The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is proud to offer full and partial teaching fellowships for writers to teach at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference.
Created as a showcase for writers whose voices may not otherwise be heard at our conference, fellows are an integral part of our Desert Nights experience. By teaching alongside conference faculty, fellows impact the lives of conference attendees while being nationally recognized as prestigious Desert Nights fellows. Through this program, we seek to expand our sphere of discussion, looking towards a larger engagement of topics and people from all over the world.
To learn more about fellowships, you can review the information below or submit a fellowship application.
Fellowships for the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference are open to writers of all backgrounds, genres, and levels of experience. Individuals should have some sort of history of literary activity—publication, teaching, community involvement, etc—but do not need to be published authors to apply, nor do they need an advanced degree in English, Creative Writing or a related field. At the same time, individuals could also have an extensive history of literary activity—multiple full-length publications, tenured teaching positions in higher education, so on and so forth. Writers of all backgrounds, genres, and skill levels are encouraged to apply.
Please note: current students in ASU's MFA in Creative Writing Program and any individuals who have been awarded a fellowship for the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference within the past year are ineligible to apply.
Fellowship applications consist of the following elements:
-Statement of Merit
Please note: individuals may only submit one application for each year of the conference. Multiple submissions will not be accepted.
Generally speaking, we are interested sessions with the following characteristics:
-Engaging: lively, dynamic sessions with innovative content presented through generative exercises, workshops, readings, discussions, small group work, and other conference formats
-Relevant: engage, explore, and advance current trends, topics, and issues in creative literature, publishing, and contemporary literature
-Interdisciplinary: approach their topics through different genres, styles, art forms, perspectives, or fields
-Inclusive: accurately portray and reflect the diversity of individuals within the larger literary community
As a conference focused on craft and education, we tend to avoid sessions focusing exclusively on literary theory or the business of writing (querying agents, getting published, marketing, etc). That being said, we welcome elements of either incorporated into larger proposals.
Individuals who are selected as conference fellows will be offered a full or partial fellowship for conference tuition, and may attend and participate in all regular conference offerings as they see fit.
Beyond presenting their session alongside nationally-recognized authors and conference faculty, fellows are invited to attend any special receptions, socials, or other conference events, and will be included in national promotions and publicity.
Fellows will also be formally honored at the conference with a brief ceremony on Friday evening before the keynote address.
Additional Financial Aid
At this time, no additional assistance for travel, lodging, or other financial assistance for fellows is available. Fellows are responsible for any additional costs incurred through their conference involvement.
This being said, we are happy to connect fellows with local hotels or other resources in Phoenix, Arizona, and can readily supply fellowship award documentation to any institutions or organizations who may be providing financial assistance. We also recommend checking in with your local arts commission or office of arts and culture for additional support.
As part of their fellowship, individuals will also be required to complete a short essay reflecting on their Conference experience (250 - 500 words), due no later than April 1.