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"I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting."

--Roald Dahl

Who Should Apply

The ideal student for this program is a mature writer looking to take their stories from “workshop good” to publishable quality. This writer should be a veteran of writing workshops, at GrubStreet or elsewhere, with several stories that have benefitted from multiple revisions, and a working familiarity with common literary terms. This writer should embrace the idea that revision is the heart – and the vast majority of the work – of writing.

The supportive but rigorous environment is one of honesty, collaboration, generosity, seriousness, and dedication. The student whose primary goal is academic credit, credentials, or "guaranteed publication" is not a good fit for this program.

GrubStreet has designed the Short Story Incubator as an MFA-level experience, and so students who are accepted will be writing at a level that would gain them entry into a traditional MFA program or a GrubStreet master-level fiction workshop. The Short Story Incubator can be complementary to an MFA in fiction, either in advance of applying or as post-MFA preparation for publishing.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Short Story Incubator are now closed. Applicants can expect to hear from us in mid-August.

Submission Requirements

  • Applications are now closed.
  • Writing sample (up to 10 pages). This sample should be a polished and advanced draft that shows a deep engagement with the material and a sense of commitment to its subject matter. The sample can be one or more complete stories, or an excerpt from a longer story; in either case, pages of your strongest writing.

  • Statement of plans (500 words or fewer). Please tell us what you hope to gain from this course of study and what, specifically, you hope to accomplish in the six-month term (e.g., bring three stories across the finish line; substantively revise six first drafts). Include your best estimate of how many hours you will be able to devote to class work each week, not including classroom time and your own writing.

  • Nomination by a GrubStreet instructor or equivalent workshop leader. No letter is necessary. There is a place on the application form to list your nominator and his/her contact info.

  • Experience in at least one workshop at GrubStreet or an equivalent writing center, MFA program, or conference. There is a place on the application form to list the titles & dates of previous workshops.

  • If applying for a fellowship spot, you must submit this separate fellowship application.

  • There is no application fee.