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 $25,000, artistic mentorship, a showcase of the Fellows’ work, 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.
Applications for 2023-2024 Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers are now closed.
There are even more reasons to apply this year! Even if your application isn’t accepted, by applying you’ll be given free access to a session focused on the topic of applying to fellowships, conferences, writing programs, and residencies taking place this summer.
The Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers will provide the following compensation:
- $25,000 per fellow for the year.
- Access to mentorship from GrubStreet’s Artistic Director, the Head of Faculty, and fellow 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.
- Priority access to 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 one ten-week class.
- 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).
- Moderate or participate in a Boston Writers of Color’s event.
- Meet with the Head of Faculty and Education Director periodically to track progress.
- A showcase and conversation on our Writer’s Stage to end the year (additional stipend paid to Fellows for this).
- Meet with new fellows at the end of your own fellowship year.
The fellowship begins September 5th, 2023 and runs through the end of August 2024.
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.
How to Apply
- 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.
- Applications open: Tuesday, April 11th, 2023.
- Deadline: Tuesday, May 30th, 2023.
- Applications will be reviewed by a panel composed of GrubStreet’s program staff.
- Final decisions will be announced at the end of June.
- Program kicks off on September 5th, 2023 and runs through the end of August 2024.
If you have specific questions about the Teaching Fellowship for Black Writers, email [email protected] or call the office anytime at 617.695.0075.
Thank you to The Beker Foundation, GrubStreet's lead funder for this fellowship. We also thank the Barr Foundation and individual donors for additional contributions that make this program possible.
Meet the 2023-2024 Teaching Fellows
Jonathan Todd is the author/illustrator of Timid (Scholastic/Graphix), a semi-autobiographical graphic novel about overcoming shyness and recognizing the value of embracing your cultural community. Jonathan is also a cofounder of the Boston Kids Comics Fest: https://bostonkidscomicsfest.org. He was a Jacqueline Woodson Fellow in the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program where he studied writing for children and young adults. A frequent comics teacher in libraries and schools, Jonathan was the 2015 Graphic Novelist-in-Residence at the Morse Institute and Bacon Free libraries in Natick, Massachusetts. Before creating graphic novels for kids, Jonathan studied journalism, illustration, English and history. He has contributed cartoons to dozens of publications, including Post Road, The Boston Globe, and The Tennessean.
Jacquinn Sinclair is a Boston-area-based journalist, author, and poet. Currently, she’s a contributing performing arts writer and theater critic for WBUR The ARTery. Typically, her writing seeks to highlight creatives and organizations whose work is at the intersection of art and activism. Jacquinn’s stories and poems have been anthologized in the International Women’s Writing Guild’s “Heels into the Soil: Stories & Poems Resisting the Silence” and “New Jersey Fan Club: Artists and Writers Celebrate the Garden State.” She is also a recent winner of the Dunamis Boston’s Emerging Artist Fellowship, during which she developed a small collection of poetry centered on nature’s healing powers. An avid traveler and food enthusiast, Jacquinn’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The Boston Globe, Momentum, Lonely Planet, and more.
“Being selected as one of GrubStreet's inaugural Black Teaching Fellows was a great joy.
During the fellowship year, GrubStreet's program team outlined teaching expectations and the course selection was largely self-directed by each fellow. However, there was room to reflect and adjust. Check-in opportunities were provided and I reached out to discuss ideas and challenges.
As a memorist and essayist I taught courses in the nonfiction genre, as well as experimented by creating new courses. One of those courses helped me define my voice as an educator who sees writerly self-care as integral to the writing practice. In the coming weeks, I will be "tryin a ting" with new programming with the Young Adult Writers Program that merges the storytelling mode of nonfiction with drama.
There were times during the fellowship when my insecurities as an emerging educator tried to take hold. In those moments, I reached out to the GrubStreet community, especially other Black and POC educators within the organization. This access to community and informal mentorship was one of the reasons I applied to the fellowship.
Ultimately, this opportunity has been a foundational step to practice developing inclusive curricula and interrogating Western modes of storytelling. I am also grateful for the ways it has poured into my own creative process.”
– Simone Dalton
"In the words of Audre Lorde, 'Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.' This is very true for my own approach towards the work that I do as a poet and educator; however, securing the time and financial stability to support myself as I embark on my poetic endeavors can become challenging, especially in the face of an ongoing pandemic. My position as a GrubStreet Teaching Fellow has helped alleviate this challenge by allowing me the time and space to tap into the necessity of my existence as a writer, while also providing the opportunity to develop my pedagogy by teaching classes for GrubStreet participants. I am grateful to GrubStreet for establishing a program that centers Black artists and I am excited to welcome new members and see the ways this unique cohort will continue to grow in the future."
– Crystal Valentine