MIAMI, FL (March 8, 2022) – YoungArts announces Stella Lei as the recipient of the 2022 YoungArts Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Award, a $50,000 scholarship given each year to a YoungArts award winner in Writing. Lei may apply the financial award against the cost of tuition, room and board to attend an accredited school of her choice.

Now in its fifth year, the award demonstrates how individual donor support for YoungArts award winners can create transformative opportunities for artists throughout their careers. The Lin Arison Excellence in Writing Award is part of YoungArts’ ongoing programmatic expansion, offering additional creative and professional development opportunities for artists throughout their careers. 

“The panel selected Stella Lei, whose extraordinary skills in the craft of fiction are matched only by her innate gifts as a storyteller,” said Christopher Castellani (1990 & 1992 YoungArts Winner in Writing and National Selection Panelist). “With assured sentences that convince and transport, unforgettable characters with rich inner lives and complex histories, and the most precise and evocative language, Stella’s work exhibits a sophistication rarely found among writers at any age. Stella’s fiction, like all great fiction, has an ineffable quality that transcends itself and demands that the reader pay attention; in this way, and so many more, Stella immediately distinguished herself as one of the most compelling and exciting writers we’ve encountered in many years.” 

“As soon as National YoungArts Week+ began, I was struck by the vibrant and all-consuming love everyone had for their art,” said Stella Lei. “The experience reinforced and reshaped how I approach my work—as an outlet, as archive, as beauty, as survival. I am beyond grateful for this scholarship and the opportunities it provides to keep creative writing. I aspire to continue making art long into the future, giving voice to my narrative and showing other young artists that they too deserve to be heard.”

Stella Lei is a writer based in southeast Pennsylvania. Her poetry and prose, which have been published in multiple magazines, embrace the surreal and find the fantastic among the everyday, featuring settings and characters infused with wonder and magic. Lei’s writing has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize, and selected for the Wigleaf Top 50 longlist. Her debut prose chapbook, Inheritances of Hunger, is forthcoming for 2022.

Download Press Release