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. The eight-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 will be distributed at the first Emerging Voices orientation meeting. Authors who have participated in the past have included Jonathan Lethem, Percival Everett, Maggie Nelson, Cynthia Bond, Aimee Bender, Jerry Stahl, and Bruce Bauman, senior editor of the literary magazine Black Clock.
MASTER CLASSES: After completing the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program courses, Emerging Voices Fellows will enroll in a Master Class. The Master Class is a genre-specific workshop with a professional writer that affords fellows the opportunity to exchange feedback on their works in progress. Previous Master Class Instructors have included Diana Wagman, Alex Espinoza , and Paul Mandelbaum.
VOLUNTEER PROJECT: All Emerging Voices Fellows are expected to complete a 25-hour volunteer project that is relevant to the literary community. A few of the organizations that have participated included WriteGirl, 826LA, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, and STARS – San Diego Youth Services.
VOICE INSTRUCTION CLASS: The Fellowship will provide a one-day workshop with Dave Thomas, a professional voice actor. The Emerging Voices Fellows will read their work in a recording studio and receive instruction on reading their work publicly.
PUBLIC READINGS: Fellows will participate in three public readings, The Welcome Party, Tongue & Groove Salon, and the Final Reading. Fellows have read in various venues and events including the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Silver Lake Jubilee, Skylight Bookstore, The Standard, Downtown LA. and Hotel Café. For the past five years, the fellowship has culminated in a Final Reading held in Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater, showcasing the progress each fellow has made in his or her work.
STIPEND: The fellowship includes a $1,000 stipend, given in $500 increments.
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.
Deadline for applications: August 10, 2015
The Emerging Voices Fellowship runs from January to July.
Download the application here.