King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction student Stacey McLeod, an interactive journalist and editor in Toronto who has worked for Global News, The Toronto Star and Travel & Escape Magazine, has been named as the first recipient of King’s new Master of Fine Arts Scholarship.
Stacey is working on a new book titled For the Record: The Race to Live Forever in a Virtual Afterlife. Inspired by the impending arrival of her new daughter, it’s a book about memorializing legacies in the digital era, the people driving viral stories and innovations, and the changing ways we think about life, death, grief and time.
The Master of Fine Arts Scholarship is a $1,200 annual award that was established by Mary Janigan, an award-winning journalist and nonfiction writer, and her husband, respected business leader Thomas Kierans, OC. It’s open to a King’s student entering the second year of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program. Mary has been supporting the program since its inception in 2013.
To research her book, Stacey needs to travel to New York City and Houston, Texas. In New York, she has a series of interviews planned and she’ll explore the question, ‘Are modern storytelling formats erasing stories from the historic record?’ Amongst her activities in Houston, she’ll visit a Rice University special collections librarian to explore when and why people start thinking about legacy then take actions, like donating to archives.
“The scholarship will help me pay for flights and accommodations as I deal with the pressure of having to self-fund a maternity leave from my full-time freelance work next semester to focus solely on school and a newborn,” she says. Stacey is working toward a 2019 manuscript deadline with her agent.
Kim Pittaway, director of the MFA program, says she’s delighted that the Master of Fine Arts Scholarship now exists to support creative nonfiction writers in the program. “This kind of support makes a real, tangible difference in the ability of students to execute their projects. The program faculty and students appreciate Mary and Tom’s generosity and support.”