by Syrah Linsley


Syrah Linsley holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, where she drafted her first manuscript. The recipient of first place for nonfiction in Bennington’s international Young Writers Awards and first place for creative nonfiction essay from the Liberal Arts Network for Development, she has also been a finalist for the Annie Dillard Award and was longlisted for the international First Pages Prize. Her work has received support in the form of residencies from the Rockvale Writers’ Colony, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, and the Grand Marais Art Colony. Her first published essay can be found in Hippocampus Magazine, and she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Inaugural NextGen Fellowship from USApple for The Cider Laureate Project (now The Fruit Laureate Project)

Waitlisted for the 2023 Tin House and Kenyon Review online workshops

“Linsley’s writing is both rigorous and delicate. In this essay, she goes way beyond common intellectual reflexes and reveals the secret layers of plant life. The essay is botany, gastronomy, and philosophy all working in sophisticated harmony.”

Judge’s comments from the LAND contest


Residency at the Grand Marais Art Colony (Spring 2023)

Residency at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (November 2022)

Residency at the Rockvale Writers’ Colony (October 2022)

Workshop led by Sari Botton through the Kingston Writers’ Studio

Scholarship to the Bennington Writing Seminars low-residency MFA program (5 residency periods total)


Joanna Cooper: “Writing Beyond the Known: Speculative Nonfiction” (via Muse Writing)

Cinelle Barnes: “The Multitudes – Setting Scope, Organizing Ideas, and Playing with Form in Essay Collections” (via The Resort)

Randon Billings Noble: “Diving into the Lyric Essay” (via the Lafayette Writers’ Studio)

Alexander Chee: “A Couple of People I Used to Be: Approaches to the Self through the Personal Essay” (via The Shipman Agency)

Lilly Dancyger: “Essay Revision Intensive”

Eula Biss: classes on defining the essay and crafting essay collections (via The Shipman Agency)

Summer Brennan: Essay Camp

Vanessa Mártir: epistolary writing class

Sejal Shah’s and Holly Wren Spaulding: “Dear Friend” (epistolary writing series)