The following is a list of fellowships and residencies available to disabled authors, or those writing about disability, including mental illness.
* Inclusion here does not equal endorsement. Please do your own research before applying.
All links are current as of August 2020. If you find a non-working link, or if you know a fellowship that should be added to / deleted from this list, please let me know.
— Nicole Melanson
Accessible Arts and Bundanon Trust Artist-in-Residence Program (NSW & ACT, Australia)
The Accessible Arts and Bundanon Trust Artist-in-Residence program is open to emerging or mid-career professional writers (all media), visual artists, or musicians. Applicants must be living and/or working in NSW or the ACT and identify as being Deaf or as a person with disability.
The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship provides a two-year cycle of support to a Deaf/Disabled writer, for the generation and development of a new play to essay and challenge perceptions of the “Disabled Experience.” The fellowship includes outreach and scouting toward the commissioning and development of the new play, and an intensive two-year process of new play development activities for the Fellow through The Lark’s artistic programs, a $40,000 prize, a $5,000 opportunity and resource fund, and a $10,000 production enhancement fund.
Creative Access offers residencies for visual artists and writers with spinal cord injury at one of four host sites.
The Anderson Center Residency Program is open to emerging, mid-career, and established visual artists, writers, composers, choreographers, interdisciplinary artists, musicians, performance artists, scholars, and translators. Our program is interdisciplinary and we welcome applications from a wide range of creative and intellectual genres, including those that don’t fit neatly into the above list.
Residencies in the month of June are reserved for Deaf artists and writers whose native or adoptive language is American Sign Language (ASL).
Funded by the Ford Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Disability Futures is an 18-month initiative administered by United States Artists that aims to increase the visibility of disabled creative practitioners across disciplines and geography and elevate their voices individually and collectively.
Through the fellowship, Ford and Mellon are supporting 20 disabled creative practitioners whose work advances the cultural landscape. Each fellowship includes a $50,000 grant to advance each artist’s practice, totaling $1 million for the cohort overall.
The Disability Rights Storytellers Fellowship managed by Rooted in Rights and AAPD provides the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to learn and apply skills in digital media storytelling, and to connect with media professionals to prepare participants for advanced careers in media production, journalism, online advocacy, or digital design. The project combines hands-on training in cutting-edge technologies with a strong foundation in developing each individual’s voice and using story-driven videos in advocacy.
While not specifically designed for disabled writers, the remote aspect of this residency might prove helpful to authors with disability.
Moreland’s Writers in Residence Program (Victoria, Australia)
Moreland’s Writers in Residence program provides a unique opportunity for three writers to develop their practice in one of Australia’s most thriving arts communities.
The aim of the program is to support writers at all stages of their career with resources and space to strengthen their professional practice. In line with Council’s Human Rights Policy 2016 – 2026, the Moreland Writer in Residence program is also designed to encourage writers who face additional barriers in the development of their writing careers, such as writers with disability, female writers, LGBTIQ writers and writers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers.
* This program will run again in 2021, with info updated and applications opening at the end of 2020.
Through this exciting fellowship, Penguin Random House Australia aims to engage with a new writing talent pool who have interesting and varied stories to tell. Write It aspires to find, nurture and develop unpublished voices across all genres (fiction and non-fiction for both adult and young reader age groups), focusing on writers from a socio-economically marginalised background, LGBTQ+, Indigenous or CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) writers, or writers with a disability.
Publishability Fellowship (Victoria, Australia)
A sister program to Writers’ Victoria’s Write-ability, Publishability is a ground-breaking, two-year initiative funded by the Victorian Government’s Talent Matters Program through Creative Victoria. There are three key elements to the Publishability program: 1) we work with four writers with disability (two each year) to help them get their manuscripts ready for submission to publishers; 2) we deliver training to the publishing industry on how to work inclusively with writers with disability; and 3) we’re developing a toolkit for the publishing industry on disability.
Write-ability Fellowships (Victoria, Australia)
Writers Victoria recognises outstanding writers with disability each year thanks to the Write-ability Fellowship Program. Write-ability Fellowships support emerging writers with disability with tailored professional development support such as manuscript assessments, curated programs of workshops, and/or mentoring. Publishability is a break-out from this program.
Writer’s Space Fellowships (New South Wales, Australia)
In this exciting new program, 12 two-week fellowships will be offered to writers with disability or who are D/deaf, with six residency fellowships and six online fellowships available.