Words with Benefit

By Elizabeth Romero, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Vanessa Hua, a current first year MFA student in Creative Writing, submitted her story What We Have is What We Need to the highly acclaimed Atlantic Monthly. Vanessa has received first prize, which includes an amount of $1,000.

Vanessa began writing her story in Fall 2004, which was finally submitted in December 2007. What We Have is What We Need is about Lalo, a Mexican who takes on the endeavor of crossing the American-Mexican boarder to reunite himself with his parents in San Francisco.  Lalo then begins to learn the trade of lock-smithing from his father, where they both make a startling discovery at one of their house calls.

Vanessa was formerly a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, and a graduate of Executive Leadership Program (along with being a past co-president of the AAJA San Francisco Bay Area chapter). She is also a graduate from Stanford University receiving a bachelor's in English and a master's in media studies. Now that she is an MFA student, thanks to the recruiting of UCR's Andrew Winer, Vanessa will have her story published in May in the journal American Literary Review.


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