Last updated March 4, 2023
If you want to become a professional writer, these fellowships and grants for emerging writers will put you on the right path! There are opportunities for poets, novelists, playwrights, creative nonfiction writers, and biographists. If one of these sounds like a great fit for you, be sure to bookmark it to your ProFellow account!
Bard Fiction Prize
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 teaches traditional courses. Fellows must give at least one public lecture during their fellowship. Candidates must be US citizens with a published book or novel.
Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers
The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers is an international fellowship program open to people whose work will benefit directly from access to the collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building—including academics, independent scholars, and creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets). The Center appoints 15 Fellows a year for a nine-month term at the Library, from September through May. In addition to working on their own projects, the Fellows engage in an ongoing exchange of ideas within the Center and in public forums throughout the Library.
Emerging Writer Fellowships
The Emerging Writer Fellowships are designed to provide 12 months of uninterrupted time and studio space to write and mentorship with feedback from a nationally established author in their respective genre. Fellows may attend one community creative writing workshop per semester and may attend one Miami Writers Institute workshop in the genre of their manuscript in progress. Applicants must not have published in any genre a book-length work, have a book under contract, or be negotiating a contract either in the United States or abroad by the time the fellowship begins. Each fellow receives a stipend of $41,000
The Hodder Fellowship will be given to writers and non-literary artists of exceptional promise to pursue independent projects at Princeton University during the academic year. Potential Hodder Fellows are writers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, performance artists, or other kinds of artists or humanists who have “much more than ordinary intellectual and literary gifts”; they are selected more “for promise than for performance.” Given the strength of the applicant pool, most successful Fellows have published a first book or have similar achievements in their own field. Provides a stipend of $88,000. Open to all citizenships.
MacDowell Colony Fellowship
The MacDowell Colony is the nation’s leading artist colony located in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Each year about 300 Fellowships, or residencies, are awarded to artists in seven disciplines: architecture, film/video arts, interdisciplinary arts, literature, music composition, theatre, and visual arts. A Fellowship consists of exclusive use of a private studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for two weeks to two months. MacDowell encourages applications from emerging and established artists representing the widest possible range of perspectives and demographics. Enrolled students are ineligible.
Steinbeck Fellows Program
The Steinbeck Fellowship Program is a one-year fellowship for emerging writers of any age and background to pursue a significant writing project while in residence at SJSU. The fellowship provides a stipend of $15,000, the opportunity to interact with other writers, faculty, and graduate students, and share work in progress by giving a public reading once each semester during the fellowship. Residency in the San José, CA area is required. The fellowship is for creative writers, including fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and biography. Applications in poetry will not be accepted.
Interested in the Steinbeck Fellows Program? Read our interview with Steinbeck Fellow Jill Logan. In it she shares her fellowship experience and application tips.
Wallace Stegner Fellowship
The Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University provides 10 two-year professional fellowships annually: 5 fellowships in fiction writing and 5 fellowships in poetry writing. Fellows meet weekly in a 3-hour class with teachers, but do not need to meet any curricular demands except for attending workshops. The Fellowship does not offer a degree. Candidates must demonstrate the quality of their creative work, their willingness to develop their skills, and their capacity to expand their expertise. Fellowships include a $50,000 living annually and Stanford University pays educational costs and medical health insurance.
Winston Churchill McNeish Writer’s Fellowships (NZ)
The Winston Churchill McNeish Writer’s Fellowship is offered every two years to New Zealand writers. The fellowships are awarded to young and/or emerging writers to travel overseas to experience immersion in other cultures. Projects may or may not have a research component to them. Ideal applicants are emerging writers or journalists aged between 25 and 40 years old who have a track record of publications and propose to travel to non-English speaking, developing countries. New Zealanders, either citizens or people normally resident in New Zealand, may apply.
Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Fellowship
Each year, the Creative Fellowship program at the Woodberry Poetry Room invites poets, writers, translators, artists, filmmakers, composers, and scholars of contemporary poetry to propose creative projects that would benefit from the resources available in the Woodberry Poetry Room. The Creative Fellow receives a stipend of $5,000, access to a range of Harvard Library special collections (including the Poetry Room), and in-depth research support from the WPR curatorial staff. The Creative Fellowship is open to US-based and international applicants. Applications to conduct a collaborative project with one or more artists are permitted.
Writeability Fellowship Program
The Writeability Fellowship support emerging writers with disability with tailored professional development support such as manuscript assessments, curated programs of workshops, and/or mentoring. Writeability aims to remove some of the barriers that have traditionally prevented people with disability from connecting with writing and publishing. It provides tools and information to support people with disability who want to tell their own stories in their own way. Writeability is for anyone who experiences barriers as a result of their particular impairment or condition.
Writing Fellows Program
The America’s Future Foundation Writing Fellows Program is for aspiring political writers and features small-group writing workshops so that fellows can dive in deep with instructors and get personalized feedback over six evening sessions, whether in person or virtual. The Washington, DC-based fellowship is tailored for aspiring writers interested in covering issues and publishing in outlets surrounding our nation’s capital. The state-based fellowship is held virtually and is designed for writers outside the DC area. Both fellowship formats include the opportunity to connect with well-known writers in their sessions.
Writing for Justice Fellowship
PEN America’s Writing for Justice Fellowship will commission six writers—emerging or established—to create written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate. Proposed projects may include—but are not limited to—fictional stories; works of literary or long-form journalism; theatrical, television, or film scripts; memoirs; poetry collections; or multimedia projects. Fellows will receive an honorarium of between $5,000-$8,000, based on the scope of the project. You can find information here.
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