Derrick Austin Jamel Brinkley






Natalie Eilbert Sarah Fuchs






Marcela Fuentes Barrett Swanson








2016-17 FELLOWS: Derrick Austin, Jamel Brinkley, Natalie Eilbert, Sarah Fuchs, Marcela Fuentes, Barrett Swanson

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 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 Administrator 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 2017-2018 Fellows




Our 2017-18 Fiction & Poetry Fellows. Pictured left-to-right: Oliver Baez Bendorf,
Leila Chatti, Tia Clark, Tiana Clark, & Marta Evans.


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who have published only one full-length collection of creative writing prior to the application deadline, although unpublished authors remain eligible, and quality of writing remains the near-exclusive criterion for selection. Altogether, our poetry and fiction fellows have published more than 125 full-length collections and novels, many of them winning major national honors.

At present, the Institute offers up to five internationally competitive nine-month fellowships each year. Typically there are three fiction fellowships (the James C. McCreight Fiction Fellowship, the Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellowship, and the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship), and two poetry fellowships (the Jay C. and Ruth Halls Fellowship and the Ron Wallace Poetry Fellowship). Additionally, the Institute offers one third-year MFA fellowship&emdash;the Hoffman-Halls Emerging Artist Fellowship&emdash;to a current student of UW-Madison, through a closed competition.

Each of these fellowships carries with it a stipend of at least $38,000 paid in 9 equal installments beginning October 1, generous health benefits, and a one-course-per-semester teaching assignment in undergraduate creative writing. Since this is a residential fellowship, we expect fellows to live 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 January 1 and March 1.

The current director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing is Amaud Jamaul Johnson. Please read this page and the application page in detail before contacting the Director with questions.


The Halls and Wallace Poetry Fellowships & the McCreight, Houck Smith, and Djerassi 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 for Creative Writing 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 March 1 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 second-year MFA candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Creative Writing MFA program, to fund a third year of study prior to graduation. Poets and fiction writers are eligible for the HEAF in alternating years. In January and February 2018 we are considering HEAF applications in fiction only

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. 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.