“[A]t the time that I wanted to write stories and had stories to write, I felt free to write them, thanks to the fellowship.”

Flannery O’Connor

About the KR Fellowships

In 2012, The Kenyon Review welcomed the first of its KR Fellows. This initiative was inspired by the great tradition of Kenyon Review literary fellowships awarded in the 1950s to writers such as Flannery O’Connor and W.S. Merwin in their formative years. These fellowships represent a significant fulfillment of one aspect of our continuing mission: to recognize, publish, and support extraordinary authors in the early stages of their careers. We believe that after two years, these KR Fellows will be more mature and sophisticated writers, teachers, and editors. As a result, they will be extremely attractive candidates for academic positions as well as for significant publishing opportunities.

This post-graduate residential fellowship at Kenyon College offers qualified individuals time to develop as writers, teachers, and editors. The fellowship provides an annual stipend, plus health benefits. Fellows are expected to:

  • Undertake a significant writing project and attend regular individual meetings with faculty mentors.
  • Teach one class per semester in the English Department of Kenyon College, contingent upon departmental needs.
  • Assist with creative and editorial projects for The Kenyon Review.
  • Participate in the cultural life of Kenyon College by regularly attending readings, lectures, presentations, and other campus activities.

The 2023-25 Kenyon Review Fellows

Photo of Jennifer Galvão

A graduate of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, Jennifer Galvão’s short fiction has been published in The Masters Review. She is the recipient of the Geoffrey James Gosling Novel Prize and a Hopwood Novel Award. She is at work on a story collection and a novel about shellfish, dementia, and Portugal’s Carnation Revolution.

Photo of Cindy Juyoung Ok

Cindy Juyoung Ok is the author of Ward Toward (forthcoming from Yale University Press, 2024), chosen by Rae Armantrout for the 2023 Yale Series of Younger Poets. A former high school physics teacher, Ok now teaches creative writing at the college-level. 

Application Information

We will accept applications for the 2025-27 Kenyon Review Fellowships in fall of 2024. Please check back then for updated application information and eligibility details.

Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: These FAQs pertain to the 2023-25 Fellowships search, which has now concluded. Please check back in fall of 2024 for updated information.

Eligibility

Who can apply for a KR Fellowship?
Any writer who has completed an MFA or PhD degree between January 1, 2017 and September 15, 2022.

I’m not a U.S. citizen. Can I still apply?
Yes, but all applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. Any non-U.S. citizen who receives a fellowship will qualify for a J-1 Visa.

Is there an age limit for applicants?
No.

I don’t have a graduate degree in creative writing, but I have many publications and awards. May I apply for a fellowship?
No. To be eligible for a KR fellowship, applicants must have completed an MFA in creative writing or PhD in creative writing, English literature, or comparative literature between January 1, 2017 and September 15, 2022.

I am receiving my MFA in May 2021. Am I eligible?
No. Applicants must have an MFA or PhD in hand at the time of application, hence the September 15, 2022 degree completion deadline.

What kind of teaching experience is required?
Applicants must have professional teaching experience in creative writing and/or literature at the undergraduate level.

Will you only accept applicants who write fiction or poetry?
No. We invite applications from all genres, including creative nonfiction and playwriting.

Application Process

How do I apply?
All application materials must be submitted electronically. Please visit Kenyon’s employment website for a link to the online application site.

What is the application deadline?
Applications must be submitted no later than September 30, 2022 in order to be considered.

Is there an application fee?
No.

Is publication required for submission of an application?
Publication is not required, but the top candidates will be those with the strongest records of publication.

For the writing sample, can I submit work that has been previously published?
Yes.

Can I submit creative nonfiction, memoir, or a screenplay that I have written?
Yes.

Selection Process

How are applicants chosen for the fellowship?
Fellows are chosen based on the achievement and promise of their written work, on the strength of the recommendations, and on their teaching experience and ability.

Who is on the selection committee?
Editors and members of the staff of the Kenyon Review and faculty of Kenyon College.

What does the selection committee look for in the writing sample?
Significant achievement and long term potential as demonstrated in the style, skill, and ambition of the writing sample.

What does the selection committee look for in the cover letter, and how long should this letter be?
Cover letters offer you an opportunity to introduce yourself and your aspirations, as well as any projects or goals you would pursue if you received a Fellowship. Cover letters should be no longer than a single page.

When and how will you let me know your decision?
The selection committee will notify applicants about first round decisions in November, 2022. Semi-finalists be interviewed online, and the final candidates will take part in in-person campus visits in late November and early December. Final decisions will be made by January 2023 and the fellowship begins in August, 2023.

If I am not selected, can I apply again?
Yes. We will be turning down many talented and qualified candidates and we encourage those candidates to reapply.

Can you give me feedback and tell me why I wasn’t selected for a fellowship?
No. Due to the volume of applications we will be receiving, we cannot comment on individual applications.

Responsibilities and Expectations

What will be expected of me as a fellow?
The primary expectation is that you will undertake a significant writing project. Fellows are also expected to teach one class per semester in the English Department of Kenyon College, contingent upon departmental needs. Fellows will also assist in creative and editorial projects for Kenyon Review, and read submissions during the reading period.

