Terran Prize Awarded!

by wjw on April 16, 2023

The Terran Prize for 2023, sponsored by George R.R. Martin and awarded by Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress, has been awarded to Santiago Márquez Ramos. The prize consists of tuition and lodging at this year’s Taos Toolbox workshop, and is awarded to applicants coming from a non English-speaking background.

Santiago Márquez Ramos was raised in México and Latin America. He lived in Querétaro, Bogotá, Bayamón, and Monterrey before studying psychology and computer engineering at Boston University. He currently works as a therapist with Latinx immigrants at a non-profit in New York City.

Growing up in México, he fell in love with the stories of his family and community, and with the way storytelling shapes lives. His close connection to the collectivist storytelling of his culture inspired him to become a therapist, and inspired him to write. Santiago is in constant awe at how narratives help people heal and grow, and how fantasy and science fiction help society imagine better futures. He is passionate about weaving culture and identity, social justice, and mental health into his writing, as well as Spanish — his native language.

Santiago has been published in Litro Magazine, Occulum Journal, Literally Stories, and was longlisted for Voyage Young Adult Literary Journal’s 2020 short story award. He’s been rejected by many others, but sometimes nicely. He is currently working on various longer works, which he is thrilled to share soon. Among Santiago’s goals for the future, his plan is to create an organization that empowers and lifts up the voices and writing of Latinx immigrants and other marginalized communities.

“I am endlessly grateful for the opportunity George R. R. Martin, Walter Jon Williams, and Nancy Kress have provided me at Taos. Writing is one of the great dialectics: a lonely activity by nature that connects people once it is released into the world. We write because we have stories that must be shared, stories of trauma and loss, of hope and love. These stories let us be understood, let us connect and witness and empathize. Yet we usually write alone, and it can sometimes be incredibly isolating. My community’s storytelling has taught me that we don’t have to create alone; our collective stories can envision a better future and embolden us to create it. This is what I hope to accomplish during my time at Taos and through my stories: connection, growth, and community. For my family, for the people I love, for my clients, for strangers that need a little bit of hope.”

You can learn more about Santiago and his work at https://www.santiagomarquezramos.com/

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