[ Application period is now closed. The 2017 Fellows have been announced. ]
The Emerging Voices Fellowship is a literary mentorship that aims to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career.
LITERARY MENTORSHIP BENEFITS
By the end of the Emerging Voices Fellowship, a writer will leave with:
The seven-month fellowship includes:
PROFESSIONAL MENTORSHIP: Emerging Voices Mentors are carefully chosen from PEN Center USA’s membership and from professional writers based in Los Angeles. 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 three meetings, Mentors will offer written feedback on the Emerging Voices Fellows’ work in progress. Authors who have been mentors in the past include Ron Carlson, Harryette Mullen, Chris Abani, Ramona Ausubel, Meghan Daum, and Sherman Alexie.
CLASSES AT THE UCLA EXTENSION WRITERS’ PROGRAM: Participants will attend two free courses (a 12-week writing course and a one-day workshop) at UCLA Extension, donated by the Writers’ Program. Program Manager will assist the Emerging Voices Fellows with course selection.
AUTHOR EVENINGS: Every Monday, fellows will meet with a visiting author, editor or publisher and ask questions about craft. Fellows must read each visiting author's book before the evening. A schedule of Author Evenings is distributed at the first Emerging Voices orientation meeting. The 2016 Private Author Evening Series included (in order of appearance):
Wendy C. Ortiz
Derrick C. Brown
Janice Lee (Entropy)
Darcy Cosper (The Offing)
J. Ryan Stradal
Julia Callahan (Rare Bird Lit)
Chris Heiser (Unnamed Press)
Dan Smetanka (Counterpoint Press)
|F. Douglas Brown of Los Angeles is the author of Zero to Three (University of Georgia Press 2014), and recipient of the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He holds a MA in Literature and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, teaches English at Loyola High School, and is both a Cave Canem and Kundiman fellow. Mr. Brown’s poems have appeared most recently in The Virginia Quarterly (VQR), The Bat City Review, and San Pedro River Review, and he was featured in Poets and Writers Magazine as one of their Debut Poets of 2014.|
|Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico and earned an MFA from UC-Irvine’s Program in Writing. His first novel, Still Water Saints was published by Random House in 2007 and was released simultaneously in Spanish under the title Los Santos de Agua Mansa, California. Random House also published his second novel The Five Acts of Diego León in 2013. Alex has written for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Huizache, The Southern California Review, the American Book Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, American Short Fiction, and NPR’s All Things Considered.|
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 2017 is now closed.
The application period for 2018 will open Spring 2017.
Marnie Goodfriend grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she’s a graphic designer, a sexual assault activist, and a media consultant. In 2014, her poetry was published in here/there:poetry magazine. Marnie is working on her first memoir titled Birth Marks.
Claire Bidwell Smith is a therapist specializing in grief and the author of two books of nonfiction: The Rules of Inheritance and After This: When Life is Over Where Do We Go? both published by Penguin. The Rules of Inheritance, a coming of age memoir about grief, was a Books for a Better Life nominee, a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick, has been published in 17 countries, and is currently being adapted for film. Claire has a bachelor’s degree from The New School University, and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University. She teaches numerous workshops around the country and has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Salon, Slate, Chicago Public Radio, The Guardian, Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, and Black Book Magazine. Claire currently works in private practice in Los Angeles. Claire is mentoring Marnie Goodfriend.
Jian Huang’s parents brought her to the United States from Shanghai, China, when she was six years old. She grew up in South Los Angeles and earned her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Southern California. She has worked for a number of social service organizations, including the LA Conservation Corps, which provides college scholarships and job training to underserved youth. Jian is working on her first collection of essays, in which she attempts to navigate the ideas of place and belonging.
Patrick O’Neil is the author of the memoir Gun, Needle, Spoon (Dzanc Books). His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Juxtapoz, Salon, The Weeklings, The Nervous Breakdown, and Razorcake. He is a regular contributor to AfterPartyMagazine, has been nominated twice for Best of the Net, and is a contributing editor for Sensitive Skin Magazine. Patrick holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University, and teaches in AULA’s Inspiration2Publication program, as well as at Los Angeles Valley College. He recently relocated from the glittery sleaze of Hollywood to live in L.A.’s monument to broken dreams, the über hip downtown district, with his girlfriend and two giant Maine Coons. For more information, please visit: patrick-oneil.com. Patrick is mentoring Jian Huang.
Wendy Labinger was raised in Southern California. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Iowa and her master’s in deaf education from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She has taught English as a second language for 20 years. Wendy's poems have been published in Potpourri and Sheila-Na-Gig. She lives in Los Angeles and is working on a collection of poems titled scatters me into the night.
