Emerging Writer Fellowship

"Through this fellowship, I’ve learned to write fearlessly and with unwavering authority. I don’t know what exactly the future holds for my writing career, but I do know that I will never stop writing my stories in the way only I can write them. GrubStreet gave me confidence in that."

— Joanna Kim, 2018-2019 Anita Shreve Emerging Writer Fellow

In a Nutshell

The Emerging Writer Fellowship aims to develop new, exciting voices by providing three writers per year tuition-free access to GrubStreet’s classes and Muse & the Marketplace conferences. Over the course of one year, each Emerging Writer Fellow will attend a combination of seminars and multi-week courses of their choosing, bookended by attendance at both the 2022 and the 2023 Muse & the Marketplace conference, in order to enhance their understanding of craft and the publishing industry.

To learn more, see below and also check out, “My Big Debt to GrubStreet? Grub is Compass and Lifesaver,” by first-time Emerging Fellowship recipient, Shawnna Thomas.

The 2022-2023 Fellowship application is now open! Applications are due by Monday, February 28th, 2022 at 11:59PM (EST). Click here to apply!

Covid-19 Update: We hope that this year's fellows will be able to join us in-person for classes and events. Priority will be given to applicants who will be able to join us in Boston when it's safe to do so.


The Emerging Writer Fellowship will be awarded to three writers who demonstrate a passion for writing, a commitment to developing their writing abilities, and financial need. Any person 18 and older who demonstrates ability and passion for writing is eligible.

The Emerging Writer Fellowship will provide access to each of the following:

  • 4 multi-week courses
  • 4 one-day (6hr) classes
  • 4 three-hour seminars
  • 3-day pass to the 2022 and 2023 Muse & the Marketplace conferences
  • Access to GrubStreet's Education Director and/or other program staff members for quarterly (or as-needed) office hours for personalized mentorship. (Not Required) 

The fellowship year begins at the 2022 Muse & the Marketplace conference, which will take place virtually in late April, and culminates in attendance at the 2023 Muse & the Marketplace.

Who Should Apply

This fellowship is open to anyone 18 and older with a passion for writing. The fellowship specifically aims to assist writers in need of financial assistance in reaching their writing goals. We particularly encourage writers of color, ethnic minorities, those who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other members of communities historically underrepresented by the literary community to apply.

Why We Created This Fellowship

Over the years, GrubStreet encountered more and more people who loved to write but didn't have the money to invest in a creative writing education that would help advance their craft or give them a thoughtful introduction to the publishing world. As part of its mission to make sure that voices of every type and talent are heard, GrubStreet developed the Emerging Writer Fellowship to eliminate some of the financial barriers to entry. Through this program, we hope to connect writers to a literary world – a world made richer and more relevant with the contribution of these voices. 

In the program's first year, we were able to offer one fellowship to one student. As of the 2018-2019 cycle, we are able to offer a second fellowship in memory of novelist Anita Shreve, longtime board member and dear friend of GrubStreet. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we will now be offering three fellowships in the 2021-2022 cycle. 

How to Apply

The Emerging Writer Fellowship Application Form will require the following:

  • A sample of your writing that demonstrates your artistic style and voice. 5-10 pages for prose, screenwriting, or playwriting. 3-7 pages for poetry.

  • A personal statement -- no more than 500 words please! -- which should include the following:

    • How you envision using the fellowship.
    • A description of your relationship to writing. By this we mean: what excites you about it? What does it mean to you personally?
    • How the fellowship will help you in your growth and success as a writer. 
    • Your writing and workshop history (Note: Prior workshop experience at GrubStreet is not required).

Important Dates

  • The 2022-2023 Emerging Writer Fellowship Application is now open! Click here to apply!

  • The application deadline is Monday, February 28th, by 11:59PM EST. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed. 

  • The Fellowship year begins at the 2022 Muse & the Marketplace Conference, which will take place virtually in two parts, with some optional in-person parties and events: (1) Wednesday, April 27th - Sunday, May 1st; (2) Wednesday, May 4th - Sunday, May 8th.

  • All applicants can expect to hear back by early April, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Do I need to have a college degree to qualify for this fellowship?
No! The fellowship is open to anyone with a dedication and passion for writing, regardless of education level. If you are committed to your personal growth as a writer, then apply!

If I win this fellowship, do I have to quit my job? Are the classes full time?
The short answer is no. Our flexible class schedule is designed to work around people’s jobs! We offer classes in the morning, evening, and on weekends that you can choose from. However, we do expect the fellows to take full advantage of the courses, as well as attend our Muse & the Marketplace Conference, so you should plan for and commit to a steady amount of writing, homework, and immersion in GrubStreet’s community throughout the fellowship year.

What if I came to writing later in life? Is there an age restriction to this fellowship?
There’s no age restriction for the fellowship! Adult students at GrubStreet range from 18-year-olds to folks over 80. The fellowship is open to the same range of ages.

Are any genres preferred?
We are open to all genres of writing. Current and previous fellows have taken courses in short fiction, novel, nonfiction, magical realism, sci-fi & fantasy, and screenwriting, among others. However, applications that show a cohesive vision of how the applicant would take advantage of the classes to develop their work tend to stand out during our decision-making process.

Other Questions?

If you have specific questions about the Emerging Writer Fellowship, email [email protected] or call the office anytime at 617.695.0075.

Our Current Fellows: 

Andy Lopez is a writer and communications director for a non-profit in the Philippines. Her work has been published in Longleaf Review, CHEAP POP, Non.Plus Lit, and other magazines and anthologies. Find her on Twitter at @andylopezwrites.

Tochukwu Okafor is a Nigerian writer whose work has appeared in the 2018 Best of the Net, the 2019 Best Small Fictions, The Guardian, Harvard’s Transition Magazine, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. He is a 2022 Good Hart Artist-in-Residence, a 2021 Wellstone Center in the Redwoods (WCR) Writing Fellow, a 2021 Jack Straw Writing Fellow, a 2021 Frank Conley Memorial Scholar, a 2021 Albertina Tholakele Dube Scholar for Young Writers, a 2021 Longleaf Writers Conference BIPOC Scholar, and an alumnus of the 2021 Tin House Workshop. He is also a 2018 Rhodes Scholar finalist, a 2018 Kathy Fish Fellow, and winner of the 2017 Short Story Day Africa Prize for Short Fiction. He has been shortlisted for the 2017 Awele Creative Trust Award, the 2016 Problem House Press Short Story Prize, the 2016 Southern Pacific Review Short Story Prize, and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He was a member of the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Writing Workshop and the 2015 Association of Nigerian Authors Creative Writing Workshop. He holds a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University and has received scholarships and fellowship grants from the Worcester Arts Council, Kundiman, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Etisalat (now 9mobile), the MTN Foundation, Fishtrap, Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference, and Exxon Mobil. He lives in Worcester, USA, and is at work on a novel and a story collection. He is on Twitter @toch_okafor and Instagram @tochukwu_okafor.

J.C. Rodriguez is a writer and educator from Westbury, NY. His poems have appeared in Taco Bell Quaterly, Meow Meow Pow Pow, and FreezeRay, among others. He is a slush adventurer for Interstellar Flight Press and a recipient of a Brooklyn Poets Fellowship. Outside of writing, he is an MSW student and cheeseburger enthusiast.

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