Are you an aspiring or professional writer? Are you looking for an opportunity to focus on your craft and get paid while doing it? If this describes you than applying for writing fellowships might be a good fit for you and your goals.
If you are already working on a passion project or have an idea in your head, there are plenty of writing fellowships for the 2023 and 2024 season you can apply for.
What is a Writing Fellowship?
A writing fellowship is a fantastic opportunity for creative talents to pursue research and projects in their area of expertise. A fellowship is a short-term employment contract offered by an institution, often a university that usually lasts for one or two academic years.
Every writing fellowship is different in terms of eligibility, expectations, and compensation. There are fellowships looking for writing professionals in a very specific niche or industry, but many fellowships are open to any type of creative field.
Depending on the fellowship, the successful candidate may be granted with opportunities such as teaching or attending courses at the university and give public readings of their work during their contract.
Writing fellowships pay their fellows a stipend that is usually enough to be able to commit their full attention to their work. While it varies, it is common to be provided or assisted with finding accommodation, studio space, and often benefits, travel and/or moving allowances.
As with anything, it is important to do your research and find the right writing fellowships before applying.
How to Apply to a Writing Fellowship
If the idea of becoming a writing fellow truly excites you, then it is time to look at how to research and apply to fellowships and snag a coveted spot. Writing fellowships are a great opportunity to perfect your craft and contribute to your field while getting financial support. This also means that they can be very competitive with so many talented applicants who want the same thing as you.
With careful preparation, you can stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of success. Again, every fellowship is different, but here are some general guidelines of what it takes to apply for writing fellowships.
The first step in any process is to do lots of research before making any decisions. There are writing fellowships all over the world with different start dates and lengths in different subject areas. Find some that align with your wants and needs that you are excited to apply for.
Don’t apply for a fellowship that would require you to move across the country (or the world) if you are not prepared to do so!
Review Eligibility Requirements
Found a writing fellowship that you think you would be perfect for? Before investing time and money into the lengthy application process be sure to thoroughly read the eligibility requirements.
Each fellowship has its own specific criteria for who can apply including experience, citizenship, location, etc. Ensure you fit all of the eligibility requirements before applying.
Build a Portfolio
A major factor of how fellows are chosen is based on their portfolio. The selection committee wants to see your creativity, quality of work, writing style, and skill to determine if you are the right fit for the fellowship program.
Write a Personal Statement/Proposal
Aside from your application form and portfolio, many fellowship programs will either ask for a project proposal or personal statement describing yourself, your passion for writing, your accomplishments and your intentions for the fellowship.
Remember to be thorough and authentic while being diligent to follow all of the requirements of the proposal or statement.
Ask for Letters of Recommendation
Many writing fellowships want to get a better sense of you and your work ethic from third party sources. That’s where letters of recommendation come in. Reach out to mentors, professors, and supervisors who will be willing and able to attest to your character and abilities.
Carefully Fill out Your Application
Once you have compiled all of your documents and reached out to people who can support you, it is time to carefully fill out any further application forms. Remember to review all of your application documents for accuracy to avoid any unexpected hiccups in the process and be sure to submit everything before the deadline.
Prepare for Interviews
Some fellowships will invite a select few candidates to an interview to finish out the selection process. If the writing fellowships you applied for have an interview component, do not wait until you are invited to start practicing. The more you rehearse telling your story and sharing your work, the easier it will be to nail that interview.
Writing Fellowships for 2023 and 2024
We have compiled a list of 12 writing fellowships that are accepting applications between now and the end of 2024 to help you get started in your research.
- Application deadline: November 15, 2023
- Eligibility: Writers working on a broad range of topics related to American history and culture
- Payment: $45,000 stipend for nine month residency in Chestertown, MD
- Application deadline: November 1, 2023
- Eligibility: Emerging writers in fiction and poetry
- Payment: $50,000 per academic year (two-year program) plus tuition and benefits
- Application deadline: International applications due December 1; U.S. applications due January 31
- Eligibility: Working journalists with five or more years of full-time media experience
- Payment: $80,000 stipend paid over a nine-month period
- Application deadline: January 5, 2024
- Eligibility: Exceptional talent in the areas of creative writing, including fiction, drama, creative nonfiction or biography
- Payment: $15,000 stipend
- Application deadline: January 19, 2024
- Eligibility: American journalists with at least five years of professional experience
- Payment: $75,000 stipend plus moving, research, and travel allowances
- Application Deadline: February 10, 2024 (fall/winter); September 10, 2024 (spring/summer)
- Eligibility: Artists and writers at various career stages
- Payment: Residencies include room, board, and studio space
- Application deadline: March 1 annually
- Eligibility: American journalists with five or more years of experience working in any medium who are interested in deepening and broadening their knowledge of environmental issues.
- Payment: $71,000
- Application deadline: March 1 annually
- Eligibility: Applicants must have completed or be scheduled to complete an MFA or PhD in Creative Writing by August 15 of the fellowship year
- Payment: $39,000 paid over nine months
- Application deadline: March 15, 2024
- Eligibility: American author who has not yet published a novel
- Payment: $10,000
- Application deadline: Spring 2024
- Eligibility: US citizens able to commit to a year of full-time work in investigative journalism
- Payment: $22.68 per hour plus benefits
- Application deadline: September 2024
- Eligibility: Promising writers and artists
- Payment: Academic year at Princeton; $90,000 stipend
- Application deadline: Rolling
- Eligibility: Open to all journalists, writers, photographers, radio producers, or filmmakers, staff journalists outside the U.S and Western Europe
- Payment: $5,000 grant
Landing a writing fellowship is an incredible accomplishment and opportunity to focus on your craft. If you think this is an avenue you want to pursue, don’t miss out on your opportunity to apply to some of the exciting writing fellowships for 2023 and 2024.