Postmark deadline: June 30 (annual)
Submissions accepted: May 1 – June 30
The North Carolina Writers’ Network offers an annual Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship, in honor of the late poet, editor, and educator. The Buckner Fellowship, in the amount of $500 awarded to one writer each year, supports emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence and commitment to a literary career.
Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and will not have had yet the support needed to achieve major recognition for their work. No specific academic background is required or preferred. Each year the program will accept applications from writers working primarily in one of four specified genres, rotated over a four-year cycle.
The 2021 Buckner Fellowship will support a writer of creative nonfiction.
Over the next three years, fellowships will be awarded in the categories of drama (stage/screen), poetry, and fiction.
Fellowship recipients will use the $500 award to allay the costs associated with the business of writing: paper, printing, writing supplies, submission fees, research expenses, travel, conference registration fees, etc. In addition to the cash award, recipients will receive a complimentary one-year membership in the NCWN, as well as scholarship aid to attend the Network’s annual Fall Conference.
Applications will be accepted only through Submittable.com, from May 1 to June 30, annually.
Fellowship applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Writers must have established legal residence in North Carolina for at least one year prior to applying, and plan on residing in North Carolina through the Fellowship year.
- Writers must be between the ages of 21 and 35, as of December 31 of the year in which they apply.
- Students enrolled in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply, even if the focus of study is not directly related to writing. (If at any point during the judging process an applicant accepts an offer to study in a degree-granting program, please alert NCWN immediately to have the application pulled from consideration.)
- Fellowship recipients should “pay it forward.” Fellowship winners, in the course of their award year, are invited to help at least one other writer, in whatever fashion they see fit (mentoring, critiquing, providing a reference, etc.), carrying on Sally Buckner’s lifelong support of other writers.
Applicants are required to submit a completed application form and accompanying work sample, letter of support, and vitae by June 30. (For more information, click here. For a sample vitae, click here.)
For NCWN members, there is no cost to apply for the fellowship; for non-members, the application fee is $10. A committee appointed by NCWN will review applications, and invite finalists to interview with committee members. The Fellowship winner will be formally introduced at the Network’s Fall Conference. At the end of the award year, recipients will be required to complete a brief report on writing progress made over the past year.
The Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship seeks to support North Carolina writers as they navigate the challenges (and expenses) of the literary world, honoring and continuing Sally Buckner’s devotion to North Carolina’s literary tradition and community.
The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves writers of this state, providing education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write.
About Sally Buckner:
A native of Statesville, Sally Buckner received her bachelor’s degree from Women’s College (now UNC-Greensboro) and her doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill. With a background as a journalist, she subsequently taught every level from kindergarten through graduate school, including twenty-eight years as a faculty member at Peace College, inspiring thousands of young people to find their own unique writing voices. Buckner’s published nonfiction, fiction, and poetry can be found in numerous journals, and in1986, her collection of poetry, Strawberry Harvest, was published by St. Andrews Press. Other poetry collections include Collateral Damage (2008) and Nineteen Visions of Christmas (2011). Buckner edited two well-known anthologies of North Carolina literature: Our Words, Our Ways: Reading and Writing in North Carolina (1991) and Word and Witness: 100 Years of NC Poetry (1999). Buckner’s leadership and involvement with state groups, including the North Carolina Writers’ Network, North Carolina Poetry Society, North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, North Carolina English Teachers’ Association, North Carolina Women Writers’ Conference, as well as hundreds of committees, councils, and conferences, is legendary. Buckner was the recipient of awards including The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, The Ragan-Rubin Award, the R. Hunt Parker Award, the Sam Ragan Award, the City of Raleigh Arts Commission Medal of Arts Award, the Wake County YWCA Academy of Women Arts Award, and an honorary doctorate from William Peace University.