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Announcing the Jessica Speart Foundation Award

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Last year we lost our very special instructor and friend Jessica Speart. Along with her successful career as a bestselling author, Jessica was trained at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute, which led to many acting roles, most notably on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live, where she played the recurring role of Angela Foster. Jessica was also an avid travel and wrote for magazines about wildlife endangered by poachers, smugglers and corporate polluters. It was these experiences that led to her 1997 debut, Gator Aide, which launched her wildlife mystery series featuring Rachel Porter, a spunky Fish and Wildlife special agent.


For the past ten years, we were fortunate to have Jessica as a beloved instructor of Mystery & Thriller, Memoir, and Upper Level Fiction, among many wonderful one-time workshops, including the unforgettable "What If?" workshop. I know more than one writer who found their novel ideas through this method.


Needless to say, Jessica was a special person, writer, teacher, and friend. Most importantly she was a fearless supporter of her students, especially when a financial barrier existed that prevented them from taking workshops. To honor Jessica's work and spirit, we are thrilled to announce:


The Jessica Speart Foundation Award, which includes a $1,000 stipend to be used at the workshop in whichever way serves your writing best. These funds could applied towards workshops, coaching/editing, mentoring, or one-time offerings.


To apply for this award, please submit the following to Liz Matthews at: programdirector@westportwriters.org

  • A Personal Statement detailing your background as a writer, your current project, and what you hope to get from this scholarship, including which workshops, or one-on-one options interest you most (one-two double-spaced pages maximum)

  • A sample of your writing (10-20 double–spaced pages)

**Deadline to submit is: April 1st, 2023

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