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10 Library Fellowships for Writers

10 Library Fellowships for Writers
“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.” – Sidney Sheldon

I.  Associates of the Boston Public Library’s Children’s Writer in Residence Fellowship
United States of America

Library Fellowships - Boston Public Library - Credit Brian Johnston

Image: Brian Johnston

Boston Public Library was established in 1848 and is the oldest large municipal library in the United States. Today the service has 25 branches, including the beautiful Central Library in Copley Square. The Library’s Children’s Writer in Residence Program provides an emerging children’s writer with the financial support and space needed to complete one literary work for children or young adults. The writer in residence receives a $20,000 stipend and a private office in the Central Library. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry and script projects are all eligible. Applicants cannot have published more than three books to date.

II.  State Library of Victoria’s Creative Fellowships

Library Fellowships - State Library of Victoria - Credit Brian Yap

Image: Brian Yap

Writers and scholars in any discipline are eligible to apply for the several fellowships offered by State Library of Victoria. The fellowships focus on work that will make use of the Library’s extensive collections. Recent fellowship recipients include graphic novelists Bernard Caleo and Alex McDermott, screenwriter James Saunders, and novelist Nam Le. Fellows receive a grant of $12,500 for three months’ research and a desk in a private study within the Library that can be accessed outside normal Library hours. A librarian with specialist knowledge of the collection/s being researched will be assigned to help with accessing that collection. The State Library of Victoria is located in Melbourne, the second city to be named a UNESCO City of Literature.

III.  New York Public Library’s Cullman Center Fellowships
United States of America

Library Fellowships - New York Public Library - Credit Wally Gobetz

Image: Wally Gobetz

The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers is an international fellowship program open to people whose work will benefit from access to the New York Public Library’s collections housed at its main branch on Fifth Avenue. The Center appoints 15 Fellows a year for a nine-month term at the Library, from September through to May. In addition to working on their own projects, the Fellows engage in an ongoing exchange of ideas within the Center and in public forums throughout the Library. Novelists, playwrights and poets are invited to apply, along with academics and independent researchers. Fellows can be from anywhere in the world. A stipend of up to $70,000 is granted to each fellow, along with an an office, a computer and full access to the Library’s physical and electronic resources. Applications for 2015/16 Fellowships close on 26 September 2014.

IV. American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship

Library Fellowships - American Library in Paris - Google Streetview

Image: Google Streetview

Established in 1920, The American Library is Paris is a private, non-profit English-language library. Its visiting fellowship offer writers and researchers an opportunity to pursue a creative project in Paris for a month or longer while participating actively in the life of the American Library. The project may be a book (fiction or non-fiction), long-form journalism, film or music. The Library Fellowship includes a stipend of $5000, intended to cover travel and housing costs for the visiting fellow. Fellowship applicants should be working on a project which resonates with the Library’s Franco-American traditions and interests, and which might benefit from an extended presence in Paris. The next deadline for applications is 1 January 2015.

V.  British Library Eccles Writer in Residence
United Kingdom

Library Fellowships - British LIbrary - Credit Luke McKernan

Image: Luke McKernan

Sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, this award of £20,000 is open to writers resident in the United Kingdom. Writers should be working on a non-fiction or fiction full-length book, written in the English language, the research for which requires that they make substantial use of the British Library’s collections relating to North America. The residency runs for one year, commencing 1 January. Former Eccles Writer in Residence recipients include Naomi Wood, who used the experience to research her novel Mrs Hemmingway (Picador, 2014). Applications for 2015 close on 31 August. The Eccles Centre also offers fellowships for residents from the United States and Canada.

VI.  Vancouver Public Library Writer in Residence

Library Fellowships - Vancouver Public Library - Credit Evan Leeson

Image: Evan Leeson

Vancouver Public Library’s Writer in Residence spends four months writing and working with the Library. One quarter of their time is dedicated to library projects including mentoring emerging writers, with the remainder of their time available for creative writing. Applicants must have at least one published work (fiction, short stories, poetry, drama or literary non-fiction) and they must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The current writer in resident, Rawi Hage (author of De Niro’s Game, winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) will be mentoring writers in September and October – contact the Library request an appointment.

VII.  Library of Congress Poetry Fellowships
United States of America

Library Fellowships - Library of Congress - Credit Christoph Schrey

Image: Christoph Schrey

The Witter Bynner fellowship at the Library of Congress is awarded annually to two or more poets The fellowships aim to support poetry on both a national and local level. The fellows are recognised at a reading in the nation’s capital and go on to organise a local poetry reading in their own communities. Each fellow receives $10,000. Applications are not taken for the fellowships; the Poet Laureate makes the selection.

VIII.  William F. Laman Public Library Writers Fellowship
United States of America

Library Fellowships - Laman Public Library

 Image: Laman Public Library

The William F. Laman Public Library is located in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Its Writers Fellowship provides a $10,000 grant to assist in the writing and publishing process. To qualify for the grant, an applicant must have been commissioned by a commercial American publisher to write a full-length work of fiction, poetry or non-fiction. If the applicant is without a contractual commitment, he or she must have had at least one work published commercially by an American publisher. Applications are expected to open in October.

IX.  Princess Grace Irish Library Bursaries

axine Cushing Gray Endowed Libraries Visiting Writers Fellowship

Image: yeenoghu

The Ireland Fund of Monaco Residential Bursaries have been established to enable literary and academic writers born or living in Ireland to pursue a current project during a one-month residency at The Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco. The bursaries take place between 15 March and 15 April, and between 15 September and 15 October each year. In addition to the cost of travel and accommodation, recipients recevie an honorarium of €1300.

X.  Gladstone’s Library Writers in Residence
United Kingdom

Built in 1902, Gladstone’s Library is the UK’s only residential library. The Library’s Writers in Residence program began in 2011. Four residencies are offered each year with each writer staying at the Library for a month. The Writers in Residence are asked to keep a blog about their stay, as well as running a creative writing workshop. Residents receie full room and board, reimbursment for travel expenses and a small stipend of £100 per week.


Title image by Cher Amio 


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