1) WHAT IS THE APPLICATION FEE?
There is no application fee for the Margins fellowship.
2) WHAT SHOULD I WRITE ABOUT IN THE STATEMENT OF PURPOSE?
The statement of purpose is a place for you to discuss what you would do with the fellowship as a creative writer, artist, and curator. Describe your aesthetic practice. What is your current writing project and what is interesting about it? How would you describe your style and artistic aims? What is your body of work about? What thematic linkages are present? Which writers do you admire?
Other questions to keep in mind: Where do you want your career to be at the end of the fellowship? How do you see this fellowship and AAWW helping you make this happen? If you would like, you are welcome to talk about financial need or other obstacles you have had to overcome as a writer.
If you would like to guest-edit a themed issue, write outside your genre, propose a project that spans several published pieces, curate an event, or interview a writer, you can speak to any of these in your statement. We want you to be invested in the fellowship in a way that is generated from your own creative practice.
We are especially interested in writers who can thoughtfully articulate their own career and creative goals, and describe how they will take advantage of using AAWW’s initiatives and institutional platform (e.g., access to workshops, space, and publication opportunities) to grow as a writer and build a network.
Please be thoughtful about your statement of purpose. Please do not send us a generic boilerplate statement.
3) ARE APPLICANTS EVALUATED STRONGLY ON WHETHER THEY HAVE A SPECIFIC PROJECT IN MIND WHEN SUBMITTING THEIR APPLICATION? ARE PROJECTS FLEXIBLE?
Yes, having a vision for your work coming into the fellowship is important to us, though we understand the ways in which goals and projects shift and change over the span of a year.
4) WHAT SHOULD I SUBMIT FOR MY WRITING SAMPLE? IS PUBLICATION REQUIRED IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE FELLOWSHIP?
Among the elements of your application, your writing sample is weighed most heavily. We encourage you to submit your strongest work that most closely lines up with the writing project you’ve described in your statement of purpose. The strength of your writing sample is more important than its home. Unpublished writers will be given equal consideration with a strong writing sample. The fellowship is designed to support not-yet-established writers looking to build their publication portfolio.
5) DO I NEED TO HAVE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION OR REFERENCES?
We do not require letters of recommendation for the Margins Fellowship. At the interview stage, we will request the contact information of two references who can speak to your work, your commitment to writing past the fellowship, and your involvement in writing communities.
6) I WRITE IN MULTIPLE GENRES. CAN I SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE APPLICATION TO THE FELLOWSHIP?
No. As the Margins Fellowship is oriented around making headway on a writing project during the year, please send us just one application, with one project in mind.
7) MY WORK IS HYBRID AND CROSS-GENRE—WHICH GENRE SHOULD I CHECK OFF ON THE SUBMITTABLE FORM?
You are welcome to select more than one genre on the Submittable application form to identify your work and your current project.
8) CAN I SUBMIT A WRITING SAMPLE IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH?
No, but your writing sample can include phrases or sentences in languages other than English.
9) CAN I APPLY FOR THE FELLOWSHIP IF I WAS REJECTED IN A PREVIOUS YEAR?
Yes, please do!
10) CAN I APPLY FOR THE FELLOWSHIP IF I AM A SCREENWRITER, GRAPHIC NOVELIST, OR CHILDREN’S BOOK WRITER?
At this time writers who intend to work on projects other than poetry, fiction, or nonfiction during the fellowship term are not eligible for the fellowship program.
11) I’M NOT A U.S. CITIZEN—CAN I STILL APPLY?
12) I DON’T LIVE IN ONE OF NEW YORK CITY’S BOROUGHS, BUT I DO RESIDE IN THE GENERAL METROPOLITAN AREA—E.G. WESTCHESTER, NEW JERSEY, LONG ISLAND, CONNECTICUT. AM I ELIGIBLE FOR THE FELLOWSHIP?
No. Fellows must reside in one of New York City’s five boroughs—the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, or Queens.
13) I DON’T CURRENTLY LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT I PLAN TO RELOCATE IN 2021. CAN I STILL APPLY FOR THE FELLOWSHIP?
We require fellows to be NYC residents as of January 1, 2021, as the program is scheduled to take place in-person. If you have plans to relocate before this day, please make this clear in your statement of purpose. No funds are available for relocation.
14) I’M OVER THE AGE OF 30. CAN I STILL APPLY FOR THE FELLOWSHIP?
Beginning with the 2021 Margins Fellowship, there will no longer be an age restriction for applicants. Our belief has always been that you can be an emerging writer at any age, and our funders are now able to match that definition.
15) ARE FORMER AAWW INTERNS AND OPEN CITY FELLOWS ABLE TO APPLY FOR THE MARGINS FELLOWSHIP?
Yes, former AAWW interns and Open City Fellows are eligible for the Margins fellowship. However, former employees of AAWW are ineligible for our fellowship programs.
16) IS FORMAL WRITING TRAINING, PREVIOUS WORKSHOP EXPERIENCE, OR AN ADVANCED WRITING DEGREES NECESSARY IN ORDER TO APPLY TO THE FELLOWSHIP?
No. We don’t expect writers to have a specific set of skills or training.
17) I’M PLANNING TO APPLY TO A DEGREE PROGRAM THAT MAY BEGIN IN THE FALL OF 2021. CAN I STILL PARTICIPATE IN THE MARGINS FELLOWSHIP?
Margins fellows may not be enrolled in an academic program at any point during the fellowship year—from January to December 2021.
18) HOW MANY APPLICANTS ARE THERE FOR THE FELLOWSHIP?
Last year we received approximately 150 applications for the 4 fellowship slots.
19) CAN YOU GIVE ME FEEDBACK ON MY APPLICATION OR TELL ME WHY I WASN’T SELECTED AS A FELLOW?
No. Due to the volume of applications we receive and the limited capacity of our staff, we are unable to comment on individual applications.
20) CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE PUBLISHING OPPORTUNITIES?
As part of the Margins Fellowship, you are invited to publish work on our online magazine The Margins in a number of ways. We ask fellows to complete at least two of the following over the span of the fellowship year: (1) submit original creative work, whether it’s poems, short stories, creative nonfiction, or hybrid work; (2) engage in a conversation with a writer or artist that is transcribed and published as an interview; (3) submit a work of cultural criticism that draws together ideas animated in their own creative work; (4) edit or curate a portfolio of work by other writers that speaks to a theme. All work will be guided through an editorial process with our team of editors. These will be published along a timeline that you will set with the AAWW staff.
You will not be an exclusive contributor to The Margins and would be free to publish elsewhere.
21) HOW IS RESIDENCY TIME AT THE MILLAY COLONY SCHEDULED?
We work with Millay Colony’s residency director to schedule each fellow’s residency, based upon availability of the fellow and on openings in Millay’s schedule. On occasion, residency time may be scheduled for after the end of the fellowship year. Millay continues monitoring federal and local health guidelines related to COVID-19 and adjust the way they run the residency accordingly. Fellows have the option of rescheduling residency time based upon their comfort levels.
22) HOW WILL THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECT THE WAY THE FELLOWSHIP IS RUN IN 2021?
We will be monitoring federal and local health officials’ guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic to determine if any modification needs to be made to the program in 2021. If necessary, some hybrid of virtual and in-person programming will be developed.