The Bard Fiction Prize was created to inspire and assist fledgling fiction writers, age 39 and younger, to strive for their artistic goals and offer a vibrant, creative atmosphere in an academic setting. Each year one fellowship is awarded to a promising, emerging American writer. In addition to a $30,000 stipend, the winning Fellow receives an appointment as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester, without the expectation that he or she teach traditional courses. Fellows must give at least one public lecture during their fellowship. Candidates must be US citizens with a published book or novel.