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 one or two 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 NYFA Source database (which requires free registration) and the Alliance of Artist Communities and ResArtis Web sites.
Note also that deadlines (and application fees, when applicable) 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
Axton Fellowships (University of Louisville)
Bard Fiction Prize
George Bennett Fellowship (Phillips Exeter Academy)
Gaius Charles Bolin Fellowships (Williams College) (added on November 16, 2008)
Children's Writer-in-Residence Program (Boston Public Library)
Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Writer-in-Residence Program (Seven Hills School; click "Welcome" and then "Employment") (added on December 19, 2008)
Emory University Creative Writing Fellowship
Fine Arts Work Center Fellowships
Hodder Fellowships (Princeton University)
Houston Writing Fellows Program (University of Houston) (added on April 9, 2008)
HUB-BUB.COM Artists-in-Residence Program
Richard Hugo House Residencies
Jesse J. Jones Writing Fellowship/Dobie Paisano Fellowship (for writers who are native Texans, have resided in Texas at least three years "at some time," or have published work with a Texas subject)
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 Postdoctoral and Transition Program for Academic Diversity Fellowships (added January 1, 2009)
Olive B. O'Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing (Colgate University)
Pew Fellowships in the Arts (for artists/writers in the Philadelphia area)
Charles Pick Fellowship (University of East Anglia)
Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing (Bucknell University)
Stadler Fellowship (Bucknell University)
Wallace Stegner Fellowships (Stanford University)
Steinbeck Fellows Program (San Jose State University)
Elma Stuckey Emerging Poet-in-Residence (Columbia College-Chicago)
Teachers & Writers Collaborative Fellowships (added March 6, 2009)
Reginald S. Tickner Writing Fellowship (The Gilman School)
University of Pennsylvania ArtsEdge Residencies (added March 30, 2009)
Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellowships (University of Wisconsin)
Some opportunities do not maintain "permanent" Web pages. For example:
Gettysburg College Emerging Writer Lectureship. Look for announcements during the fall semester (for the following academic year) within the employment listings on the Gettysburg College Web site and within the AWP Job List, HigherEdJobs.com, and similar venues.
Summer Residency. Check the Poetry Center of Chicago Web site for updates.
The Herbert W. Martin Fellowship in Creative Writing and Diversity is based at the University of Dayton. Check the faculty job listings at the University of Dayton site for updates (added October 3, 2009)
The Southern Review Resident Scholar. Check The Southern Review's Web site for an announcement of the next application season.