Brian Booker Brian Hoffman

Lauren Russell Walter B. Thompson

Meg Wade D. J. Thielke

Jennifer Luebbers Ari Banias

Jaquira Diaz Mehdi Okasi

Laura Eve Engel Andrew Mortazavi

Lydia Fitzpatrick John Murillo

Michael Sheehan Emma Straub

Traci Brimhall Kevin Gonzalez

Nick Lantz Danielle Evans

Laleh Khadivi Rebecca Dunham

A FEW WICW FELLOWS FROM THE PAST DECADE: Brian Booker, Ben Hoffman, Lauren Russell, Walter B. Thompson, Meg Wade, D. J. Thielke, Jennifer Luebbers, Ari Banias, Jaquira Diaz, Mehdi Okasi, Laura Eve Engel, Andrew Mortazavi, Lydia Fitzpatrick, John Murillo, Michael Sheehan, Emma Straub, Traci Brimhall, Kevin Gonzalez, Nick Lantz, Danielle Evans, Laleh Khadivi, and Rebecca Dunham.

Contact Us

Institute Coordinator Sean Bishop
Program in Creative Writing
Department of English
600 N. Park St, H.C. White Rm 6195
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706

phone: 206-491-1505

PHOTO: Our 2015-2016 Fellows

Our 2015-16 Fiction & Poetry Fellows. Pictured left-to-right: Jordan Jacks,
Josh Kalscheur, Karyna McGlynn, Mika Taylor, and Mark Wagenaar.

The 2015-2016 Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing Fellows

Jordan Jacks (MFA: Washington U.) is the 2015-16 James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Yale Review, Weekday, and The Iowa Review, and his poems have appeared in The Connecticut Review. A native of New Braunfels, Texas, he is currently the 33rd Writer-in-Residence at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C.

Josh Kalscheur (MFA: U. of Wisconsin) is the 2015-16 Halls Emerging Artist Fellow. His book, Tidal (Four Way Books), was the winner of the 2013 Levis Prize in Poetry and was published in Spring 2015. Individual poems have been published in Boston Review, The Iowa Review, and Slate, among others.

Karyna McGlynn (PhD: U. of Houston / MFA: U. of Michigan) is the 2015-16 Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow. Her first book, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, won the Kathryn A. Morton Prize from Sarabande Books. Her poems have recently appeared in The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Seattle Review, West Branch, and The Academy of American Poet’s Poem-a-Day. Karyna recently served as Managing Editor and Poetry Editor for Gulf Coast.

Mika Taylor (MFA: U. of Arizona) is the 2015-16 Carol Houck-Smith Fiction Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review, Black Warrior Review, Tin House Open Bar, The Kenyon Review Online, Guernica, Necessary Fiction, The Collagist, Diagram, and others. She is a former fiction editor of Sonora Review.

Mark Wagenaar (ABD PhD: U of North Texas / MFA: U of Virginia) is the 2015-16 Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow. He is the 2015 winner of the Juniper Prize in Poetry, from the University of Massachusetts Press, for The Body Distances, and the 2012 Felix Pollak Prize winner for Voodoo Inverso. He’s also the 2014 winner of The Pinch Poetry Award, the New Letters Poetry Prize, and the Southern Indiana Review’s Mary C Mohr Poetry Prize. His poems appear or are forthcoming in the New Yorker, FIELD, 32 Poems, The Southern Review, and many others.

The Fellowships

Since 1986, the University of Wisconsin's Institute for Creative Writing has provided time, space, and an intellectual community for writers working on a first book of poetry or fiction. Since 2012, we have also considered applicants who have published only one full-length collection of creative writing prior to the application deadline, although unpublished authors remain eligible, and quality of writing remains the nearly exclusive criterion for selection. Altogether, our poetry and fiction fellows have published more than a hundred full-length collections and novels, many of them winning major national honors.

At present, the Institute annually offers up to five year-long fellowships, including for the first time ever this year, the Ron Wallace Poetry Fellowship, named in honor of the founder of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the Program in Creative Writing at UW-Madison. Typically there are two fiction fellowships (the James C. McCreight Fiction Fellowship and the Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellowship), two poetry fellowships (the Jay C. and Ruth Halls Fellowship and now the Ron Wallace Poetry Fellowship), and one fellowship in either fiction or poetry for a graduate of the University's MFA Program in Creative Writing (the Halls Emerging Artist Fellowship).

Each of these fellowships carries with it a $30,000 stipend ($27,000 plus a $3,000 “welcome” prize paid in August), generous health benefits, and a one-course-per-semester teaching assignment in intermediate or advanced undergraduate creative writing. Since this is a residential fellowship, we expect fellows to reside in the Madison area, to hold no other teaching, graduate study or fellowship obligations, and to participate fully in the life of the Madison writing community during the fellowship period.

Fiction and poetry fellows are asked to give one public reading during the fellowship year. Additionally, all fellows participate in determining the recipients of the annual Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes in Poetry, as well as the Program in Creative Writing’s undergraduate writing contests. Along with faculty, fellows also serve on the committees selecting the following year’s Institute fellows.

Details and frequently asked questions regarding the fellowships can be found on the applications page of this website. Applications to the poetry, fiction, and HEAF fellowships must be submitted online between December 15 and February 29.

The current director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing is Amaud Jamaul Johnson. For questions about the fellowship program not answered below please contact the Creative Writing Program Administrator, Sean Bishop, at

The Halls and Wallace Poetry
Fellowships & the McCreight and
Houck Smith Fiction Fellowships

Poets and fiction writers who have completed or will have completed an MFA or a PhD in creative writing by August 15th of the fellowship year are eligible to apply for a Wisconsin Institute poetry or fiction fellowship, provided they have not yet published more than one full-length book of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or other creative work by the February 28 application deadline. Details and frequently asked questions regarding these fellowships can be found on the fellowship applications page of this website. The HEAF is the only Institute fellowship for which graduates of the UW MFA program are eligible to apply.

The Halls Emerging
Artist Fellowship

The Halls Emerging Artist Fellowship (the HEAF) is awarded to a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Creative Writing MFA program who has either published one book of fiction, poetry or other creative work, or who has not yet published a book in any of those genres. Poets and fiction writers will be eligible for the HEAF in alternating years. In February 2016 we will be considering HEAF applications in fiction only. We will consider poetry applications in February 2017.

The recipient of the HEAF will be determined by an outside judge. The name of this judge will be withheld until the HEAF has been announced. Applications should arrive during the month of February. Details and frequently asked questions regarding these fellowships can be found on the fellowship applications page of this website. The Institute may decline to give the HEAF award in any year it deems appropriate.