Lincoln Memorial University

Jean Ritchie Fellowship Guidelines

About the Jean Ritchie Fellowship

Through literature, a region tells stories to its citizens and the world.  The Jean Ritchie Fellowship seeks to support, encourage and honor writers from the Southern Appalachians.

The fellowship is the first of its kind for the region’s writers, and is committed to Appalachian voices.

Jean Ritchie of Viper, Kentucky, was a musician, author of prose and poetry, social activist, teacher, historian and folk music collector.  The fellowship strives to support artists who, like Ritchie, create works of beauty and social relevance, while honoring traditional heritage and forging a new path.

Award amount:  $1,500

Fellowship Guidelines:

Poetry: Submit no more than ten pages.

Prose (Fiction and Nonfiction): Submit no more than twenty pages.

All work samples must be paginated.  Previously published material will not be accepted.  No collaborative work samples or joint applications, please.

Include a very brief, one-page cover letter.  To ensure an anonymous reading process, please do not put your name on any application materials excepting the cover letter.

For all genres, include a statement of purpose—no more than two pages—summarizing:

  1. What Appalachia means to you (for example: identity, culture, sense of place, values, economics, environment).
  2. What does writing mean in your life?
  3. Your current writing project.
  4. How would you utilize the fellowship funding?

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

If awarded a fellowship, you will not be eligible to apply for another five years.

Please consult the map to determine if the county and state in which you live, or are originally from, is eligible as defined by the fellowship requirements.  Please indicate your county and state in your cover letter.

Fee:  Ten dollars per submission.  You may apply in more than one genre.  For each genre in which you apply, there is an additional five dollars reading fee.  Pay online.

Deadline: The deadline for submission is May 15.

Submissions are accepted ONLY through our online submission form. For the online submission form click here.




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6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752