Indiana University Creative Writing Program
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LAUREN MING HOLDEN
(2013 Graduate)

A creative writer, artist, and international development worker, Ming Holden was most recently invited by the US Embassy to Suriname on a diplomatic speaking engagement under the U.S. Speakers Program for Women’s History Month. (Here is the press release.) In 2011, she founded the Survival Girls, a theater group for young Congolese women in the slums of Nairobi.

Her first book, the nonfiction novella The Survival Girls, came out in 2013 through Wolfram Productions. Ming also won the USAID worldwide essay contest for inclusion in the USAID Frontiers in Development publication alongside work by Bill Gates, Indra Noori, Paul Collier, and others. Her essay about the Survival Girls got some love from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself in the book’s introduction! (Ming’s writing about the Girls was also nominated for the AWP Intro Award for Nonfiction.)

Ming won Glimmer Train‘s 2013 short story contest and The Chattahoochee Review‘s 2013 nonfiction contest. While an undergraduate at Brown University (’07), where she won nine Literary Arts awards, Ming co-founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Brown Literary Review. She is also the recipient of the Herman Wells Graduate Fellowship, Indiana University’s most prestigious student award, designated for “leadership abilities, character, social consciousness, and generosity of spirit,” and the Woon-Joon Yoon Memorial Fellowship, for “students who have exemplified tolerance and understanding across racial and religious lines through service, personal commitment, academic achievement and future potential.” (Here’s the press release for the Wells.)

Before relocating to the Midwest, Ming served the Mongolian Writers Union as its first-ever International Relations Adviser during her year as a Henry Luce Scholar in Mongolia and worked towards the formation of a Mongolia PEN Center. She has since returned to Mongolia to work for The Asia Foundation on a literary translation and advocated for an exiled Chinese writer in Turkey at the Writers and Literary Translators International Congress 2010, where she was the youngest presenter and one of the only Americans. She has done development work in Russia (at the Silver Taiga Sustainable Forestry Foundation); Ecuador (at the CEMOPLAF family planning clinic); Bolivia (at the Rio Beni Health Project); Mongolia (at The Asia Foundation); Kenya (at the UNHCR); and also in New York (at Archipelago Books) and California (at People Helping People).

Ming’s poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, photography, and literary translations have appeared in Alchemy, Arts & Letters, Cerise Press, The Best American Poetry Blog, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Huffington Post, Molotov Cocktail, Passages North, Peaches and Bats, The Poker, the Santa Ynez Valley Journal, the Santa Barbara Independent, Slice Magazine’s blog, and others. She recently taught a cross-genre workshop at the Richard Hugo House.

A list of Ming’s publications is here. A list of her honors and awards is here.

She’s got profiles in all the usual places: LinkedIn, Picasa, Youtube, & Facebook.