Kelly Writers House Post-Baccalaureate Fellows Program

The Kelly Writers House Post-Baccalaureate Fellows program offers resources, learning experiences, and foundational support for young writers.

The KWH Post-Bacc Fellows program, which will start in summer 2019 with the appointment of our first KWH Post-Bacc Fellow, will offer a full year of support (a full-time salary, medical insurance and other benefits, mentorship, and career-boosting learning opportunities) to recent graduates of the University of Pennsylvania who seek the time and wherewithal to work intensively on major creative projects.

One KWH Post-Bacc Fellow will be selected each year.

What will the KWH Post-Bacc Fellow do?

Working closely with a faculty mentor, each KWH Post-Bacc Fellow will pursue a yearlong, self-directed and self-defined creative project, such as a novel, a collection of essays, a podcast series, a song cycle, a film, a chapbook of poems, a screenplay, a conceptual soundscape installation, an inter-arts documentary, a long-form journalistic investigation, etc.

Each Post-Bacc Fellow will also focus on an area of activity at the Kelly Writers House aligned with their professional goals and learning interests, such as community outreach work, audio/video production, digital archiving, scholarly editing, administration and development, visual art curation, event planning, arts pedagogy, etc.

How will the KWH Post-Bacc Fellow be supported?

The KWH Post-Bacc Fellow will receive:

  • A 12-month salary (with benefits)
  • Special access to Writers House-supported spaces and projects (the Common Press, the Wexler Studio, innovative classroom teaching), shaped by the Fellow’s desire to learn about or deepen an engagement with such projects
  • Faculty mentoring
  • Robust learning opportunities at KWH in an area of career development and of creative interest, as selected by the Fellow
  • A modest budget (up to $2,500) to enact programs and projects at Writers House or with KWH partners

Who is eligible?

If you are a graduating Penn senior, or have graduated from Penn within the last two years, you are eligible to apply. Our intention is to support a broad range of creative projects through this program over the years, and we encourage applications from all genres and modes of writing, including those that do not fit typical disciplinary boundaries.

How to apply?

We will be accepting applications from December 15, 2018 – January 20, 2019. You will need to complete your application in two parts:

You must fill out an application at each portal.

Application checklist (a complete list of the materials you will need to prepare)

The Careers@Penn portal will require:

  1. A resumé or CV
  2. An application form (online at the portal)

The KWH Post-Bacc Fellow 2019–2020 Interfolio application will require:

  1. A proposal for a creative project (2–4 pages): a description of the creative project you will undertake, as well as your readiness to develop and complete it. Consider these questions in your statement:
    1. What creative project will you spend the year writing/making/developing? Please describe your project with as much detail as possible.
    2. Is this a project you have already started or is it entirely new?
    3. What are the stakes of this project (for you, for the field)?
    4. What influences (texts, people, experiences) will inform this work?
    5. What experiences (coursework, independent writing and reading, extracurricular activities, internships, etc.) prepare you to take on a sustained and self-directed project?
    6. What is your plan for completion of your project (timeline, research steps if required)?
  2. Writing sample (15–30 pages): a sample of your writing or creative work in a genre that matches your proposal or that otherwise indicates readiness to undertake your proposed project.
  3. Transcript (official or unofficial)
  4. Letters of recommendation: two letters of recommendation are required. At least one of the letters should come from a person who knows your writing well and can assess your readiness to take on a yearlong project. (Tip: ask recommenders for recommendation early!).
  5. Online application form with a series of questions requiring short answers.

How will the KWH Post-Bacc Fellow be selected?

Applications for the KWH Post-Bacc Fellow Program will be reviewed by a committee made up of Writers House leadership, Creative Writing faculty, and professional writers otherwise affiliated with Kelly Writers House or with Penn. Fellows will be selected competitively — based on the quality and ambition of the proposed writing/creative project, as well as on the quality of writing samples, letters of support, and statement of learning goals.