Can I keep my full-time job and/or pursue another degree during the fellowship period?
No. This fellowship is a full-time academic commitment and is not to be pursued concurrently with another full-time job or degree program.

When does the fellowship begin and end?
The fellowship begins in August, 2023 and ends in June, 2025.

Do I get any kind of degree by completing the fellowship?
No.

Am I guaranteed a teaching position during my fellowship?
It is expected that fellows will teach at least one class per semester in the English Department of Kenyon College, but these positions cannot be absolutely guaranteed because departmental needs may shift. The fellowship stipend will not be affected by teaching status.

In what ways will the fellows assist the Kenyon Review?
Fellows will work on a variety of creative and editorial projects for the Kenyon Review. While the nature of these projects will depend on the needs of the magazine and the interests and skills of each fellow, contributions may include reading submissions, assisting with programs and reading series, working with Kenyon Review student associates and interns, and developing new initiatives.

Financial Information

How much is the fellowship?
Fellows will receive a $39,498 yearly stipend, plus health benefits.

Will housing be provided?
At this time, housing is not provided. Depending on availability, we may be able to reserve faculty apartments for fellows, and there are also many inexpensive rental opportunities in and around Gambier, Ohio. We will keep fellows aware of these options.

Is there an opportunity for me to teach additional classes or in any other way supplement my income?
Opportunities for additional teaching may exist, but are dependent upon the curricular needs of the English Department and the Kenyon Review Summer Programs.

Contact Information

For questions or more information contact:

Tory Weber
Director of Youth Programs

The Kenyon Review
Finn House
Gambier, OH 43022
740-427-5391
fellowships@kenyonreview.org

Past KR Fellows

The 2021-23 Kenyon Review Fellows

Photo of Elinam Agbo

Elinam Agbo was born in Ghana and grew up in Kansas. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, where she co-founded MQR Mixtape, an online imprint of Michigan Quarterly Review. A member of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop Class of 2019, she has been awarded the 2018 PEN/Dau Short Story Prize, two Hopwood Awards for Short Fiction and Nonfiction, and the Les River Fellowship for Young Novelists. She has received recognition and support from Aspen Words, the Clarion Foundation, and the Hurston/Wright Foundation, among others. Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in The Bare Life ReviewAmerican Short FictionNimrod, and elsewhere. She is working on her first book, a novel about shapeshifting mothers, which draws upon African diaspora folklore to investigate questions of inheritance, displacement, and memory.

Cristina Correa is a writer and educator from Chicago, where she served at-risk and marginalized youth, recovering addicts, artists, and scholars for more than a decade. She has received fellowships from CantoMundo, Hedgebrook Foundation, and VONA/Voices, among other honors. Her poetry has been published, broadcast, and exhibited in venues including the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, Missouri ReviewTriQuarterlyObsidian, NPR’s Latino USA, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Her poem “Reflection from a Bridge” was selected by former US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith in the Best New Poets series. She holds degrees in creative writing and Latinx studies, and most recently earned an MFA at Cornell University. She is currently at work on her first collection of poems.

The 2019-2021 Kenyon Review Fellow

Molly McCully Brown is the author of the poetry collection The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded (Persea Books, 2017), which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize and was named a New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2017, and the essay collection Places I’ve Taken my Body (Persea Books, 2020). With Susannah Nevison, she is also the coauthor of the poetry collection In The Field Between Us (forthcoming from Persea Books, 2020). Brown has been the recipient of the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, a United States Artists Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship and the Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship from the Oxford American magazine. Her work has appeared in Paris Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Tin House, New York Times, and elsewhere.

The 2018-2021 Kenyon Review Fellow

Misha Rai

Misha Rai is a Shirley Jackson Award nominee, whose novel-in-progress has received support from the Whiting Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Dana Award in the Novel Category. She is the first-ever and only fiction writer to be awarded a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies for creative work. She has been an Edward H. and Mary C. Kingsbury Fellow and has been the recipient of the George M. Harper Award. Her essay, “To Learn About Smoke One Must First Light a Fire,” has been listed as a Notable Essay in the 2019 Best American Essays anthology. Her prose has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. She was born in Sonipat, Haryana and brought up in India.

The 2018-2019 Kenyon Review Fellow

Keith S. Wilson

Keith S. Wilson is an Affrilachian Poet, a Cave Canem fellow, and a graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. He serves as Assistant Poetry Editor at Four Way Review and Digital Media Editor and Web Consultant at Obsidian Journal. Wilson holds an MFA in poetry from Chicago State University and was recently selected as a Gregory Djanikian Scholar in Poetry by the Adroit Journal. His debut collection, Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press. His poetry, which has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net Award, appears in Blueshift Journal, American Letters & Commentary, 32 Poems, Drunken Boat, Cider Press Review, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, among others.

