Opportunities For Writers of Color 


Deadline for Submissions: Extended to March 8, 2021

We are proud to announce the Leonard A. Slade, Jr. Poetry Fellowships for Poets of Color (established 2018) and The Voices of Color Fiction Fellowships (established 2017).  


The fellowships provide support for writers of color. Application for these fellowships is open to all writers of color, ages 18 and older. The awards provide funding to attend a week at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. First Prize recipients will receive the full retreat package. Two Second Prize recipients (one in each genre) will receive $500 credit toward the cost of registration. These fellowships assist MVICW with our commitment to expanding the American literary canon by promoting voices from a wide array of cultural backgrounds, and to increasing philanthropic support for writers of color in the arts.

Leonard A. Slade Jr. Fellowships:

Two Full Fellowships in Poetry

Voices of Color Fiction Fellowships:

Two Full Fellowships in Fiction/CNF

Two Second Prize Fellowships:

One Poetry & One Fiction/CNF

Please note: In the case that the 2021 Summer Writers’ Conference must be virtual (due to continued health concerns with Covid-19), first place Fellowship & Contest winners will receive full registration for the conference as their award. Second prize winners will receive $500 off registration.


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Sequoia Nagamatsu is the author of the story collection, Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone, silver medal winner of the 2016 Foreword Reviews Indies Book of the Year Award, an Entropy Magazine Best Book of 2016, and a notable book at Buzzfeed. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as ConjunctionsZYZZYVAThe Fairy Tale ReviewTin House online, Black Warrior ReviewWillow SpringsPleiadesLightspeed Magazine, and One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories, among others. He co-edits Psychopomp Magazine, an online quarterly dedicated to innovative prose, and teaches at St. Olaf College. He is currently working on a second story collection and a novel.




Adrian Matejka is the author of The Devil’s Garden, which won the New York/New England Award, and Mixology, a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series. Mixology was also a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. His third collection, The Big Smoke, focuses on Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. The Big Smoke was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His most recent book, Map to the Stars, was published by Penguin in 2017. Among Matejka’s other honors are the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, the Julia Peterkin Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Bellagio Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He teaches at Indiana University and is Poet Laureate of Indiana. 


Leonard A. Slade, Jr. is a professor of Africana Studies and adjunct professor of English at the University at Albany (SUNY). Slade is the past director of the Doctor of Arts in Humanistic Studies Program and past director of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program. He taught for twenty-two years at Kentucky State University, where he was Chair of the Division of Literature, Languages, and Philosophy, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has published 26 books, including 21 books of poetry: Another Black Voice: A Different Drummer (1988), The Beauty of Blackness (1989), I Fly Like a Bird (1992), The Whipping Song (1993), Vintage (1995), Fire Burning (1995), Pure Light (1996), Neglecting the Flowers (1997), Lilacs in Spring (1998), Elisabeth and Other Poems (1999), For the Love of Freedom (2000), Jazz After Dinner (2006), Triumph (2010), Sweet Solitude (State University of New York Press, 2010), The Season (2011), Chasing the Wind (2012), and God Put a Rainbow in the Sky (2014). Slade's poetry has been published in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing

a 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Organization

      telephone: 954-242-2903       email: info@mvicw.com



Many of the Vineyard photos courtesy of Vineyard Colors www.vineyardcolors.com

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