Who wouldn’t want a writing fellowship? A year or two with minimal professional obligations and time to write. Most of these opportunities are fiercely competitive—not surprisingly—and application costs are a consideration. But many people apply year after year, with the hopes of landing one of these prestigious opportunities.
We’ve gathered together a few of the top fellowships for emerging writers, organized by deadline. Some of these fellowships require teaching; others require some sort of outreach into the community. Best of luck if you choose to apply!
The George Bennett Fellowship
Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH
Eligibility: A manuscript in process
Deadline: November 30, 2017
Phillips Exeter Academy offers one fellowship per academic year. The fellow is provided a stipend of $15,260 as well as housing and meals. In return for this, the fellow is expected to be available to students interested in writing, as well as students in English classes and literary organizations. Exeter expects that the manuscript in process will be completed by the year’s end.
Wallace Stegner Fellowship
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Deadline: December 1, 2017
Stanford offers ten two-year fellowships: five in poetry and five in fiction. Fellows are provided with a $26,000 stipend, and tuition and health insurance are provided. Fellows participate in a weekly workshop with faculty—this is a full-time commitment—and must live close enough to Stanford to attend workshop, readings, and other events.
Fine Arts Work Center Writing Fellowship
Eligibility: Fellows cannot have a contract or have published a full-length work
Deadline: December 1, 2017
The Work Center provides ten seven-month writing fellowships each year: five for poets, and five for fiction writers. Fellows are provided with living/work space and a monthly stipend of $750. As the Center also hosts visual artists, there is a vibrant community of artists living and working in the same space. The Center actively seeks applicants from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The Steinbeck Fellows Program
San José State University, San José, CA
Eligibility: Writer has had some success but not published extensively
Deadline: January 2, 2018
San José State University offers two to three one-year fellowships in creative writing, not including poetry. The fellows need to reside in the San José area during the academic year; are provided with a $10,000 stipend; have the opportunity to interact with other writers, faculty, and students; and give a public reading.
The James Merrill Writer-in-Residence Program
Deadline: January 15, 2018
Several residencies per year are offered by this program: one residency for 4.5 months in the winter/spring, and three or four shorter residencies in the fall. Writers live in the former home of James Merrill; present a reading of their work-in-progress; and contribute to the local writing community.
Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing
Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
Eligibility: Recently completed MA, MFA or PhD; need a year to complete first book
Deadline: February 1, 2018
The O’Connor fellowship is given to two writers who need a year to complete their first book. Fellows spend the academic year at Colgate, teaching an undergraduate creative writing workshop each semester and presenting a public reading of their work-in-progress. A stipend of $40,500 for 2017-18 was provided, along with travel expenses; health and life insurance are also provided.
Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Eligibility: MFA or PhD; applicants must have published no more than one book
Deadline: March 1, 2018
The Institute offers up to five nine-month fellowships each year: two in fiction, two in poetry and one in either discipline. The fellowship comes with a $30,000 stipend, health benefits and a one course per semester teaching assignment in undergraduate creative writing. Fellows are expected to live in Madison; to hold no other teaching, study or fellowship obligations; and to participate in the life of the writing community in Madison. Fellows also give one public reading and participate in choosing the next year’s fellows.
The following fellowships are not open to application now, but keep them in mind for future applications: