3 Reasons Why You (Yes YOU), Should Apply for the Emerging Writer Fellowship

The deadline to apply for GrubStreet’s 2020 Emerging Writer Fellowship is fast approaching on February 10th, 2020. Eson Kim, GrubStreet’s Director of Community & Youth Programs, explains why you (yes YOU) should apply today (yes TODAY). 





All too often, writers get stuck on the same question: “Should I apply for this writing opportunity?” Grab your favorite beverage, find a comfy writing spot, and get ready for a decade of yes! If you’re still tentative, here are three reasons to forge ahead.

There’s Always Something to Gain

Receiving a fellowship comes with great opportunities, but you also gain knowledge and experience every time you apply to a writing fellowship, contest, or award. You’ll start noticing patterns in applications and in your own work. Then you’ll better anticipate application requirements and refine your portfolio. Like most things, steady practice often improves chances of future success. So apply to this and other opportunities regularly. 

Why Not You?

Beyond the quality of work, there are human factors that come into play when assessing application submissions, like judges’ tastes and style preferences. You can’t know in advance what each reviewer’s tastes will be. One of them might love your application materials, but you’ll never know if you don’t apply. So the key is to send in your work and give it a chance to be seen by the right reader. 

It Sucks to Live in the Prison of Maybe

The Prison of Maybe is an emotional deadzone where writers get stuck in a paralyzing state of doubt. Maybe I’m not ready for this. Maybe I’ll be the worst applicant. Maybe my writing isn’t good enough. Maybe this fellowship is for writers who’ve taken formal writing classes already. Maybe I’m too behind, too inexperienced. Maybe I won’t win anyway. Maybe next year. Usually this state of anxiety, indecision, and inaction is caused by a lack of past encouragement, time, or resources to invest in our writing. GrubStreet’s Emerging Writer Fellowship was created to work against these setbacks. It’s hard to break out of the Prison of Maybe. But you can do it! Be the hero of your own story and make this application process your writing quest!


Don’t wait! The deadline to apply for GrubStreet’s 2020 Emerging Writer Fellowship is February 10th, 2020.

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About the Author

Eson Kim serves as the Director of Community and Youth Programs at GrubStreet, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. Her stories have appeared in Calyx Journal, Denver Quarterly, The Massachusetts Review, among others. She received a Writing Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and earned the David B. Saunders Award for creative nonfiction. She was also named to the Notable list of Best American Essays. She's appeared on Radio Boston's Summer Reads series and Stories from the Stage (WGBH). She loves any opportunity to talk about books for all ages.

See other articles by Eson Kim

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