Emerging Voices is a literary fellowship that aims to provide new writers, who lack access, with the tools they will need to launch a professional writing career. During the eight month fellowship, each Emerging Voices Fellow participates in a professional mentorship, hosted Q & A evenings with prominent local authors, a series of master classes focused on genre, a voice class, a volunteer project, and several public readings. The fellowship includes a $1,000 stipend.
The Emerging Voices Fellowship runs from January to July. Participants need not be published, but the fellowship is directed toward poets and writers of fiction and creative nonfiction with clear ideas of what they hope to accomplish through their writing.
The Application Period for the 2016 Emerging Voices Fellowship will open in April of 2015.
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Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of eight books, including the forthcoming novel Subprimes, Triburbia, Boy Alone, about his autistic brother Noah, Speed Tribes, Standard Deviations, and China Syndrome. A long time writer and editor for The Nation, TIME, and Sports Illustrated, Karl has also been a frequent contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek, he was the editor of TIME Asia and one of the founding editors of Sports Illustrated China.
His fiction has appeared in Harper's, Best American Short Stories, PEN/O Henry Prize Stories. The Paris Review, Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, The Missouri Review, One Story, Commentary, The Southern Review, and The Sun. Karl is mentoring Kenneth D. Capers.
Emerging Voices serves writers who lack access to financial and/or creative support.
People ineligible for the Emerging Voices Fellowship:
Emerging Voices is a rigorous fellowship based in Los Angeles with weekly meetings and an intense reading and writing schedule. With this in mind, participants must be willing and able to make an enthusiastic commitment to the fellowship and to their involvement as members of a group. If you are not a resident of Los Angeles and you are awarded the fellowship you will need to relocate for the eight-month period. Housing is not provided.
MENTORS: Mentors are carefully chosen from PEN’s membership of professional writers based on shared writing interests with each fellow. The mentor-fellow relationship is expected to challenge the fellow's work and compel significant creative progress. Over the course of the fellowship, Emerging Voices Fellows and Mentors should meet three times in person, and be in contact at least once a month. In these meetings, Mentors will offer feedback on the Emerging Voices Fellows’ work in progress.
UCLA EXTENSION WRITERS’ PROGRAM: Participants will attend two free courses at UCLA Extension, donated by the Writers’ Program. Program Manager will assist the Emerging Voices Fellows with course selection.
AUTHOR EVENINGS: A schedule of Q & A evenings with prominent authors, poets, editors, agents, and publishers will be distributed at the first Emerging Voices orientation meeting. Fellows must read each visiting author's book before the evening.
MASTER CLASSES: After completing the UCLA Extension courses, Emerging Voices Fellows will enroll in a Master Class. The Master Class is a four-session, genre-specific workshop with a professional writer that affords Fellows the opportunity to exchange feedback on their works in progress.
VOLUNTEER PROJECT: All Emerging Voices Fellows are expected to complete a 25-hour volunteer project that is relevant to the literary community.
VOICE CLASS: The fellowship will provide a one-day workshop with a professional voice actor. The Emerging Voices Fellows will read their work in a recording studio and receive instruction on reading their work publicly.
FINAL READING: The fellowshop culminates in a public reading to showcase the progress each fellow has made in his or her work.
SPECIAL EVENTS: PEN Center USA provides complimentary admission to select events throughout the fellowship.
The Emerging Voices Fellowship originated as a mentorship project. The project grew out of PEN Center USA’s forum “Writing the Immigrant Experience,” held at the Los Angeles Central Library in March 1994, which explored the issues and challenges faced by first and second generation immigrant writers. It was evident from the forum that many of the culturally diverse communities of writers in Southern California were often isolated from the literary establishment. In the fall of 1996, PEN Center USA initiated Emerging Voices as a literary mentorship program designed to launch potential professional writers from minority, immigrant and other underrepresented communities. The program has now evolved into an eight-month writing fellowship for writers who lack access to a traditional writing education and seek financial and creative support.
The Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation was established in 1948 by my parents, a young businessman and his fashion-editor wife, who clearly had a great deal of confidence in their eventual financial success as well as a genuine desire to contribute to the world outside themselves. As my father formulated it in the beginning, “Individuals fortunate enough to receive unusual benefits from a society have the distinct obligation to return meaningful, tangible support to that society—in the form of creative energy as well as funding.”
What this has meant over the years is a pattern of rewarding excellence and accomplishment by giving awards in the fields of medicine, art and literature. In the last several decades, as the younger generation has begun to have more of a say, the goal has modulated into an emphasis on more directly encouraging excellence and accomplishment—by funding programs as well as awards, thus concentrating on setting up structures for achievement, and utilizing the multiplier effect.
– Jamie Wolf
The Emerging Voices Fellowship application for 2015 is open April 9 - August 11, 2014. To view and download the Application PDF Form, click here.
Can I personally hand-in my application to the PEN Center USA offices?
No, all applications must be sent to the listed mailing address.