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Katya Apekina, MFA

Antioch University Los Angeles

Katya Apekina is a novelist, screenwriter, and translator. Her novel, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish (Two Dollar Radio), was named a Best Book of 2018 by Kirkus, Buzzfeed, and LitHub, and was a finalist for the LA Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and on the shortlist for Stanford Libraries’ 2020 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. The book has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, French, German, and Italian. She did translations for Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (FSG, 2008), short-listed for the Best Translated Book Award, and she co-wrote the screenplay for New Orleans, Mon Amour, which premiered at SXSW and starred Elisabeth Moss. She’s been selected for residencies at VCCA, Ucross, Art Omi, Jan Michalski Foundation, and Playa, and received an Elizabeth George grant, and a 3rd Year Fellowship from Washington University in St. Louis. Born in Moscow, she currently lives in Los Angeles.

Educational History

BA, Columbia University

MFA in Fiction, Washington University in St. Louis

Short Stories:

  • “The Party,” Alaska Quarterly Review (Winter 2020).
  • “Lewis and Clark,” Territory (October 2018).
  • “Maureen and Marjorie,” The Iowa Review (Spring 2012). Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013, Notable List.
  • “The Divers,” Product Magazine UK (Fall 2014).
  • “The Untitled Lincoln Love Story Project,” Joyland Magazine (April 2012), also featured on Longreads, FictionDaily, and Yahoo! News “5 Smart Reads for the Weekend” (Nov 2012). Selected for anthology Retro Vol. 1 No. 2: Selections from Joyland Magazine (2012).
  • “Night Deposits,” West Branch (Fall 2012) with an introduction by Kathryn Davis.


  • “Memoir, Annotated: Notes on my Grandmother’s Story,” LARB – Quarterly Journal, No.21 Epistolary Issue (Feb 2019).


  • Poetry and prose, Night Wraps the Sky: Writings By and About Mayakovsky (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008). Shortlisted for Best Translated Book Prize (2008).


  • New Orleans, Mon Amour, co-written with Michael Almereyda and James Robison. The film starred Elisabeth Moss, Christopher Eccleston. SXSW (2008).


    • “Rock Climbers Abducted“ Against the Odds (Wondery 2021).
    • “Breaking the Sound Barrier “(2 part series) for American Innovation (Wondery 2021).
    • “Alchemy,” The Next Big Idea (Wondery 2020).
    • Sara’s Curse, (Oct 4, 2018), Spooked (Snap Judgment and WNYC).
    • Smell Journal, I adapted my short story as a radio-play for CBC’s Love Me (Aug 2017).
    • The Topiary, I adapted my short story for a radio-play voiced by Martin Starr and Matt Bush, for THE OUTER REACH (Dec 2016). Broadcast on KCRW’s The Organist.
  • Bruce Geller Memorial Prize (2021).
  • Stanford Libraries’ William Saroyan International Prize for Writing (Short list, 2020).
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Art Seidenbaum, First Fiction, (Finalist, 2018).
  • VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, (Semi-finalist, 2019).
  • National Book Critics Circle, John Leonard Prize, (Nominee, 2018).
  • 35 over 35 Award, (2018).
  • Kirkus: Starred Review. Best of 2018. Best Debut.
  • Elizabeth George Grant (2015).
  • Money for Women/Barbara Deming (Finalist, 2016).
  • William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (Semi-Finalist, 2016).
  • Best American Nonrequired Reading, (Notable List, 2013).
  • Translations from Russian to English shortlisted for Best Translated Book Prize (2008).
  • Film, New Orleans, Mon Amour premiered nationally at the SXSW Film Festival and internationally at the Rotterdam Film Festival (2008).
  • Washington University: Third Year Fiction Fellowship (2011/2012), Alena Wilson Prize (2011), Olin Fellowship (2009-2011).


  • Tin House, Summer Workshop with Lauren Groff (2018).
  • Key West Literary Seminar. Workshop with Joy Williams. Scholarship (Jan 2018).
  • Playa (January 2017).
  • VCCA (February 2013 and October 2018).
  • Ucross, judge: Verlyn Klinkenborg (May 2012).
  • Baltic Writing Residency, Scotland (2021) – Finalist.
Katya Apekina, MFA

Elective Faculty,

MFA in Creative Writing Program


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