Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers

In a Nutshell

GrubStreet’s Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers provides financial and professional development support to two self-identified Black writers interested in teaching classes, participating in events, and working with our instructors and staff to deepen our curriculum. The fellowship includes compensation of $20,000, artistic mentorship, and access to the GrubStreet community and the Muse and the Marketplace conference. In time, the program aims to offer sustainable support to Black Writers and create a cohort of fellows who have direct access to GrubStreet resources, classes, and events. We also hope the fellows can influence GrubStreet’s pedagogy and cultural vision based on their experience and feedback.

The 2021 Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers application is now closed. All applicants can expect to hear from us the week of June 28th, 2021. Applications submitted after the May 25th deadline will not be reviewed.



The Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers will provide the following compensation:

  • $20,000 per fellow for the year.
  • Access to mentorship from GrubStreet’s Education Director, Artistic Director, and other instructors.
  • Free access to the Muse and the Marketplace during the fellowship year and the option to lead a paid session at the conference.  
  • Access to additional GrubStreet events.
  • A space at GrubStreet’s new home to work on personal writing projects.
  • 60 hours (or roughly 20 weeks) of free GrubStreet classes, which can be taken during or after the fellowship.
  • A two-year GrubStreet membership.


The teaching load and responsibilities for the fellowship year include: 

  • Teaching two ten-week classes (one must be an advanced-level class toward the end of the fellowship).
  • Teaching one six-week class.
  • Teaching one week-long teen camp.
  • Teaching one three-hour seminar (plus, the option to teach more for additional payment). 
  • Serve as a reader and panel juror for our Emerging Writer Fellowship.
  • Moderate or participate in a Boston Writers of Color’s event.  
  • Meet with program heads at GrubStreet monthly (or as needed by fellow) to track progress and discuss curriculum ideas.
  • Meet with new fellows at the end of your own fellowship year.

The fellowship begins September 7th, 2021 and runs through the end of August 2022.


Who Should Apply

This fellowship is open to writers who self-identify as Black, are 18 or older, are able to work with both adult and teen audiences, and have a passion for expansive pedagogy, curriculum development, and professional growth. Ideal candidates will have some publication and teaching experience. Preference will be given to those working on their first book or a larger project. MFAs, a long publishing record, or extensive teaching experience are not requirements to apply, though feel free to tell us if you have any of these things.

Covid-19 Update: Although all of our programming is currently taking place virtually, we hope that fellows will be able to join us in-person later in 2021 and in 2022. Priority will be given to applicants who will be able to join us in Boston when it's safe to do so.


How to Apply

The Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers Application Form will require the following:

  • A personal statement (500 words max), which should include:
  • Your background as a writer and teacher.
  • Your personal philosophy or approach to creative writing workshops.
  • How this particular fellowship fits your interests and goals as a writer and educator. 
  • Your CV or resume. 
  • A writing sample (20 pages limit for prose; 12 pages for poetry; 25 pages for scripts; and 20 pages for other or fused genres) that best exemplifies your current trajectory as a writer. 
  • Two personal references (name, email, and phone number) who can speak to your experience and dedication to writing and teaching. 

Click here to apply before the deadline on Tuesday, May 25th, 2021.


Important Dates

  • Applications open: March 22nd, 2021. 
  • Deadline: May 25th, 2021.
  • Applications will be reviewed by a panel composed of GrubStreet’s program staff.
  • Final decisions announced the week of June 28th, 2021. 
  • Program kicks off on September 7th, 2021 and runs through end of August, 2022



If you have specific questions about the Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers, email [email protected] or call the office anytime at 617.695.0075.

Meet the Teaching Fellows:

Simone Dalton is an author, creative writing instructor, and the recipient of the 2020 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Prize for nonfiction. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her work is anthologized in Watch Your Head; Black Writers Matter, winner of the 2020 Saskatchewan Award for Book Publishing; and The Unpublished City: Volume I, a finalist for the 2018 Toronto Book Awards. In 2019, her play “VOWS” was produced for RARE Theatre’s Welcome to My Underworld. For 12 years, she told stories for social change in her career as a public relations and communications professional. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Simone started a foundation to support education for young steelpan artists and creatives.

Crystal Valentine is a queer, Black woman from the Bronx now residing in Boston, Massachusetts. A former New York City Youth Poet Laureate and two-time winner of the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational, Crystal has been offered fellowships from Callaloo, Tin House and Bread Loaf. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic Anthology (Haymarket Books), TriQuarterly Magazine, Muzzle Magazine, Winter Tangerine and elsewhere. She received an MFA from New York University as a Goldwater Fellow. Currently, she is the festival manager for the Massachusetts Poetry Festival and GrubStreet's inaugural Black Teaching Fellow. When she isn’t writing or agonizing over line breaks, you can find her watching anime and dreaming.

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