Anisfield-Wolf Fellowship in Writing & Publishing


The Cleveland State University Poetry Center is accepting applications for the Anisfield-Wolf Fellowship in Writing & Publishing, a two-year post-graduate fellowship that offers an emerging writer time to work toward a first or second book and an opportunity to gain experience in editing, publishing, literary programming, and outreach in collaboration with the staff of the CSU Poetry Center.

The CSU Poetry Center is a 55+-year-old independent nonprofit press that publishes 3–5 books of contemporary poetry, prose, and translation each year. The Poetry Center also hosts the Lighthouse Reading Series and serves as a teaching lab for undergraduate and graduate students at Cleveland State University and within the Northeast Ohio MFA program. The Fellow will be a two-year employee of the CSU English department. The salary is $40,000 per year with health insurance and benefits.

The fellowship will encompass two academic-year (9-month) residencies of 30 hours per week, divided between writing, work at the CSU Poetry Center, and an outreach project of the Fellow’s own design. Poetry Center work will include reviewing submissions, attending editorial meetings, and assisting with Center contests. Possible outreach projects include (but are not limited to): developing an anthology incorporating authors from an underrepresented community; organizing community writing workshops; developing a reading series to engage previously underserved communities; or working with a local organization involved in education, social justice, and the literary arts. The project should be designed and completed in the two years in which the Fellow is in residence. It is expected that this work will further engage an already enthusiastic writing community at Cleveland State University and throughout Cleveland. Additional professional development opportunities for the Fellow will include participation in Cleveland Book Week and public readings of their work for the Cleveland literary community.

This fellowship is named for and supported by the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which honor literature that promotes equity and social justice and are administered through the Cleveland Foundation. Through the creation of this fellowship, Anisfield-Wolf and the CSU Poetry Center hope to support writers from backgrounds and with perspectives historically underrepresented in publishing and creative writing programming. By providing editorial experience and opportunities at a literary press, the fellowship also aims to help address the longstanding lack of diversity in the U.S. publishing workforce.

Caryl Pagel, Director
Hilary Plum, Associate Director

Hayan Charara
Kima Jones
Janice Lee
Adrian Matejka
Prageeta Sharma

Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book awards in 1935 in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for social justice and the rich diversity of human cultures. Founded with a focus on combating racism in America, the Anisfield-Wolf Awards today maintain that commitment to equity and justice in an expanded, global context. Recent winners, for example, have also addressed religious identity, immigrant experiences, LGBTQ+ history, and the lives of people with disabilities.

1. MFA in creative writing
2. Evidence of significant creative publication
3. Demonstrated progress toward a first or second book in any genre of creative writing
4. Strong interpersonal and communication skills
5. Outreach project proposal detailing the project’s mission, required resources, and preliminary plan/schedule
6. Potential to complete outreach project during the fellowship period
7. Ability to contribute to the diversity, cultural sensitivity, and excellence of CSU and its surrounding community

1. Strong record of significant creative publication
2. Experience in arts engagement/outreach to underserved communities
3. Evidence of successful completion of community arts engagement/outreach projects

1. Cover letter describing your qualifications for the fellowship, including a description of your commitment to a fellowship that supports increasing diversity in the publishing workforce
2. Preliminary project proposal (1–2 pgs)
Mission: Describe the project and what you hope it will achieve
Resources: What resources your project will require
Calendar: Proposed schedule over two years
3. Writing Sample (15–20 pgs max.), any genre of creative writing
4. CV
5. Names and contact information for three references

Submit application to CSU’s online applicant portal by February 1, 2018.

Finalists will be interviewed either by Skype or at the 2018 Association of Writers and Publishers Conference in Tampa (March 7–10, 2018).