Who Should Apply

We designed the Essay Incubator with a particular student in mind, but if each of the criteria below doesn’t apply to you, and you still believe you are ready to deepen your experience as an essay writer, we still encourage you to apply. 

The Essay Incubator may be a good fit in your development as a writer if:

  • You have already taken two or more multi week writing workshops in essay, memoir or nonfiction at GrubStreet, a comparable writing center, or an MFA program, including ideally one at an advanced level.
  • You have been or are currently engaged in writing and reading essays, with a writing group or on your own, and want to join other writers to develop your essays.
  • You want to spend several months focused on the writing and reading of essays in order to take your writing to the next level.  
  • You have experience reading essays, such as those you might find collected in Best American Essays, in literary magazines and in popular publications.
  • You have been submitting essays, or have a desire to begin submitting them in earnest, for publication, whether or not you have ultimately published any of them. 
  • You have written at least three essays you consider ready for being workshopped.

The ideal participant of the Essay Incubator will be able to:

  • Devote a regular chunk of time to your writing life. The hours will depend on the phase of the program and the amount of time your writing requires, but plan on a minimum of 10 hours per week and, at times, as much as 15 or 20 hours a week, spread among various activities: your own writing, class meetings, meetings and consultations, reading essays, writing exercises and assignments, and preparing written feedback for fellow writers.
  • Think of yourself as a writer and prioritize developing this part of your life.
  • Work towards building a respectful, supportive community of writers.
  • Be open to giving and receiving thoughtful critical feedback (not just advice).
  • Approach drafts for substantive, at times, radical revisions.

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