Thankfully, there are dozens of writer fellowships out there (albeit highly competitive) that offer a full-time income while you teach, write and even do some serious pondering. I've applied for several of these fellowships and can attest to some of the programs that offer the fellowships.
Fellowships are perfect for writers who are comfortable or want to learn how to teach creative writing, as many of the writing fellowships are offered by universities. Now, that isn't always the case; some fellowships are offered by publications, which give you a full-time gig as you hone your skill.
Some fellowships require you to teach and others just ask that you be available to students or the community to help in an artistic fashion. These fellowships are perfect for writers who do not have too many things tying them down to their current community. As a single parent, I've been able to work as a fellow...so don't let your familial network get in the way...most fellowships allow you to bring your family along. Let's take a look at five writing fellowships coming up in the next several months.
The Mother Jones Fellowship is prized as being one of the best fellowships for journalists looking to dip into investigative journalism. The fellowship provides around $1,700 per month for six months and is based in SF or Washington D.C.
Prospective applicants need to send in writing samples (see application information here). Applications are due on April 1 or October 1 each year. Many fellows, should they prove their worth go on to work another six months with a raise,
The Kenyon Review Fellowship
Perhaps the coolest and most advantageous fellowships for creative writers, the Kenyon Review Fellowship gives writers two years to complete a large-scale project while working with mentors and other folks. The fellowship application requirements are stringent, please look here to see if you are eligible. The beauty of this fellowship is they provide you a full-time income ($34K) and health benefits.
Calling all poets! Poets who haven't published their first book and have recently completed their MFAs/MAs, can apply for the fellowship. The fellowship requires the fellow to help out for twenty hours per week at the office or editing the literary journal. The fellowship provides $20K, health insurance, an office, and housing. Pretty nifty deal. Read more here.
The Stegner Fellowship is offered by Stanford. The fellowship offers $26K per year for two years. Most writers love this fellowship because it doesn't require the writer to read; instead, the writer is required to attend weekly workshops and give a few readings here and there.
The National Endowment of the Arts (Both Creative Writing and Translation)
The NEA offers writing and translation fellowships for $25K. There are no teaching requirements and the writer must demonstrate a solid plan for using the money.