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SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV -

Carrie Messenger, assistant professor of English at Shepherd University, has been awarded a three-week fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts to pursue her fiction writing in May. 

The fellowship will allow her to focus on writing that takes a backseat to that of her students during the school year. It is the first residency for the creative writing professor, who will be working on a series of short stories.  

At Shepherd she is one of the faculty advisers for "Sans Merci," the student literary magazine. She works with the art department to produce it. 

The VCCA is located in Amherst, Va., in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and serves roughly 350 artists a year. Each artist is provided with a comfortable private bedroom, a private studio and three prepared meals a day. 

Messenger earned her bachelor's degree in English from Yale University, her master of fine arts degree in fiction from Iowa Writers' Workshop and her doctoral degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.