The Mary E. Haverty Foundation Focus Fellowship

Michael Buchanan

The Mary E. Haverty Foundation Focus Fellowship is awarded to a screenwriter whose work is rooted in the American South.

August 22-29, November 14-21, December 5-19


Michael Buchanan was co-author of The Fat Boy Chronicles, which won 2010 Mom's Choice Gold AwardNational Parenting Publications Gold Award for Teens, and NY Champions of Character Award. The writing team also wrote the screenplay for the feature film adapted from the book. During its festival tour, the movie won multiple awards for its impacting, yet hopeful depiction of an obese and bullied 9th grader’s world. Schools use this book nationally, and millions around the world have seen the movie.

Michael co-authored the books Under the Gumbo Limbo Tree and Stealing First - The Teddy Kremer Story. He was the screenwriter for acclaimed shorts Last Bullet and Boxes, and writer for the feature documentaries Spiral Bound and Unplugged. Among many other acclaims, he has been a speaker at state and national conferences for teachers and a film festival judge.

Michael has always been an educator, teaching high school and college math for thirty-one years, and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2000. He moved on to teach screenwriting classes and give talks around the nation on his writing. Michael is currently working on new novels and screenplays.



AIR Serenbe supports artists of every discipline through our Focus Fellowship awards, nominated annually by our National Advisory Council—esteemed peers and experts in the field.  Focus Fellowships provide the opportunity for individuals, corporations, and other organizations to directly support artists and their influence on building healthy, creative communities. Funders of these awards have the chance to name the fellowship and to work closely with AIR Serenbe to determine what kind of artists (discipline, geography, demographic, subject) the fellowship will serve.  

To learn more about establishing a Focus Fellowship, contact AIR Serenbe Director Brandon Hinman at