Special Note:

How Will AI Change Writing?—Join our FREE Writers' Stage event "Writing for Change: Exploring The Question of AI" next Wednesday 4/17.

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How to Apply

Submission Requirements

Writing Sample

  • The application requires at least 15 double-spaced pages of writing (approximately 3,750 words) and no more than 40 double-spaced pages (approximately 10,000 words). You must submit at least two different and complete essays. If your essays are very short, you may submit more than two essays.
  • Do not submit excerpts from longer works, such as book-length memoirs. Submitting published or unpublished work is welcome.

Letter of Introduction

  • This letter (approximately 500-1,000 words) is an informal statement to help the committee learn more about you and why you’d like to participate in the Incubator. Please address:
  1. the kind/type/genre of essays you write or hope to be writing;
  2. any goals for your work and publication, and what you’d like to learn over our eight months together;
  3. your experience offering feedback in a workshop setting, and what you think you can offer the class and your fellow writers;
  4. anything else you think would be important to know about yourself and your participation in the program

Workshop Experience

  • Ideally, you should have experience in at least two multi week writing workshops in personal essay/creative nonfiction at GrubStreet, a comparable writing center, or an MFA program, including ideally one at an advanced level. There is a place on the application form to list the titles and dates of previous workshops.


  • There is no application fee.

Financial Aid

  • At the end of the application, you will have the option to apply for a GrubStreet Fellowship.


  • Submit the name and contact information of a former or current GrubStreet instructor or equivalent workshop leader who is familiar with your writing. No letter is necessary. There is a place on the application form to list your reference and their contact info.

The application for the 2023-2024 Essay Incubator is closed. The next round of applications will be open in late Spring 2024.


The entire cost of the program is $4,295. Tuition is payable in two installments. Partial fellowships are available and based on a combination of merit and financial need (see below). Students may also be expected to purchase a few anthologies as “textbooks”; these will cost approximately $100 total over the course of the program.


We strive to locate support for our program participants who need it, and we aim to provide substantial fellowships to successful applicants.

In order to be considered for one of our fellowships, you will have the option to fill out the Fellowship section at the end of your application to the program. Only one application is necessary to be considered for any of our funding options. Admitted students can expect notification on their fellowship status at the time of admission to the program. While all Essay Incubator applicants can expect to be notified of their standing by the Essay Incubator Selection Committee, applicants not accepted into the program will not receive a separate notification from the Fellowship Committee.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].