Deadline for applying is November 30, 2020.
The Writers' League of Texas (WLT) prides itself on the affordability of its paid programs. For as low as $49, a writer can attend a three-hour class with a top-notch instructor, an experience that often includes substantive handouts and writing exercises. The prices have held steady for a decade or more with no increases and it’s our intention to continue to offer affordable and accessible classes for the foreseeable future. Still, they recognize that, for some writers, this cost can be prohibitive and is even more so if you’re an emerging writer hoping to take multiple classes to strengthen your craft or deepen your knowledge of the business of writing. As reasonable as $49 is, paying $49 multiple times can really add up.
In addition, in a world where the high cost and/or exclusivity of opportunities like MFA programs, fellowships, and residencies are widening the gap between writers–those who have the privilege of money or time (or both) and those who don’t–WLT sees a similar widening in the representation gap, both within the publishing industry and on the bookstore shelves.
The WLT Fellows Program seeks to bridge these gaps and offer four emerging writers the opportunity to spend a full year honing their craft and learning about the business of writing. Each WLT Fellow will receive tuition-free access to a curated slate of classes, two per month (twenty-four total), plus special post-class sessions with the instructors. In addition, each WLT fellow will be invited to attend the annual Agents & Editors Conference in Austin, with the registration fee waived, hotel accommodations provided, and an opportunity to meet one-on-one with a literary agent during the weekend-long event.
The application will be open from November 1-30, 2020. The four writers selected as 2021 WLT Fellows will be notified no later than Thursday, December 17, 2020. The fellowship will be open to anyone eighteen and older with a passion for writing currently living in Texas. The fellowship specifically aims to help writers in need of financial assistance in reaching their writing goals. In addition, writers of color, ethnic minorities, those who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other members of communities historically underrepresented by the literary community are particularly encouraged to apply.
The four 2021 WLT fellows will be given access to each of the following:
A curated curriculum of three-hour craft-of-writing and business-of-writing classes, twice monthly, from January through December 2021. Each class experience will include an opportunity for the fellows to meet as a group with the instructor following the class, and the recordings from the class will be available to each fellow for the duration of the program.
A registration to the 2021 Agents & Editors Conference, a highly regarded event that brings together more than four hundred attendees each year from across the country for a weekend of presentations, panel discussions, keynote speakers, agent and editor consultations, and community. This event focuses on the world of traditional publishing and offers writers looking to pursue that avenue an invaluable experience.
Each WLT fellow will be paired with a WLT staff member or board member, a “buddy” of sorts, for regular check-ins to discuss the program, their writing, their questions about the industry, and anything else related to the writer’s life.
The four WLT fellows will form their own cohort, meeting regularly to support and encourage each other, to share their writing (not required), and to talk about their fellowship experience. Much like an individual MFA class forms a bond that can last long after the program ends, WLT want to provide that comradery and community for their fellows.