The Splendid Mola All Voices Fellowship Award
Free tuition for writers who identify with any group that is under-represented in traditional publishing
Applications are accepted until 30 days before the start date of each retreat.
Download All Voices Fellowship Application
ABOUT THE FELLOWSHIPS
The All Voices Fellowships are open to writers who identify with any group that is traditionally underrepresented in literature and publishing, and who would not otherwise be able to attend (i.e., have some financial need). Two fellowships, each covering full tuition, are awarded for each retreat. One is sponsored by me; the other is sponsored by Sara Rutenberg, former conference coordinator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and all-around incredible person who loves writers and cares deeply about helping all voices to be heard.
The definition of a “group that is traditionally underrepresented” is incredibly broad and self-identified by you. It includes but is not limited to writers of color, LGBTQIA writers, writers who live with a chronic illness or disability or neurological difference, writers who are Muslim or from other marginalized religions, and writers who identify with any group that is not considered “majority” or “mainstream.” If you have problems finding books or movies with people like you as a main character, you qualify.
Everyone’s voice matters. Everyone’s story matters. Having our writers and artists reflect a realistic array of the people who live together in this world matters. Often, writers who do not fall into the “majority” culture in any way do not have equal access to classes, retreats, internships, and conferences where they might hone their craft and have time to really focus on their writing. The All Voices Fellowship is one small offering to address this.
Anyone who self-identifies with an underrepresented group. There are no set guidelines for this other than what is offered above.
Financial need is also determined by you, not me. You do not need to provide paperwork to prove anything. All you need to do is explain in the application who you are, what group you identify with, what your financial need is, what you are working on, and why you want to come on this retreat.
There are more details of how to do this on the application itself, but it’s pretty casual as far as these things go. I trust you. One note on the physical challenges of the location itself: the main cabin, where we meet for yoga and meals, is not wheelchair accessible (there are stairs), and the setting itself is extremely rustic (no paved roads or sidewalks and uneven ground). To read about previous Fellowship recipients, click here.
The award is one free spot on the Splendid Mola Writing Retreat, including all lodging, meals, snacks, yoga, and anything else a paying registrant would receive. There are two fellowships per retreat. Lodging is usually a double occupancy room with a shared bathroom, but if you have needs that require your own room or bath, that is also possible.
Transportation is not included. Please be sure you can get to the retreat before you apply. If you are flying in, LAX is the best option. Idyllwild is still 2.5 hours away from LAX, so you will need a car to get there. I will do my absolute best to help you arrange a car pool or a ride to and from LAX, but that always depends on who is attending and their schedules.
Also, in regards to yoga: like everything on the retreat, it is optional. If yoga is not physically possible for you, you are welcome to just come and breathe or do what you can, or simply skip it and have more writing time.
You may either apply for a specific retreat (see upcoming retreat dates here), or if you are able to attend any of the retreats, you may request that your application be considered for the next three upcoming retreats. If you are not able to attend all listed upcoming retreats, please request only the retreats for which you are available.
Applications are accepted until one month before the retreat. Everyone in the current application pool will be notified of the recipients three weeks before each retreat. Please be sure you can attend on this short notice!
HOW THE RECIPIENT IS CHOSEN
This is my personal and private offering. There is no Board of Directors. There is no anonymous panel of judges. There is just me and the other sponsor, reading everything and looking for the applicants who seem to be the best fit for the retreat. In other words, the recipient will be chosen as everything in publishing is chosen: subjectively. (Sorry. I know. Annoying.)
All applicants will be notified of the final choice via email. Before you apply, please be sure you can attend the retreat! If you have any questions, feel free to email me. If the application window has closed, it will say so at the top of this page.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD
If you know writers who may be interested in this award, please share this with them. Likewise, it is my vision to find organizations or individuals who might be happy to subsidize additional “All Voices” Fellowships so even more writers can have protected time to write and get their stories told. If you know or are associated with an organization that might be interested, I welcome any suggestions!