2016 Writing Fellowship

  • Open Call

2016 Writing Fellowship

Apply now to the inaugural round of Southern Exposure's new fellowship for art writing

Just as artists need exploratory opportunities to develop their practices beyond exhibitions, writers need support in crafting their voices beyond the immediate deadlines and mandates of publishing. In recognizing the role that art writing plays in a dynamic art community, SoEx is expanding its focus to support local art writers.

We are interested in supporting writers who are dedicated to provocative subjects, thoughtful and clear writing, and expanding the forms that art writing may take beyond the traditional review or academic paper. This opportunity encourages writers to engage with SoEx as a collaborator, connecting with our artists, our rich archive of Bay Area art history, and our nationwide network of makers, organizations, writers, thinkers, activists, teachers, and community members.

SoEx uses the term “art writer” loosely. While we encourage broad-based and experimental writing, applicants should demonstrate a sustained exploration of contemporary art. Fiction writers and poets may apply, but this is a research-based fellowship and creative writers will need to clearly articulate how SoEx can support their projects.

In an effort to build community, we expect writers to engage with the activities and ideas related to our programming. However, writers are not required to produce writing specifically about the programming on view at SoEx. SoEx will support the production of a publication that develops out of this research time. The form of this publication is extremely flexible. Writers are asked to facilitate one public event at SoEx. We strongly encourage writers to approach this event beyond being a traditional “reading” by exploring the creative possibilities for panel discussions, performances, visual presentations, and experiential events.

The fellowship is open to residents of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo counties. We encourage writers at all levels in their careers to apply. Writers will be provided with access to our archives, the support of our staff and network to conduct research, and a $1,000 honorarium. Workspace at Southern Exposure will also be available if desired.

Two writers will be selected to participate in 2016. Each fellowship will span six months; approximate periods are April – September 2016 and September 2016 – February 2017. A short list of applicants may be asked to conduct a brief phone interview.

Submission requirements:

  • One-page letter of intent outlining your current area of focus; how you intend to engage with Southern Exposure’s programming, community or archive; and your preferred fellowship period
  • Two writing samples, not to exceed 2,500 words total, 12pt font, double-spaced
  • CV

Applications now being accepted!


  • Applications due: February 1, 2016 by 11:59 PM
  • Interviews conducted: February 15 – March 1, 2016
  • Announcement of fellows: March 1, 2016