The MacColl Johnson Fellowship seeks to advance the careers of writers who, through seriousness of purpose and active engagement, are committed to their artistic practice.
The significant financial support provided by
the Fellowships enables artists to concentrate time on the creative
process, focus on personal and professional development, expand their
body of work, and explore new directions.
are unrestricted, Fellows are expected to devote concentrated time to
their work during the term of the Fellowship and engage in activities
that further their artistic growth. Examples include the creation of new
work, training in technologies or techniques, purchase of equipment or
materials, travel, or research, and development of artistic endeavors.
Fellows will be required to submit a final report documenting activities
supported by the Fellowship.
The Foundation is employing the Alliance of Artists Communities,
an independent national association, to manage applications and the
jury process for The Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowships.
national panel of qualified authors and literary professionals will
recommend Fellowship candidates to the Foundation’s Board of Directors
following a comprehensive process of reviewing applications online and
convening in person.
Applicants should review and understand the following guidelines before starting the application.
All applications must be submitted digitally through the Call For Entry (CaFE) online system.
an application to be considered for review all sections of the online
application must be complete, and required supporting work samples
submitted by the deadline.
The online application process requires:
- Statement of purpose
- Educational background
- List of awards, grants, fellowships, and other honors
- Work samples
- Work sample inventory
Applicants will be evaluated on:
- quality of work, artistic development, and creative contribution to the field of literature; and
- ability to demonstrate that the fellowship will advance the artist’s
career, benefit his/her work, and enable the artist to achieve artistic
goals otherwise not financially feasible.
Applicants must be Rhode Island
residents 12 months prior to the application deadline, at the time of
submitting the application, and during the period of the fellowship.
Applicants will be required to provide two (2) of the following
documents as proof of residency and will be contacted individually with
- 2011 Rhode Island income tax form or 2011 W-2 Form
- RI driver’s license or a RI-issued identification card
- Lease or mortgage agreement
- RI voter registration
- RI automobile registration
Eligible writing genres include
fiction, nonfiction, poetry (including spoken-word), playwriting,
screenwriting, and other experimental/new-genre written forms. If you
have questions about whether your art form is eligible, please email the Alliance of Artists Communities or call (401) 351-4320.
working in any language are eligible to apply; however, if you are
submitting non-English literary works, you must also provide an English
translation. If you do not have English translations of your work,
please please email the Alliance of Artists Communities or call (401) 351-4320 no later than August 1.
4. Career Stage
the Fellowships are not awarded by career stage categories, applicants
must demonstrate that they are within the range of an emerging to
mid-career stage in their artistic profession, regardless of age. To
assist applicants in determining if they are within this range The
Foundation defines the eligible career stages as follows:
Emerging writers are
considered to be in the early years of their professional careers,
which may include having recently undertaken a career change to a
significant artistic practice.
An emerging writer:
- demonstrates at least three years of professional practice and currently is producing independent work;
- demonstrates promising artistic development and may have attracted
some early critical notice, but do not yet have an extensive record of
- has produced an elemental yet substantive body of work and has an
accruing record of publication, public readings, and other presentations
Mid-career writers are those who have created an independent
body of work over a number of years and who have received some regional
or national recognition.
A mid-career writer:
- demonstrates at least seven years of a sustained professional practice and is currently producing work;
- has produced an accruing body of work that demonstrates artistic exploration and development;
- has received some regional and/or national recognition , but is not
substantially established in the field, or has had substantial
professional recognition at an earlier career stage.
1. Established writers are not eligible. They are defined as having
reached the mature stage of their careers and advanced levels of
An established writer:
- has a record of at least 15 years of a continuous and sustained professional artistic practice;
- demonstrates a history of regional, national, and/or international
professional recognition through commissions, critical reviews,
performances, grant awards, residencies, fellowships, and/or
- produces work that is regarded to have measurable critical and/or commercial value.
2. Writers who are high school students or who are college students
enrolled in a degree-granting program, at the time of application or
during the period of the fellowship, are not eligible.