Meet the 2023 Writing Fellows

Meet the 2023 Writing Fellows


The Sun Valley Writers’ Conference is committed to supporting aspiring writers and providing them with inspiration and direction as they embark on their creative paths. We have expanded our Writing Fellows Program for 2023 to include eight Writing Fellows from programs around the nation including the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, WriteGirl LA, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and Boise State University’s Creative Writing MFA Program. Learn more about them below.


2023 Writing Fellows

Sofía Aguilar is a Chicana writer and editor based in Los Angeles, California. Her work has appeared in L.A. Times, Refinery29 Somos, and New Orleans Review, among other publications. As an alum of WriteGirl, Sofía earned a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. STREAMING SERVICE: golden shovels made for tv and STREAMING SERVICE: season two are her self-published poetry chapbooks.

Desmond Everest Fuller holds an MFA in fiction from Boise State University and was the associate editor of The Idaho Review for the 2023 issue. His fiction appears in Indiana Review, Aquifer: The Florida Review online, Hawaii Pacific Review, West Trade Review, The Gravity of the Thing, and elsewhere.

Siqi Liu is a fiction MFA student and Rona Jaffe fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Pushcart Prize 2021and The Harvard Advocate, and has received support from Kundiman, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and others. She grew up in China and Illinois, and currently resides in Iowa City and New York City.  

Banna Desta is an Eritrean and Ethiopian-American playwright and screenwriter who crafts stories about and for the African diaspora. Her work for the stage has been supported and developed by SPACE on Ryder Farm, Audible Theater, Rattlestick Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, National Black Theater and the Dramatists Guild Foundation. 

Reyumeh Ejue is a writer from Nigeria, whose work has been published in literary journals including Green Blotter Review and Afreada. He is currently a Truman Capote Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he is a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing.

Hannah Lucille Phillips is a writer from the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania and a fiction candidate in Boise State’s MFA program. Currently, she is working on her first novel while serving as the associate editor of The Idaho Review. Her debut TV pilot, OUT, is in post-production through BSU’s NTVI (Narrative Television Initiative) and will premiere in early 2024. 

Michael Shayan is an Emmy Award-nominated, queer, Iranian-American writer and performer from “Tehran-geles,” California. His plays have been produced and developed at Audible, South Coast Repertory, The Geffen Playhouse, La MaMa, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and The Lark, among others. Fellowships include Sundance and Lambda Literary. Consulting Producer: “The Book of Queer” (Discovery+). BA: Harvard College. MFA: Brooklyn College, Playwriting.

Gillian Esquivia-Cohen (US/Colombia) is a writer, translator, and educator. She holds an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, an MA in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Columbia University, and is Contributing Editor at the hispanophone journal Polis Poesía. Her writing has appeared in GuernicaThe Kenyon Review Online, and Latin American Literature Today. She is currently revising her first novel.


Photo credit: Jay Graham

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