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MacColl Johnson Fellowships | How to Apply

Rhode Island Foundation

The Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund, established at the Rhode Island Foundation in 2003, provides up to three $25,000 artist fellowships each year, rotating among composers, writers, and visual artists on a three-year cycle.







The Rhode Island Foundation is employing the Alliance of Artists Communities, an independent international association, to manage applications and the jury process for The Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowships.

Applicants should review and understand the following guidelines before starting the application.

Sussy Santana

Sussy Santana - 2015 MacColl Johnson Fellow in Literature


Application available

June 8, 2018

Application deadline

August 8, 2018 (11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time)*


January 2019

Fellowship period

January - December 2019

*Please note: The application will close electronically at this time and no applications will be accepted after this deadline. We will be unavailable to answer questions after 5:00 pm on the day of the deadline.


Applicants will be evaluated on:

(1) quality of work, artistic development, and creative contribution to the field of literature; and

(2) ability to demonstrate that the fellowship will advance the artist’s career, benefit his/her work, and enable the artist to achieve artistic goals otherwise not financially feasible.

A national panel of qualified writing professionals will undertake a comprehensive process of reviewing applications and will then recommend Fellowship candidates to The Rhode Island Foundation’s Board of Directors.


  • Three MacColl Johnson Fellowship Awardees: $25,000 each
  • Three MacColl Johnson Finalists


For an application to be considered for review all sections of the online application must be complete and required supporting work samples submitted by the deadline. Before you apply, please review the eligibility guidelines here.

(1) Review the application in the online platform Submittable
All applications must be submitted online through Submittable; paper applications and physical copies of work samples will not be accepted. A link to the application will appear below when the period opens. Click the APPLY button. It is free to apply.

(2) Prepare your application
Download a preview of the online application to assist in preparing the below items. Note: no written applications will be accepted. Eligible applicants may only apply online at the link at the bottom of this page when the application is live.

  • Statement of purpose
  • Educational background
  • List of awards, grants, fellowships, and other honors
  • Resume/CV
  • Work samples
  • Work sample inventory

(3) Prepare your work samples
The review panel will rely on the submitted information you provide to inform their recommendations. You are encouraged to submit your strongest work created within the past five years.


  • Applications will be accepted from writers creating new original work in any writing genre/discipline. Adaptations or translations of any previously written, performed, or filmed work created by another artist are ineligible.
  • All work samples should be submitted as PDF file(s) and should include text only; do not embed images, video, audio, or other elements into your PDF files -- unless it is integral to the creative expression of your work sample (i.e. graphic novels).
  • When submitting written work samples, manuscripts should be presented in professionally formatted, typewritten form; photocopies from journals or books will not be accepted.
  • The Rhode Island Foundation welcomes the submission of work in languages other than English. If you are submitting non-English literary works, you must also provide an English translation and identify the translator. Translations do not count toward maximum page counts; for example, you may submit up to 30 pages of work in its original language, in addition to translations of the same work.
  • In addition to written work samples, applicants may also submit up to 2 audio/video files of performance-based literary work (i.e. spoken word poetry, storytelling, playwriting, etc.). If submitting audio/video, please note that no more than 10 minutes will be reviewed. Selections may be edited. Web links to work audio/video work samples may be embedded in the Work Sample Index. Web links count toward work sample maximums.


  • Poetry: Poets should submit a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 15 pages. No more than 1 poem should be included per page. Spoken-word and performance poets may also submit audio/video in addition to written work samples; see guidelines above for audio/video submissions.
  • Fiction: Manuscripts should consist of a maximum of 30 pages of one or more complete works or excerpts. Work should be double-spaced with 1” page margins and 11 or 12pt font.
  • Non-Fiction: Manuscripts should consist of a maximum of 30 pages of one or more complete works or excerpts. Work should be double-spaced with 1” page margins and 11 or 12pt font.
  • Playwriting / Screenwriting: Manuscripts should consist of a maximum of 30 pages in the standard industry form. Play format standards from Yale School of Drama; Screenwriting sample from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The intention is clarity, rather than strict adherence to these suggested guidelines.
  • Other genres: Please adapt the guidelines above as appropriate to your genre.

Please note: You may submit 1-5 separate files (including audio/videos) as long as they do not exceed 30 pages all in total or 15 pages for poetry. As an example, you may choose to submit one PDF that contains seven different poems totaling 13 pages, along with two video files - for a total of three separate files uploaded as samples. If submitting work samples in multiple genres, do not submit more than 30 total pages.


 For technical support with Submittable, follow the “Help” instructions on the Submittable site.

QUESTIONS? Application and selection are managed by the Alliance of Artists Communities. Questions about eligibility, guidelines, applications, and other details should be directed to the Alliance at or 401-351-4320.

Learn more about the Rhode Island Foundation's MacColl Johnson Fellowships and past Fellowship winners at