Fellowships for Creative and Performing Artists and Writers

Artist Fellowship postcardThe American Antiquarian Society offers visiting fellowships for historical research by creative and performing artists, writers, film makers, journalists, and other persons whose goals are to produce imaginative works dealing with pre-twentieth-century American history, literature, and culture. Successful applicants are those whose work is for the general public rather than for academic or educational audiences.

The fellowships will provide the recipients with the opportunity for a period of uninterrupted research, reading, and collegial discussion at the Society, located in Worcester, Massachusetts. At least three fellowships will be awarded for residence of four weeks at the Society at any time during the period January 1 through December 31.

For fellows who reside on campus in the Society’s scholars' housing, located next to the main library building, the stipend will have the room fee deducted from the $2,000 stipend. (Room fees range from $700 to $500 per month.)

The stipend will be $2,000 for fellows residing off campus. Fellows will not be paid a travel allowance.

Funding for this program began with a grant to AAS from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund in 1995. Additional funding for the awards is derived from income from endowments established by the Robert and Charlotte Baron Fellowship, Hearst Foundations, and Jay and Deborah Last. Artists in the Archive: Creative and Performing Artists and Writers Fellowships is online showcase of the fellows and their work.


Fellowship projects may include (but are not limited to):

  • historical novels
  • performance of historical music or drama
  • poetry
  • documentary films
  • television programs
  • radio broadcasts
  • plays and libretti
  • screenplays
  • magazine or newspaper articles
  • costume designs
  • set designs
  • illustrations and other graphic arts
  • book designs
  • sculpture
  • paintings
  • other works of fine and applied art
  • non-fiction works of history designed for general audiences of adults or children

Application Procedure

The application deadline is October 5. Application instructions are included in the online application.

Please note:

STATEMENT should not be more than five typed, double spaced pages which briefly summarizes the applicant’s educational and professional background and goals, describes the research for the project, including readings in primary and secondary sources, and indicates the nature of the research program proposed for the fellowship. You must demonstrate how you will use the Society’s collection materials for your project.

Photo by Brece Honeycutt, 2019 Hearst Fellow'CURRENT RÉSUMÉ should include a listing of any awards, scholarships, or grants received.should include a listing of any awards, scholarships, or grants received.

WORK SAMPLES and REVIEWS will be distributed to reviewers and the selection committee.

  • Written works (play and video scripts; prose and poetry; works of non-fictions, etc.) cannot exceed 25 pages in length
  • Two to three copies of full, completed works, in addition to the 25-page work sample, may be mailed to the Society
  • If you are submitting CDs or DVDs, please send only 3 copies of each
  • If your samples can be viewed on the web, please send us all relevant web addresses
  • You are strongly encouraged to include any relevant reviews of your work by professional critics
  • If you would like your samples returned to you, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope

Photo by Janet Pritchard, 2008 Last FellowTWO LETTERS OF REFERENCE should be emailed by individuals familiar with your career accomplishments and goals.

For further information about the Fellowships for Creative and Performing Artists and Writers, please contact Nan Wolverton, director of fellowships, at nwolverton@mwa.org or 508-471-2119 with questions.

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