Illustration by María Lavezzo
The Emerging Voices Fellowship provides a five-month immersive mentorship program for early-career writers from communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the publishing world. The program is committed to cultivating the careers of Black writers, and serves writers who identify as Indigenous, persons of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, writers with disabilities, and those living outside of urban centers. Through curated one-on-one mentorship and introductions to editors, agents, and publishers, in addition to workshops on editing, marketing, and creating a platform, the five-month fellowship nurtures creative community, provides a professional skill-set, and demystifies the path to publication—with the ultimate goal of diversifying the publishing and media industries.
The Emerging Voices Fellowship grew out of PEN America Los Angeles’s forum “Writing the Immigrant Experience,” held at the Los Angeles Central Library in March 1994, which explored the experiences of first- and second-generation immigrant writers. In 1996, PEN America Los Angeles initiated Emerging Voices as a mentorship program designed to provide professional resources to writers seeking financial and creative support to pursue their craft professionally. In 2021, virtually accessible programs and an expanded cohort of fellows will further the goal of diversifying the publishing and media industries by enabling participation from writers across the country.
Fellowship Benefits and Components
Mentorship and Knowledge of the Business of Books
- Five months of guidance from a professional mentor on their current writing project
- Insider knowledge about publishers and literary agencies through panels and Q&As
- Writing and craft conversations with accomplished visiting authors
- Two public events featuring reading of new work by current fellows
- A one-year membership in PEN America
A Writer’s Toolkit
- Guidance from a leading literary agent on developing a professional bio and logline (a short summation of a project in progress)
- A professional headshot
- Deals and discounts for classes and programs from partner organizations
- A submission guide for literary journals, agents, residencies, and fellowships
- Masterclasses and workshops in genre, reading and voice technique, copyediting, and other relevant topics
Guidelines and Eligibility
A limited number of application fee waivers are available for the 2021 fellowship cycle on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information, please write to Emerging Voices at [email protected].
Learn More About the Emerging Voices Fellowship
Support for the Emerging Voices Fellowship
Yvonne & Michael Marsh Family Foundation
The Muriel Pollia Foundation