The 2016-2018 Kenyon Review Fellows

Photo of Jaquira Díaz

Jaquira Díaz is the author of Ordinary Girls, a memoir, and I Am Deliberate, a novel, both forthcoming from Algonquin Books. She was a 2016-18 Kenyon Review Fellow, and is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, two MacDowell Colony Fellowships, and many other fellowships. Her work appears in The Best American Essays 2016, Rolling Stone, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, and Consulting Editor at the Kenyon Review. ​

Margaree Little

Margaree Little is the author of Rest (Four Way Books, 2018), winner of the 2018 Balcones Poetry Prize and the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Tyrone Guthrie Center, and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Her criticism appears in American Poetry Review and Kenyon Review Online, and her poems appear in American Poetry Review, New England Review, Missouri Review, Southern Review, and Quarterly West, among other journals.

The 2014-2016 Kenyon Review Fellows

Jamaal May is a poet and editor from Detroit, MI where he has taught poetry in public schools and worked as a freelance audio engineer and touring performer. His first full-length collection, Hum (Alice James Books, 2013), received the Beatrice Hawley Award and an NAACP Image Award nomination. Other honors include the 2013 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and a 2011-2013 Stadler Fellowship. Jamaal’s poems appear in such publications as The New Republic, Poetry, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, and Best American Poetry.

Photo of Melinda Moustakis

Melinda Moustakis is the author of Bear Down, Bear North: Alaska Stories, winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award. She is the recent recipient of the Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Washington fellowship at George Washington University and the Rona Jaffe Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library and is currently a visiting professor at UC Davis. She has a story anthologized in the forthcoming This Side of the Divide: Stories of the American West and is at work on a novel and story collection. 

The 2012-2014 Kenyon Review Fellows

Photo of Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers

Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers is the author of Chord Box (University of Arkansas Press, 2013), finalist for both the Miller Williams Prize and the Lambda Literary Award. A new book of poetry is forthcoming in 2020. Her creative nonfiction was recently chosen for the Best American Nonrequired Reading 2017 and Best American Travel Writing 2017 anthologies. Most recently, Rogers was the Murphy Visiting Fellow in English-Creative Writing at Hendrix College from 2016-2019. She is a Contributing Editor at the Kenyon Review and a volunteer for the Veterans’ Writing Project.

Photo of Natalie Shapero

Natalie Shapero is the Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University. Her most recent poetry collection is Hard Child (Copper Canyon, 2017), which was shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize. Her previous collection, No Object (Saturnalia, 2013), received the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award. Natalie’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Poetry, and elsewhere, and she is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship.

Recipients of the original Kenyon Review literary fellowships

Poetry

  • Edwin Watkins (1953)
  • W.S. Merwin (1954)
  • Edgar Collins Bogardus (1955)
  • Douglas Nichols (1955)
  • Ruth Stone (1956)
  • Delmore Schwartz (1957)
  • James Wright (1958)
  • Theodore Henry Holmes (1958)

Fiction

  • Flannery O’Connor (1953, 1954)
  • George Lanning (1954)
  • Howard Nemerov (1955)
  • Andrew Lytle (1956)
  • James F. Powers (1957)
  • Elizabeth Spencer (1957)
  • Robie Macauley (1958)

Criticism

  • Irving Howe (1953)
  • Richard W.B. Lewis (1954)
  • Richard Ellmann (1955)
  • Leslie Fiedler (1956)
  • Theodore Hoffman (1956)
  • Frances Fergusson (1957)
  • Thomas Henry Carter (1958)

History of the Kenyon Review Fellows

The twentieth century has perhaps been the most dynamic period of American literary history to date. The Kenyon Review is proud of its influential role during this rich time period, when the journal was known for discovering, nurturing, and promoting new writers of significant talent. One way The Kenyon Review developed its reputation as a must-read for the literary audience of the time was establishing relationships with the best new writers through Fellowship awards. This tradition of fellowships at The Kenyon Review dates back to 1944, when the Rockefeller Foundation funded young critics to assist in editorial duties for the Review. The first Rockefeller Fellow was British critic Harold Whitehall, and his stipend was the first money ever paid by the Rockefeller Foundation to a literary magazine. Whitehall was followed by Eric Bentley, Charles Riker, and Robert Penn Warren, who was the fourth and final Rockefeller Fellow. The Rockefeller Fellows helped to shape the Review and influence the fiction, poetry, and criticism that the magazine published.

Beginning in 1952, through another grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, The Kenyon Review offered literary fellowships to writers, many of whom went on to become internationally recognized masters of their craft. Each year, the Review awarded fellowships in fiction, poetry, and criticism to such writers as Flannery O’Connor, W.S. Merwin, and James Wright giving them the financial freedom to devote themselves to writing. These fellowships played a pivotal role in allowing some of the most vital American writers of the past century to develop their voices, and with the new KR Fellowships, The Kenyon Review will continue its legacy of supporting excellent emerging writers.

In 2012, The Kenyon Review opened a new chapter of this tradition. By bringing the first recipients of the new Kenyon Review Fellowships to Gambier in the summer of 2012, we affirmed this ongoing aspect of our mission: to identify and support talented writers in the earlier stages of their careers. And for the first time, we also offered them significant opportunities to grow as teachers and editors as well.