December 7, 2023

If you’re interested in the Wallace Stegner Fellowship, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive overview, we will provide you with all the essential information about the Wallace Stegner Fellowship.

Wallace Stegner Fellowship

Wallace Stegner Fellowship

Stanford University’s writing program distinguishes itself by offering ten two-year fellowships annually, with five dedicated to fiction and five to poetry. Within each genre, fellows convene weekly for a three-hour workshop led by faculty members.

Stegner Fellows are acknowledged as practicing artists committed to refining their writing skills. The primary requirements are active writing and regular workshop participation.

This fellowship program does not confer a degree; instead, it serves as an opportunity for emerging writers to function as artists in residence, dedicating two years to nurturing their craft within a supportive environment, alongside their peers and Stanford’s esteemed faculty.

During the selection process for awarding fellowships, we evaluate the quality of applicants’ creative work, their potential for growth, and their capacity to contribute to and benefit from our writing workshops.

Our fellows encompass a range of writing styles and experiences, with talent and dedication as the common threads that bind them.


Key Features

1. The fellowship spans two years, with ten first-year fellows and ten second-year fellows admitted to Stanford each year.

2. Fellows are required to both write and actively participate in a weekly three-hour workshop.

3. The workshop aligns with Stanford’s academic calendar, allowing fellows to have summers free for other pursuits like work, writing, or travel.

4. Although it shares some similarities with an MFA program, this fellowship does not grant a degree.

5. Fellows receive a generous living stipend of $50,000.

6. Applications are open to all interested individuals, and all applicants receive notification of fellowship decisions in April.

Eligibility Criteria

We encourage all individuals interested in the Stegner Fellowship to submit an application.

While prior publication of a book is not mandatory, it’s worth considering that prior publication may suggest that a writer’s career has advanced beyond the stage where the fellowship’s instruction and workshop feedback would be most beneficial for their development.


Primarily, Stegner Fellows are expected to attend workshops led by faculty regularly, focusing on writing, revising, and refining their work to create a manuscript suitable for publication.

We strongly encourage fellows to participate in various activities to enrich their fellowship experience, including attending readings and lecture series hosted by our program.

Over the years, we’ve had the privilege of welcoming esteemed guest speakers like Zadie Smith, David Treuer, Gilbert King, Mary Ruefle, and Hilton Als.

We also organize public readings and colloquiums featuring our annual visiting poet-in-residence and visiting writer-in-residence. In the first year of their fellowship, fellows engage in the Stegner Fellow Reading series, where they present their work to the public.

Additionally, fellows have opportunities to assist with undergraduate courses, lead writing workshops, and provide special tutorials and independent studies for undergraduate students.

Application Deadline

The application period begins on September 1 and closes at 11:59 p.m. (PST) on November 1.

Is Residency Required?

Yes, residency near the Stanford main campus is necessary to participate in the weekly workshops, attend readings, and take part in program events featuring visiting poets and writers.

Can One Sustain Themselves Solely on the Fellowship?

Living in the expensive Bay Area may require additional income to cover living expenses, which is often achieved through summer employment.

Is There a Chance for Me to Engage in Teaching to Augment My Income?

Occasionally, yes. However, it’s important to note that teaching opportunities are not guaranteed, as priority is given to Ph.D. students who require teaching experience for their degree requirements.


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