Back to Network News

Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship Open to Applications from Poets

Sophia Stid
The North Carolina Writers’ Network will award its next Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship to a North Carolina poet.

Created in memory of the late Sally Buckner, one of North Carolina’s most beloved poets, editors, and educators, the $500 Buckner Fellowship supports an emerging North Carolina writer, between the ages 21-35, whose work shows promise of excellence and of commitment to a literary career.

Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and will not yet have achieved major recognition for their work. No specific academic background is required or preferred, but students enrolled in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply.

Poet Zachary Lunn of Hoke County won the inaugural Buckner Fellowship, followed by fiction writer Jasmine Kumalah of Durham. After an involuntary COVID hiatus in 2020, prose writer Sophia Stid of Wilmington is the current Buckner Fellow.

The fellowship awarded this year will cover the calendar year 2023. The fellowship recipient 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 2022 and 2023 Fall Conferences and the 2023 Spring Conference.

To honor and carry on the lifelong generosity displayed by its namesake, the Buckner Fellowship will invite each recipient, during their award year, to help at least one other writer—by mentoring a less-experienced writer, by critiquing another’s work, by writing references or editing applications, or in whatever other way the recipient sees fit.

Applications will be accepted as PDF attachments sent to from May 1 to June 30. Application is free, and the full guidelines and application form are available here. A committee appointed by NCWN will review all applications, and invite finalists for interviews with committee members. The fellowship winner will be announced and introduced at the Network’s Fall Conference, planned this year for Wrightsville Beach, November 18-20.

For more information about the Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship and NCWN, click here or contact June Guralnick, Fellowship Program Coordinator, at