With the mission of diversifying the broader media landscape by investing in the next generation of necessary voices, BuzzFeed’s Emerging Writers Fellowship is designed to give writers of great promise the support, mentorship, and experience necessary to take a transformative step forward in their careers.
During the four-month program, the writers in this fellowship will benefit from career mentorship and editorial guidance while also receiving financial support. The learning process must be financially viable for emerging writers if it is intended to open the gates to writers traditionally locked out of opportunities in media.
The fellows will focus on personal essay writing, cultural reportage, and criticism. During their time in fellowship, writers will be expected to pitch, report, and write with the added benefit of panel discussions with editors and writers from throughout the industry, and assigned readings. Mentorship within the program will focus on teaching writers how to thrive as freelancers as well as on staff at media organizations; this mentorship will hopefully continue well after the fellowship itself is concluded.
Ideal candidates for this program must have ambitious ideas and a proven desire to publish work that creates an impact on cultural conversations. The writers selected for the fellowship will work with BuzzFeed News’ senior editorial staff and be based in either our New York or our Los Angeles office (there will be an option in the application to indicate which office you would prefer to work in). The work produced during the fellowship will be published on BuzzFeed. Fellows will receive a stipend of $12,000. For examples of work from previous fellows, click here.
Please submit the following materials by Oct. 1, 2016, using this submittable link; we do not accept email submissions. Applications will be considered by a committee of BuzzFeed editors and respected writers and editors from across the industry. Writers accepted into the fellowship will be notified in November; the fellowship will begin the first week of January 2017. The fellowship is a full-time position. Current and former BuzzFeed employees may not apply. Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.
1. Résumé or CV.
2. Five articles or essays you feel are representative of your best work; work from unpublished manuscripts is fine, too.
3. Statement of purpose (3–5 pages in length). Please explain in detail, in separate sections:
a. If given this opportunity, what are 2–3 story ideas you are passionate about pursuing? The fellowship will focus on personal essays, cultural criticism, and reported essays usually under 4K words, and pitches should reflect this mix of essays.
b. Why should you be the writer to pursue these stories? And what are the stakes of these stories being told, or not?
c. Give 3–5 examples of cultural reporting, personal essays, features, or books from contemporary writers who have had an impact on your work. What specifically did you learn from each piece?
d. What support would help you move forward in your career? What aspects of writing and cultural reporting are you eager to learn more about?
e. What are your long-term career ambitions?
4. Three letters of recommendation: Please include the email addresses of your references in the option provided in the submittable application. Each reference should receive an automatic email with a link that lets them upload their letter. If they don’t receive this link, ask them to check their spam folder. While your references needn’t all be from professional or academic contacts, they should attest to your standout potential, work ethic, and ability to pursue ambitious ideas and make an impact on cultural conversations.