Programs / The John Grammer Fellowship



The Sewanee School of Letters, the summers-only master’s degree program in literature and creative writing at the University of the South, announces that the 2018 recipient of the John Grammer Fellowship is Lucy Alibar, screenwriter and playwright. The award, made possible by a gift from the Blake & Bailey Family Fund, brings a noted writer or scholar to Sewanee for an extended visit each summer during the School’s academic term. 

Lucy Alibar has been nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA award, and the Scripter Award for the film Beasts of the Southern Wild. The film was an adaptation written with Benh Zeitlin based on Lucy's play, Juicy and DeliciousBeasts of the Southern Wild also earned the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Film Festival Camera D’Or.

Lucy is also the winner of the Ray Bradbury Nebula Award, the Humanitas Prize, and the Nantucket Film Festival New Voices in Screenwriting Award. Lucy’s writing has been published in Zoetrope, the Oxford American, and The Wall Street Journal and her plays have been seen at Sundance Theatre Lab, National Theatre Studio, Joe’s Pub, Ojai, Berkeley Rep, and Williamstown.

She’s worked for Pixar, Escape Artists/Amazon, Julia Roberts/New Line, and Guillermo del Toro/Universal (“The Secret Garden”). “Burnpile” is the title of her latest work and it is currently being adapted into a pilot for FX/Amblin Entertainment. Her film "Troupe Zero" is in production with Amazon.

Lucy is also a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, a Sundance Screenwriting Fellow, associate editor at Oxford American magazine, and advocate for girls in the arts. We're pleased to welcome her back to Sewanee, where she was a Sewanee Young Writers' Participant in 1999.


Screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild on Tuesday, July 3, at 7:30 pm, Sewanee Union Theater. Free and open to the public.

Reading with Lucy Alibar on THURSDAY, July 5, at 5:00 pm in Gailor Auditorium. Reception following in Gailor Atrium.


About the Sewanee School of Letters

The Sewanee School of Letters is a summers-only master's degree program at the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, that offers an MA in English and MFA in Creative Writing.


About the Blake & Bailey Fund

The Fund believes we can impact the world we live in for the better. Rather than create something from scratch and risk simply reinventing the wheel, we are committed to seeking out the talented change-makers already at work in the world around us. With their passion and drive and our support, we can fight for a better world for our children. For all of us. And we do so with an eye to the causes that have given meaning and value to our own lives: education and the arts, veteran affairs, the environment, and the myriad places where those causes intersect.