instructor wins prestigious writing grant
By Erika Mantz, Media Relations
Meredith Hall, assistant director of the composition program at
UNH, was awarded the 2005 Gift of Freedom Award for her creative
nonfiction from A Room of Her Own Foundation. The $50,000 award
is the largest literary grant of its kind in the country. She also
received the 2005 Pushcart Prize and her essay “Shunned”
was named a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2005.
The yearlong financial support from A Room of Her Own Foundation
allowed her to take a leave from the university to work on her first
book, Without a Map. The memoir is a series of personal essays
about her young adult life. The foundation is committed to Virginia
Woolf’s assertion that a woman needs time and space to herself
to write. Award winners must have a track record of commitment to
their art and that being freed from their wage-earning will make
a substantial difference in their creative work. In addition to
the financial support, award recipients are assigned a mentor.
Hall was the only full-time nontraditional student when she attended
Bowdoin College on a full scholarship. She graduated summa cum laude
in 1993 at the age of 44 and then earned her master’s in creative
writing from UNH in 1995. Hall has been assistant director of UNH’s
composition program since 2003, and has been teaching writing at
UNH since earning her masters.
Her work appears in Creative Nonfiction and in two anthologies,
In Fact: Best of Creative Nonfiction and True Stories
from the Midlife Underground, which is due out in 2006.