UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2020
What next? That question confronts many MFA candidates nearing graduation. The soon-to-be degreed writer has just spent (typically) two years submitting manuscripts to workshops and receiving critiques. She has completed a book-length work and therefore fulfilled the creative thesis requirement. Now she possesses readers’ comments on that work, too. It’s clear that she must revise to get that first book fully ready for publication. But who can guarantee the time or resources to support this next crucial stage?
Some fellowship and writer-in-residence opportunities allow emerging writers to continue crafting their work, often with both financial and intellectual support. Most offer the comfort and camaraderie of an artistic or academic community, as well. While not all programs require a graduate degree in creative writing, some do; others often expect the teaching ability and level of accomplishment frequently associated with having earned a graduate-level degree. For some programs, in fact, teaching is an integral part of the fellowship.
On this page I will try to keep a comprehensive (and current) list of these opportunities. Please let me know (in comments) about additional programs you think belong here, and/or about any problems you may encounter with the links.
Please note that I am not intending for this list to focus on relatively short-term residencies, or, with a few exceptions, on programs that seem to expect writers to have published a book before application. If you want to locate more opportunities along those lines, I suggest that you consult the Alliance of Artist Communities and ResArtis websites.
Note also that deadlines (and application fees, when applicable—yes, unfortunately, some of these applications will cost money to submit) can vary and may even change within a given fellowship program from year to year. Be sure to check with each program for updated information, as well as for detailed eligibility and application guidelines.
Finally, recognize that some fellowships are not offered yearly, and some rotate disciplines/area of literary focus (alternating between poetry and prose, for example).
- Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowships
- Bard Fiction Prize
- George Bennett Fellowship (Phillips Exeter Academy)
- Gaius Charles Bolin Dissertation and Post-MFA Fellowships (Williams College)
- Children’s Writer-in-Residence Program (Boston Public Library)
- Emory University Creative Writing Fellowships
- Fine Arts Work Center Fellowships
- Hodder Fellowships (Princeton University)
- Hub City Writers Project Writers House Residencies
- Jesse J. Jones Writing Fellowship (for early-career writers who meet one of the following criteria: being a native Texan, (2) having resided in Texas at least three years at some time, or (3) having published significant work with a Texas subject.)
- Kenyon Review Fellowships (Kenyon College)
- Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts Transitional Residencies (These residencies don’t last quite so long as the other opportunities listed here, but I’m including the program because a) the “transitional residencies” are targeted specifically to recent graduates and b) the KHN Center graciously hosted me for two weeks right after I finished my MFA program.)
- Milton Center Fellowship at Image (Seattle Pacific University)
- New York University Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships (MFA-grad applicants are eligible: “Applicants with terminal degrees in their field may apply as long as they are preparing for a career in university teaching and research.”)
- Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing (Colgate University)
- Ann Plato Fellowship (Trinity College)
- Princeton Arts Fellowships (Princeton University)
- Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing (Bucknell University)
- Shearing Fellowships (Black Mountain Institute/University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
- Stadler Fellowship (Bucknell University)
- Wallace Stegner Fellowships (Stanford University)
- Steinbeck Fellows Program (San Jose State University)
- Reginald S. Tickner Writing Fellowship (The Gilman School)
- UT Austin Provost’s Office Early Career Fellowships
- Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowships (University of Wisconsin)
Some opportunities do not seem to maintain permanent webpages with current application instructions. In these cases, you’d be wise to check directly with the institutional employment offices and/or academic-job websites for announcements and updates. (You can also Google strategically.) Here are a few leads:
- Columbia College Chicago’s Elma Stuckey Liberal Arts & Sciences Emerging Writer-in-Residence
- Cornell College’s Robert P. Dana Emerging Writer Fellowship
- Gettysburg College’s Emerging Writer Lectureship
- Grinnell College’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Fiction Writing
- Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Trias Postgraduate Teaching Fellowship
- John Carroll University’s Hopkins Post-Graduate Fellowship in Fiction/Non-Fiction
- Penn State Altoona’s Resident Writers
- The Seven Hills School Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Writer-in-Residence
- The University of Dayton’s Herbert W. Martin Fellowship in Creative Writing and Diversity