Go Back & Fetch It

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A Year Long Mentorship For Early Career Black Writers

Inspired by the success of our Black Writers Weekend Intensive in June 2023, More Than a Single Story is starting a new program. Through the generosity of the Jerome Foundation, twelve early career Black poets, fiction and nonfiction writers will have an opportunity to engage in a year-long mentorship program to deepen their individual writing visions and skills; build connections with experienced facilitators; and connect with other emerging writers to create a community of support and encouragement to last long after the mentorship ends.

What is it?

In the spirit of the Akan principle of Sankofa, cohort members will Go Back and Fetch It; in other words, learn from those with experience – both established Black writers and the powerful artistic lineage of our African ancestors – to build their futures as writers [see article about our great ancestor poet, Lucille Clifton written by Honoree’ Fanonne Jeffers https://www.poetryfoundation.org/articles/154884/go-back-and-fetch-it]

The year long program will begin with a weekend retreat in September, followed by monthly sessions where cohort members will work with established Black writers to expand their knowledge of craft, engage in generative workshops and peer feedback, and learn about the business side of writing (query letters, publishing, etc.), among other opportunities.

The year will open with a weekend retreat in September led by Creative Nonfiction author, Erin Sharkey; and Children’s/Young Adult author, Shannon Gibney, followed by three quarterly day- long sessions guided by Erin Sharkey, Shannon Gibney, poet, Douglas Kearney and multigenre/fiction author, Junauda Petrus. Between the quarterly sessions, there will be ½ day monthly sessions on a variety of topics led by other experienced writers.

This work is funded in part by the Jerome Foundation.

Who is Eligible?

The Jerome Foundation defines early career artists as those who are in their 2nd to 10th year of generative creative practice, excluding any time spent in a degree-granting program (if applicable), those who are not currently in a full-time degree program, those who have not published more than one book in any genre.

Individuals who are at the very beginning—with less than 2 years—in their careers as a generative artist are not eligible to apply. Likewise, artists with more than 10 years of experience creating and presenting work are not eligible to apply.


Due to limited space, we can only accept 12 participants.

DEADLINE: June 30, 2024

Selected participants will be notified by July 30, 2024