The Margins Fellowship

The Margins Fellowship shapes an environment in which writers can generate new, original work, build connections, and engage in dialogue with a community of writer peers. Coming into the fellowship as part of a cohort has given past fellows invaluable support, friendship, and a literary community that together continue to shape their writing careers. 

Through the Margins Fellowship, the AAWW offers emerging writers resources that they can take advantage of, such as access to workshops and trainings, publication opportunities, and programming opportunities in our event space. We also want to give artists a chance to develop as curators, armed with the resources of a literary arts institution.

AAWW 2017-2018 Margins Fellows after their final celebratory reading. From left to right: Yanyi, Mariam Bazeed, Rami Karim, and Kyle Lucia Wu

Margins fellows have gone on to publish books with W.W. Norton, Ahsahta Press, Nightboat, and The Feminist Press; sign with agents at the Wylie Agency and Curtis Brown; publish their writing in Poetry, Granta, Longreads, LitHub, BOMB, and The New Yorker; and receive awards, fellowships, and residencies from Lambda Literary, Tin House, Kundiman, the Yale Series of Younger Poets, La Cité internationale des arts, the Center for Fiction, MacDowell, Believer Magazine, Submittable, and Yaddo.

We are now accepting applications for the 2021 Margins Fellowship. Starting this year, emerging writers of all ages are eligible.

Fellowship candidates must be NYC residents as of January 1, 2021, as the program is scheduled to take place in-person. We will be monitoring federal and local health officials’ guidelines to determine if any modification needs to be made to the program in 2021. If necessary, some hybrid of virtual and in-person programming will be developed.

Fellowship Program

The Margins Fellowship is a year-long program. The 2021 fellowship year will run from January 11 to December 17.

STIPEND: $5,000 honoraria, distributed in three parts over the fellowship year. Fellowship payment will require the completion of an IRS W-9 or W-8BEN form;

RESIDENCY: Fellows are awarded residency time at The Millay Colony—an innovative seven-acre artists retreat space at the former house and gardens of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay in Austerlitz, NY;

WRITING SPACE: 24/7 access to AAWW’s space, when the space reopens. Given that time and space to write are rare in New York, the Margins Fellows will be given keys to the AAWW Reading Room and workspace;

PUBLICATION: Fellows are invited to publish work on our online magazine, The Margins;

MENTORSHIP: In the second half of the fellowship term, fellows are paired with an established writer who will meet with fellows either in-person or virtually at minimum four times during and after the fellowship year. Previous mentors include Hua Hsu, Tina Chang, Monica Youn, Alexander Chee, Meera Nair, and Kaitlyn Greenidge;

CAREER BUILDING: Fellows are offered access to private career meet-ups and meetings with editors, agents, and fellow writers;

AAWW MEMBERSHIP: Free membership to AAWW includes discounts on book sales and free access to general programs;

WRITING WORKSHOP: One free writing workshop organized through AAWW ($200);

GUIDANCE: AAWW Programs Manager will meet with you periodically throughout the fellowship year to discuss your career goals and how AAWW can help you meet them;

FINAL READING: Fellows will take to the stage with their mentors for a final celebratory reading at the culmination of the fellowship year;

HEADSHOTS: We invite a photographer to take professional headshots of our fellows that they can use going forward.




STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: 600 words max describing what you would do with the fellowship as a creative writer, artist, and curator. You will enter this into a field within the Submittable form

WRITING SAMPLE: A writing sample that reflects a current project

—Writing samples must be uploaded to the application form as PDFs or MS Word Documents

—Fiction and creative nonfiction samples should be double-spaced. Poetry samples may stay true to their original formatting

—All samples should use size 12 font

—Previously published work is acceptable, but please do not include publication information

—Writing samples should be no longer than the following page lengths:

Poetry: 10 pages

Fiction: 20 pages

Creative Nonfiction: 20 pages

CV: 2 to 3 pages

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Please read our FAQ before applying. Applications to the 2021 Margins fellowship will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, September 7, 2020. There is no submission fee to apply to the Margins fellowship.


Applicants are reviewed by a selection panel composed of AAWW staff, fellowship alumni, and distinguished writers. The panel chooses ten finalists to interview, and from those four fellows are chosen.