledgling writers such as Bond who don't have easy access to master's programs or the professional world of creative writing.

Bond says that without the fellowship, she wouldn't have finished the book. More than that, "I wanted to kill myself and was hospitalized a couple of times, but what kept bringing me back was working on this book," said Bond, who now lives in Sherman Oaks. "When I finished that second draft, it was a real victory for me."

See the full story here.


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