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Megan Ross Wins the Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award for “One of the World’s Best Writers’ Retreats”

Megan Ross, Modjaji Books designer and passionate writer, has been awarded an Alumni Award to the Iceland Writers Retreat in 2016.

2016 will be the third annual edition of the IWR, and it is the first year that scholarships for the retreat have been awrded. Ross is one of two recipients whose airfare and participation costs, on the basis of “demonstrated talent and financial need”, will be covered by donations by participants of previous retreats.

The retreat is takes place from 13 to 17 April, and features small-group writing workshops and cultural tours of Iceland. There are 10 instructors at the 2016 edition – each instructor is a successful and highly regarded writer, and will teach at two different workshops. Elina Hirvonen, Neel Mukherjee and Cheryl Strayed are among the featured instructors.

Ross was interviewed by Elliott Brandsma for the IWR about what she is looking forward to about the retreat in Iceland:

What are you most looking forward to about the Iceland Writers Retreat? Which of our featured authors are you particularly excited to meet?

I am so excited to be a student again: to listen and learn and discuss writing and literature with people who are passionate about the craft. It is almost impossible to say which author I am most excited to meet. Every one pushes a different button for me: whether it’s Mark Kurlansky, whom I have always admired, to Neel Mukherjee whose The Lives of Others is a firm favourite. And who wouldn’t want to meet Cheryl Strayed? And Miriam Toews! I work in the South African publishing industry and so am privileged to meet many local writers. It is going to be a thrill, however, meeting authors from different worlds and landscapes, whose books are not only acclaimed, and bestselling, but which have appeared on screen.

Press Release

South African writer selected as recipient of first Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award

South African writer Megan Ross has been selected as one of two recipients of the first ever Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award. This prestigious award is granted to writers who demonstrate outstanding ability and financial need, and covers airfare and participation costs in the highly acclaimed Iceland Writers Retreat, which will be held in April 2016. The award has been funded entirely by alumni of the Iceland Writers Retreat.

A former features writer for GLAMOUR magazine and graphic designer for Modjaji Books, Ross hails from Gonubie, and has been writing since she was only ten years old. In 2014, she was selected as the female South African entrant for the PEN International New Voices Award. Her latest story, “Traces,” was shortlisted for the Short Story Day Africa award. Most recently, Megan was shortlisted for the prestigious Miles Morland Scholarship.

“It is going to be a thrill to meet authors from different worlds and landscapes, whose books are not only acclaimed and bestselling, but which have also appeared on screen,” commented Megan.

“We are thrilled that Megan will be joining us in Iceland in April,” commented Eliza Reid, Co-Founder of the Iceland Writers Retreat. “We were extremely impressed with her application, and are very pleased to offer this inaugural award to such a deserving author. We’re sure she’ll fit right in here in Iceland, a country that admires and reveres writers.”

About the Iceland Writers Retreat:

Held for the first time in April 2014, the Iceland Writers Retreat is an annual event comprised of a series of small-group writing workshops and cultural tours designed to introduce participants to Iceland’s rich literary heritage. The third IWR will take place 13-17 Apil, 2016 and features Neel Mukherjee, Cheryl Strayed, Miriam Toews, and several others. Past faculty include Barbara Kingsolver, Ruth Reichl, Susan Orlean, Geraldine Brooks, and Adam Gopnik.

The Iceland Writers Retreat has been featured in the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, the Singapore Straits Times, and the Independent (UK). It was named one of the world’s best writers’ retreats by the Sydney Morning Herald, and one of the top 10 “Events to travel for in 2014” by Four Seasons Magazine.



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