Alicia Partnoy is a survivor of the secret detention camps in Argentina, where about 30,000 people were said to have “disappeared”. Best known for The Little School: Tales of Disappearance and Survival, Partnoy also published the poetry collections Flowering Fires/Fuegos florales (recipient of the First Settlement House American Poetry Prize), and Little Low Flying/Volando bajito, both translated by Gail Wronsky. Poems from her Revenge of the Apple/Venganza de la manzana were printed on posters, and distributed by Poetry in Motion, a project of the Poetry Society of America, within the public transportation system in New York, Dallas, and Washington D.C. Alicia’s poetry has been translated into several languages, and her most recent translations are Gail Wronsky’s poetry collection So Quick Bright Things/Tan pronto las cosas, and Kate Gale’s opera libretto Río de Sangre. Partnoy edited You Can't Drown the Fire: Latin American Women Writing in Exile, and co-edited Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social. Her work has been a Pushcart Foundation Writer's Choice Selection, and a London Times bestseller. A former Vice-Chair of Amnesty International, Partnoy teaches at Loyola Marymount University. She is also a founding member of Proyecto VOS-Voices of Survivors, an organization that brings survivors of state-sponsored violence to lecture at U.S. universities. Alicia is mentoring Wendy Labinger.
Natalie Lima was born in Miami and raised in Nevada and Florida. She attended Northwestern University and received a bachelor's degree in radio/television/film and international studies. In addition to writing, she currently works in college admissions, and volunteers for Minds Matter LA, a nonprofit college prep program serving accomplished high school students from low-income families. Natalie is working on a short story collection titled Smash.
Mike Padilla is a native Californian in love with his state and its inhabitants, who inspire his stories. He is the author of the short story collection Hard Language and the novel The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina. His characters run the gamut of personalities, from cholos to movie stars, from elderly comadres, to party-seeking club rats. Padilla was born in Oakland, California, and grew up in neighboring San Leandro. He has received numerous awards, including the UC Irvine Chicano/Latino Literary Award and an Artist Fellowship from the California Arts Council. Mike is mentoring Natalie Lima.
Chelsea Sutton was raised in the suburbs of Riverside County, California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in literature from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Chelsea’s fiction has been published in Spectrum, Catalyst, Bourbon Penn, and other online publications. She was the winner of NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Contest in 2011, and her plays have been produced and developed by Rogue Artists Ensemble, Skylight Theatre Company, and many others. Chelsea is working on a collection of short stories titled Curious Monsters.
Carmiel Banasky is the author of the novel The Suicide of Claire Bishop (Dzanc, 2015), which Publishers Weekly calls "an intellectual tour de force." Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Slice, Guernica, PEN America, The Rumpus, and NPR, among other places. She earned her MFA from Hunter College, where she also taught Creative Writing. She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf, Ucross, Ragdale, Artist Trust, I-Park, and other foundations. After four years on the road at writing residencies, she now teaches in Los Angeles. She is from Portland, Oregon. Carmiel is mentoring Chelsea Sutton.
Photographs of Emerging Voices Fellows by Casey Curry.
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 seven-month period. Housing is not provided.
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 seven-month writing fellowship for writers who lack access to a traditional writing education and seek financial and creative support.
Here’s a note from one of the fellowship’s supporter, Jamie Wolf, supporter of the Emerging Voices Fellowship program:
“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.”
PEN Center USA is generously supported by the California Community Foundation, Herb Alpert Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Kayne Foundation, Rosenthal Family Foundation, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and National Endowment for the Arts.
The 2017 application period is now closed. The application period for 2018 will open Spring 2017.
The application period for 2018 will open Spring 2017.
For more info, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Los Angeles, CA: PEN Center USA, a literary arts and human rights nonprofit is seeking diverse new voices for this exciting opportunity. Founded in 1996, the Emerging Voices Fellowship is a literary mentorship that aims to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career. Over the course of seven months, each Emerging Voices Fellow participates in a professional mentorship; hosted Author Evenings with prominent local authors, editors, publishers and agents; a series of master classes focused on genre; a voice class; courses donated by UCLA Writers’ Extension Program; three public readings; and receives a $1,000 stipend. Past mentors have included authors Ron Carlson, Harryette Mullen, Chris Abani, Aimee Bender, Meghan Daum, and Sherman Alexie.
The fellowship serves writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry with clear ideas of what they hope to accomplish through their writing. Participants need not be published. For eligibility requirements and to apply online via Submittable, go here: https://www.penusa.org/programs/emerging-voices
To date, 131 individuals have completed the Emerging Voices Fellowship. Alumni have published over 40 books and have received hundreds of anthology inclusions, awards, honors, and fellowships.
Recent Emerging Voices publications of note include:
For more alumni news, please visit: http://penusa.org/emerging-voices-alumni-brag-sheet.