Popular news and entertainment website BuzzFeed has announced it will be offering $12,000 fellowships to emerging writers. The selected writers will spend four months working with BuzzFeed News’ senior editorial staff in New York City.
The program is designed to open the gates to writers traditionally locked out of opportunities in the media. In an interview with Electric Literature, BuzzFeed’s newly appointed Literary Editor Saeed Jones explained “when we expect young writers to get experience via unpaid internships, we’re actually saying we want only wealthy people writing about American culture in an influential way. That’s what we get, right? Or rather, that’s what we’ve gotten used to accepting as normal when in fact, it’s a kind of fiction. Diversity is reality. So, in order to do my part to support being in step with reality, I’m really excited about creating an opportunity for emerging writers to get experience and mentorship while also receiving financial support.”
The writers accepted into the program will receive training and experience aimed at ensuring they are equipped to thrive as freelance writers or in staff roles at media organisations.
The successful fellows will start work in these full-time fellowship positions in January 2016 and all applicants must be authorised to work in the United States.
To apply each writer must supply a resume, five writing examples, a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation. Applications close on 1 October 2015. For full details visit the BuzzFeed site.