Gay launches fellowship scheme for aspiring writers through Substack

Gay launches fellowship scheme for aspiring writers through Substack

Roxane Gay is launching a new one-year fellowship programme which will see her support three aspiring writers.

The author and professor has announced the Joel Gay Fellowship through her Substack, The Audacity. The fellowship, named after her late brother and conceived in partnership with digital publishing platform Substack, will assist the writers both financially and professionally. 

Substack will be offering $25,000 (£18,367) in financial support to each fellow, plus $5,000 (£3,683) in additional services, including editorial support, design assistance for a logo, access to Getty Images, and advice on how to grow readership. It will also provide strategic coaching on how to make their newsletters flourish throughout the one-year fellowship.

As a part of the programme, Gay will meet with each of the fellows once a month throughout the course of the year to provide mentorship on both the craft and navigating the business of writing, and will also promote each fellow on a regular basis via her Substack. 

"I am thrilled to partner with Substack on the Joel Gay creative fellowships," said Gay. "I am always looking for opportunities to support emerging writers as a way of paying forward the opportunities to which I have access. To be able to offer both mentorship and financial support for three writers is incredibly meaningful. I am looking forward to working with the cohort of fellows over the course of a year and helping them develop a compelling Substack newsletter."

"There is no shortage of writing talent out there but there is a shortage of reliable compensation for the work of writing. This fellowship begins to address that shortage while also honouring the memory of my brother, Joel Gay, who was so passionate and creative and eager to engage with the world."

Submissions are open to writers who do not have a book published or a contract, and welcomes applicants from all backgrounds, with prioritisation given to writers from underrepresented communities. Submissions for the fellowship will be open until 10th February.