P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Sanjena Sathian, 2017

Pronunciation: SUN-jun-ah

MFA, University of Iowa

Sanjena Sathian is the child of immigrants from India

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MFA in Creative Writing at University of Iowa

Sanjena Sathian is the author of GOLD DIGGERS, which was named a Top 10 Best Book of 2021 by the Washington Post, a Best Book of 2021 by NPR and Amazon, and longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize. She is working on the TV adaptation with Mindy Kaling’s production company, Kaling International. Her second novel is forthcoming from Penguin Press.

Her short fiction appears in The Atlantic, Conjunctions, Boulevard, The Southern Humanities Review, Salt Hill Journal, and more, and is anthologized in the Best American Short Stories 2022. She’s written nonfiction for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Drift, Lithub, and more.

Between 2022 and 2024, she will be a Fiction Fellow at Emory University.

She was raised in Georgia by South Indian immigrant parents, and holds a BA from Yale University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

  • Sanjena Sathian GIF
  • MFA Creative Writing | University of Iowa 2019
  • BA English Literature, Creative Writing (Literary Fiction) | Yale University 2013
  • Finalist, South Asian Journalists' Association, Outstanding Work By a Journalist in North America, 2017
  • Finalist, South Asian Journalists' Association, Best Arts & Culture Reporting, 2017
  • Clarion Writers' Workshop for the top 18 emerging Science Fiction/Fantasy writers
  • Yale College's Elmore A. Willets Prize for Excellence in Fiction Writing
  • Yale College's John Hubbard Curtis Prize for Excellence in English
  • Kingsley Trust Fellowship
  • Winner of the Tournament of Champions and the Baker Award
Select Publications
  • "Dream City and the Imagined 'We': Modern Publics in Zadie Smith's London," Columbia Journal of Literary Studies
Work History
  • OZY Media, Asia Editor/Correspondent | January 2015 - December 2017
  • OZY Media, Deputy Editor | January 2013 - December 2015
  • The Boston Globe, Health Reporter | January 2013 - December 2013
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