Congratulations to our 2021 Octavia E. Butler and Worldbuilder Scholars!

Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Recipients

(L to R) shakirah peterson and Lue Palmer (both CW’21) were recognized as Butler Scholars at an online ceremony.

This summer, the Carl Brandon Society generously donated two full scholarships to Clarion West students. Lue Palmer of Toronto, Canada, and Shakirah Peterson of Los Angeles, California, were each recipients of the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship. 

Since 2007, the Carl Brandon Society has donated this scholarship in Octavia’s name to writers of color attending Clarion and Clarion West. Octavia attended the Clarion Writers Workshop in Pennsylvania in 1970 and taught at the Clarions for many years; this scholarship offers BIPOC writers a similar opportunity to emerge into the speculative fiction scene.

Lue Palmer is a Jamaican-Canadian writer at work on their first novel, The Hungry River. Set against the backdrop of climate change and following the revenge of a group of spirits,  it chronicles a love between Black communities and nature over 250 years and into the future.

shakirah peterson is an MFA candidate in creative writing at Louisiana State University. Her work has been supported by the Hurston/Wright Foundation, Voices of our Nation (VONA), and Clarion West. Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, she now breathes in Baton Rouge with her cat, fable.

Worldbuilder Scholarship Recipient

December Cuccaro, CW’21

George R. R. Martin awarded his Worldbuilder Scholarship to December Cuccaro of Miami, Florida.

The Worldbuilder is a full scholarship funded by George R. R. Martin and anonymously judged by Martin’s team. The scholarship is awarded to a student with strong worldbuilding skills. Martin says: “Every great story requires interesting characters, an engrossing plot, evocative prose, an important theme… but epic fantasy also requires a memorable setting. A ‘secondary universe,’ as J.R.R. Tolkien termed it, a world both like and unlike our own, with its own rich history and geography and customs, its own beauties and terrors.”

December Cuccaro is a South Floridian living in the high desert of Reno with her spouse, cat, and two goblinesque chihuahuas. In 2021, she received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her work can be found in Three Crows Magazine, Apparition Lit, and Sword and Kettle Press.

Read more about George R.R. Martin’s Worldbuilder Scholarship here. Martin also wrote about Isabel Cañas, Clarion West’s inaugural Worldbuilder Scholarship recipient, and her forthcoming novel The Hacienda on his blog:

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