Alumnae Named 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellows

William Hutton
January 20, 2022

Sanaë Lemoine ’15 and Yvonne Woon ’10 (’06 CC) have been named 2022 Creative Writing Fellows by the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Creative Writing Fellowships are awarded each year to published creative writers to enable career development. Recipients receive a $25,000 grant to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. The Arts Endowment awards literature fellowships in odd years to poetry and in even years to prose. This year all fellows are prose writers. 

Of her achievement, Woon wrote: “I’m honored to be in the company of other NEA fellows, both present and past, and am so grateful to the writing community I joined at Columbia. The friends I made there are still some of my closest readers. Their writing and criticism have hugely influenced my work, and continue to teach me new ways to tell stories. I couldn’t have gotten this fellowship without them.” 

According to Lemoine, “The National Endowment for the Arts grant is a life-changing acknowledgement of an endeavor that most days seems impossibly hard. Knowing that I can take a significant amount of time next year to work on my second novel is truly the most precious gift. I cannot begin to describe my gratitude, and the honor of being in the company of so many writers I deeply admire.”

Sanaë Lemoine is the author of The Margot Affair. Born in Paris to a Japanese mother and French father, she was raised in France and Australia. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her MFA in fiction at Columbia University, where she taught undergraduate writing. She has worked as an editor at Martha Stewart and Phaidon, and is currently collaborating on two cookbook projects in addition to writing her second novel. She lives in Brooklyn. 

Yvonne Woon is from Worcester, Massachusetts and holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. She is the author of four young adult novels: the Dead Beautiful series and If You, Then Me. Her short fiction has appeared in the Boston Review. She has worked as a nanny, a ghostwriter, a dog walker, a university writing instructor, a tutor, a seafood salesperson, and a grocery clerk. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with one husband, one baby, and two cats. She’s working on her first novel for adults.