This institute is designed for academics and writers who seek to write and publish for broad audiences, particularly about contemporary technology, everyday objects, and digital culture. The institute’s workshops—geared to scholars as well as nonfiction writers from across disciplines—aim to better equip participants to pitch their ideas and publish their writing in venues that exist fruitfully between both traditional academic and trade publishing routes.
WHO IS PUTTING THIS ON?
The hosts are Dr. Ian Bogost and Dr. Christopher Schaberg, founding editors of the Object Lessons essay and book series published by The Atlantic and Bloomsbury. Bogost and Schaberg—along with guest authors, editors, and publishers—will help participants navigate the new frontiers of academic publishing and increasing pressures on the academy to make its work legible to broad audiences.
WHEN AND WHERE IS IT?
The institute will offer four separate two-day workshops, coinciding with major academic field conferences:
- Early November, 2017. Tempe, AZ. (around the annual conference of the Society for the study of Literature, Science, and the Arts [SLSA], Nov 9-12, 2017)
- Late November, 2017. Washington, DC. (around the annual conference of the American Anthropological Association [AAA], Nov 29-Dec 3, 2017)
- Early January, 2018. New York City. (around the annual convention of the Modern Language Association [MLA], Jan 4-7, 2018)
- Early March, 2018. Tampa, FL. (around the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs [AWP], Mar 7-10, 2018.)
Exact dates will be announced soon; pending final logistics, we hope to hold all workshops the two days prior to each conference.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
The workshops will feature lectures and practical exercises from the organizers, as well as discussions with visiting experts in journalism and publishing (trade and academic). Topics covered will include pitching, proposing, and crafting articles and book manuscripts.
The expected outcome of the workshops is for each participant to leave with a project suitable and ready to pitch and/or propose to a publisher or other venue. Such projects include (but are not limited to) online articles, longform essays, and general audience books. Work will not be limited to the Object Lessons series, although participants are welcome to pitch to us, too.
IS THERE FINANCIAL SUPPORT?
Yes. Participants will receive a stipend to offset the costs of travel, lodging, meals & incidentals during the institute. Stipends may vary based on unique circumstances at each venue and for each participant, but an average value of $1,000+ is expected. Participants who have already planned to travel to the conference can use the stipend in tandem with, or in place of, other institutional funding.
CAN I ATTEND THE CONFERENCE BEFORE OR AFTER THE NEH INSTITUTE?
Yes, your travel can extend to include the conference; however, conference registration, and any additional lodging and meal expenses will not be covered by the NEH institute during those additional days.
IS THE WORKSHOP LIMITED TO U.S. CITIZENS?
No. The NEH funds participants from any qualified applicant; however, most participants will likely be based in the United States.
HOW DO I APPLY?
Applicants should apply to a single workshop, below, no later than Friday, June 30, 2017.
Applicants will need to submit:
- A short statement of interest (no more than 500 words)
- A concise C.V. (no more than two pages)
- A writing sample (no more than 2,000 words)
- A letter of support
Successful applicants will be notified by July 31, 2017.
WHAT ARE THE SELECTION CRITERIA?
Approximately ten participants will be chosen for each workshop. Participants will represent a range of professional backgrounds, including college/university faculty, staff, and advanced graduate students; independent scholars; journalists; and other nonfiction writers. Participants will be chosen based on the following criteria:
- Proposed project’s specificity, timeliness, and relevance
- Evidence of ability to write for broad audiences
- Promise and quantity of research already completed or in-progress
- Potential for the applicant’s proposed topic to interest a wide audience
- Applicant’s rationale for fit with the institute
Submissions will be reviewed separately for each workshop, so be sure to select a workshop date and venue you can attend.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS THAT AREN’T ANSWERED HERE?
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to read this whole page first, though, before you generate email!
The submission period ended June 30, 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by July 31, 2017.
Since some of you have asked: We received a very large number of applications, and we will not be extending the deadline. We are so grateful for the strong interest, and we hope to host more workshops in the future.