Essay Incubator

In a Nutshell

This eight-month program is designed specifically for the writer who wants to draft, revise, and publish literary essays in the community of ten fellow writers with similar goals.

Applications for the 2018-19 cycle are now closed. 

Find more information about our submission guidelines, instructors, and curriculum

Date of Course: September 2018 - April 2019

Free Open House and Info Session

Thinking of applying? GrubStreet offers informal Q&A sessions in July with instructor Grace Talusan to answer any questions you have about the Incubator, including the workload, the application process, what the program does and doesn’t entail, the schedule, the philosophy behind our approach, and anything else on your mind.

Overview and Goals

The program has four phases consisting of two six-week sessions and two monthly in-person sessions, all on Thursday evenings with breaks in-between for writers to work independently. Writers will stay connected throughout the program with WetInk, an online platform to share essay drafts, post feedback, and access supporting materials. Writers will receive feedback on and revise at least three essays during the program. Writers will consult with the instructor for three thirty-minute sessions.

There are three major program goals:

  • To revise substantially, through a transformative process of reading and writing, three to five literary essays for submission for publication.  
  • To research the publishing marketplace for your essays, create a plan, and engage steps towards publication
  • To study the literary essay in service to one’s writing goals

Secondary program goals include developing habits towards a sustainable, productive writing practice, creating a supportive writing community among other Incubees, and participating in the wider literary community by engaging in the publishing marketplace, attending readings or other literary events, or other activities that connect you to the vibrant writing community in Greater Boston. In service to their revision process, students will share with the class an informal mini-craft lecture related to an issue they are grappling with in their writing and either a published essay collection or a single essay. These two assignments have no written requirement, but students may choose to develop their class presentations for submission for publication.

The class will celebrate the completion of the eight-month term with a reading party, and the cohort will reconvene at the Muse and the Marketplace conference in April, where each writer will receive a Manuscript Mart session with one editor looking for literary essays, and join the rest of the cohort for a check-in lunch.


The entire cost of the program is $3,995. Tuition is payable in two installments, the first before September 15th, 2018; the second before January 15th, 2019.

Partial or full tuition scholarships are available and based on a combination of merit and financial need. You can find more details about our scholarships here

See more information about our submission guidelines, instructors, and curriculum


If you have specific questions about the Essay Incubator program, please email, or call the office anytime at 617.695.0075.