MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics alum Natalie Singer-Velush (’16) has been chosen as a finalist for Autumn House Press’s nonfiction prize. Selected from more than 1,000 manuscript entries, her memoir, California Calling, traces Singer-Velulsh’s relocation from Canada to California at age sixteen and explores moments of being silenced before finding her voice. Her manuscript was largely written as she was completing her MFA program and seeking small press publishers. Singer-Velush was enticed by Autumn House Press‘s commitment to “publishing the work of excellent contemporary writers who have a following among readers, but whose work has been overlooked by commercial publishers." They were a perfect fit for California Calling, a hybrid work that interrogates the California myth and what it means to grow up a girl. The shape of the book, somewhere between traditional nonfiction, memoir, and poetry, took form as her ideas about assimilation and belonging emerged and shifted. Singer-Velush is thrilled to be a finalist and writes: “Just being selected as a finalist is a win in my view. It's a message that my story, and the way I have chosen to tell it, resonates with readers, and it buoys me for the journey toward publishing my book.”
In her other life, Singer-Velush is a freelance editorial consultant and storyteller, as well as Executive Editor of ParentMap, the Pacific Northwest's leading family lifestyle news magazine and brand.