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At No Cost: Application Fee-Free Fellowships and Residencies
by Erika Dreifus
The more we advance in our work as writers the
more likely we are to search for those wonderfully rewarding-and
remunerative-opportunities called Fellowships and Residencies. Such plums are
often worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in stipends, lodging, and
other benefits-not to mention the potentially priceless prizes of writing time,
access to research collections and/or connections with other writers.
But sometimes we've been struggling so much in
our daily work that we can be discouraged right from the start from the very
process of applying for these affirming situations by just two words:
Last year seeking a fellowship at the Fine
Arts Work Center in Provincetown meant paying a processing fee of $35; for a
Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, the price was $50. And still, hundreds of
applicants were turned away.
But lucky for the writer who may prefer a
no-fee fellowship/residency application diet, one can still find quite a
number of programs to try.
Shenandoah International Playwrights Retreat
Full fellowships (room, board, and
transportation) "to test and develop new work." Application deadline: February
Southeastern Theatre Conference/Charles M.
Getchell New Play Award
Awards $1,000 and a staged reading, plus paid
travel and room and board to attend the annual Southeastern Theatre Conference
convention. Submissions must be unproduced, full-length plays or programs of
two related one-acts; playwrights must reside in Alabama, Florida, Georgia,
Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, or
West Virginia. Applications accepted: March 1-June 1.
For Writers in Multiple
American Antiquarian Society Fellowships for
Creative and Performing Artists and Writers (Worcester,
Stipends of $1,200, plus travel expenses, will
be awarded to at least three fellows for a four-week residency. Deadline:
Bernheim Writing Fellowship (Clermont,
The Fellow receives
housing at the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest for up to three months
and a grant of up to $1000 to cover travel and other expenses. Deadline:
December 31 (materials may not be submitted until October
Bread Loaf Writers' Conference (Ripton,
Depending on a writer's level achievement, a
variety of fellowships and scholarships can help cover tuition and fees at the
Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Application deadline: March 1 (check updated
website in January to confirm 2004 deadline).
Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito,
Artists in Residence Program provides work
space, housing, a stipend, and five meals each week for periods that range
from 4 weeks to 11 months. Artist/writers must be residents of California, New
Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio (programs also for artists from Taiwan, the
Czech Republic, and Slovakia). Application deadline: June, for residencies the
Island Institute Resident Fellows Program
Month-long residencies (private apartments and
$300 stipends) provided to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction
writers during January, April and November. Application deadline for all three
residency periods: August 15.
Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing
Awarded in alternate years to a poet and to a
fiction writer, this residence offers a $2,000 stipend and two months' lodging
in the Poet's College at Bucknell, along with meals on campus and an office in
the Stadler Center for Poetry. Application deadline in 2003 (for fiction) was
August 30; a return to a prior schedule means that the 2004-05 residency
application deadline will be significantly earlier. The website advises to
"please check back" in January 2004.
Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health
Journalism (Atlanta, GA)
To help journalists study topics in mental
health or mental illness. Six U.S. and two international fellows are annually
awarded $10,000 cover project expenses, including travel and materials.
Fellows also travel twice (expenses paid) to the Carter Center in Atlanta, to
meet with their project advisors and to present their completed work.
Application deadline (2003): May 5.
Kaiser Media Fellowships in Health (Menlo Park,
Stipends of $55,000 (pro-rated for fellows who
choose to spend less than one year in the program), enabling "a highly
flexible range of opportunities tailored to each fellow's interests" in health
reporting. Application deadline (2003): March 7.
Alicia Patterson Foundation (Washington,
One-year grants of $35,000 to working
journalists "to pursue independent projects of significant interest and to
write articles based on their investigations" for Foundation's quarterly
magazine. Application deadline: October 1.
So, mark your calendars. Polish your proposals
and writing samples. Double-check the guidelines for updates. Think carefully
about what you would do with the money, the time, the support. And
Additional Sources and Resources for
NYFA Source (free national database on the New
York Foundation for the Arts Website): http://www.nyfa.org/nyfa_source.asp?id=47&fid=1
Alliance of Artists' Communities:
Grants and Awards Available to American Writers,
22nd Edition 2002-03 (New York: PEN American Center, 2002).
© Copyright 2004, Erika Dreifus
Erika Dreifus lives and writes in New York City. Visit her website at www.practicing-writer.com
and check her "Practicing Writing" blog posts at practicing-writing.blogspot.com.
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