Application Deadline: 8:59pm PT / 11:59pm ET on January 31, 2022
The Emerging Voices Fellowship provides a virtual five-month immersive mentorship program for early-career writers from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the publishing world. The program is committed to cultivating the careers of Black writers, and serves writers who identify as Indigenous, persons of color, LGBTQ+, immigrants, writers with disabilities, and those living outside of urban centers. Through curated one-on-one mentorship and introductions to editors, agents, and publishers, in addition to workshops on editing, marketing, and creating a platform, the five-month fellowship nurtures creative community, provides a professional skill-set, and demystifies the path to publication—with the ultimate goal of diversifying the publishing and media industries.
The Emerging Voices Fellowship grew out of PEN America Los Angeles’s forum “Writing the Immigrant Experience,” held at the Los Angeles Central Library in March 1994, which explored the experiences of first- and second-generation immigrant writers. In 1996, PEN America Los Angeles initiated Emerging Voices as a mentorship program designed to provide professional resources to writers seeking financial and creative support to pursue their craft professionally. Virtually accessible programs and an expanded cohort of fellows will further the goal of diversifying the publishing and media industries by enabling participation from writers across the country.
- Applicants must be 21 years of age or older at time of application.
- Applicants do not need to be a U.S. permanent resident and/or citizen but must be residing in the United States at the time of applying for, and during the duration of, the fellowship.
- Applicants must be available to participate actively in all dimensions of fellowship programming, including mandatory virtual workshops, virtual gatherings, and virtual public programs.
- Applicants cannot be enrolled in a degree-granting program at the time of application.
- Applicants cannot be a recipient of an advanced degree in fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry.
- Applicants cannot have one or more books published through major or independent publishers, university presses, or established presses, nor have a book under contract to a publisher at the time of application. Chapbooks or work published in literary journals are acceptable.
- Former Emerging Voices Fellows are not eligible to reapply.
Mentorship and Knowledge of the Business of Books
- Five months of guidance from a professional mentor on their current writing project
- Insider knowledge about publishers and literary agencies through panels and Q&As
- Writing and craft conversations with accomplished visiting authors
- One public event featuring reading of new work by current fellows
- A one-year membership in PEN America
A Writer’s Toolkit
- A professional headshot
- Deals and discounts for classes and programs from partner organizations
- A submission guide for literary journals, agents, residencies, and fellowships
- Masterclasses and workshops in genre, reading and voice technique, copyediting, and other relevant topics
Given the highly competitive nature of the selection process for this fellowship, we advise using care in your project application. Though the application will be assessed as a whole, fellows will be selected primarily based on the strength of the writing sample by a committee of established writers and publishing professionals, former fellows, and PEN America staff. We encourage you to submit writing that best showcases your work.
Please be mindful of the specific application requests. Failure to follow instructions carefully will result in disqualification. Late applications will not be accepted, without exception. We suggest you submit early to avoid technical issues. Applicants may only submit in one genre to the 2022 fellowship.
The selection decisions of PEN America will be final and not subject to review. We regret that due to the volume of applications, we will not be able to provide any individualized feedback at any point during or after the application process. General questions about the application process sent to email@example.com will be answered at the discretion of PEN America.
Official Website: Apply for the 2022 Emerging Voices Fellowship