Announcing our 2015 Emerging Writers Fellows


We are thrilled to announce this year's NYC Emerging Writers Fellows who were chosen from over 500 applicants. Congratulations to Naomi Feigelson Chase, Lisa Chen, Nicola DeRobertis-Theye, t’ai freedom ford, Anu Jindal, Stephen Langlois, Melissa Rivero, Samantha Storey, and Ruchika Tomar. The 2015 judges were Rene Denfeld, Patricia Park, and Ted Thompson.


Naomi Feigelson Chase is the author of six books of poetry, and many short stories which have been published and anthologized.  She has reported for The Village Voice and has been a Fellow at Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Banff Center for the Arts, and Virginia Center for the Arts, among others. She has taught fiction at the Harvard Extension and published non-fiction about child abuse and the sixties.




Lisa Chen was born in Taipei and grew up in the Bay Area. She has published a book of poems, Mouth (Kaya Press, 2007) and is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the University of Iowa. She works as a freelance writer and brand consultant for social justice organizations and has held residencies at Blue Mountain Center and, most recently, her home in Brooklyn. Recent work appeared in Gigantic and The Progressive. She is working on a novel populated by rogue monkeys, Japanese silents and MSG mines and a nonfiction work inspired by the artist Tehching Hsieh.


Nicola DeRobertis-Theye is a native of Oakland, California. She received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and studied English and Cultural Anthropology at UC Berkeley. She has taught creative writing at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and in UNCW’s Young Writer’s Workshop, and served as the fiction editor of Ecotone for two years. Her work has appeared in Agni and Treehouse Magazine. She currently lives in Brooklyn and is at work on a novel.


t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher and Cave Canem Fellow who received her MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College. Her fiction has appeared in Black Ivy, The Brooklyn Review and Bronx Biannual.  Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Sinister Wisdom, No, Dear, The African American Review, Vinyl, Poetry and others. Her work has also been featured in several anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn, but hangs out digitally at:


Anu Jindal is the author of short stories published in Electric Literature’s Recommended ReadingJoylandThe New QuarterlyPioneer, and Matrix Magazine. His short story “Not a Bad Bunch” was selected by Amazon to be a Kindle Single and Audible audiobook in 2014. A graduate of the MFA Poets & Writers program at University of Massachusetts Amherst, he currently resides in Brooklyn and teaches creative writing at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and at Yeshiva University, where he will serve as writer-in-residence for Fall 2015.


Stephen Langlois is a writer of the fantastic and absurd. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Glimmer Train, The Portland Review, Necessary Fiction, Phantom Drift, Storychord, Burrow Press Review, Big Lucks, and Gigantic Sequins, among other places. He grew up in Vermont and lives in Brooklyn. Visit him at





Melissa Rivero was born in Peru and grew up in Brooklyn, where she still lives. Her love of writing fiction has taken her to workshops at VONA/ Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference. She has a BS from NYU and a JD from Brooklyn Law School. She is the mother of two young boys, and is currently at work on her first novel.




Samantha Storey is a senior news editor at The Huffington Post. Before that she was a digital editor for The New York Times. Her essays and articles have been published in The New York Times and The Seattle Weekly. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Calyx and The Lascaux Review. She studied writing with Philip Schultz at the Writer's Studio and participated in Hannah Tinti's master class for One Story. Born in New York, she grew up in England and now lives in Brooklyn with her family. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.



Ruchika Tomar is a writer from the Inland Empire, California. She received her MFA from Columbia University, and studied English Literature at the University of California, Irvine. She has received fellowships from Vermont Studio Center and The MacDowell Colony. She lives in New York.










The NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship Program

This grant is generously funded by a grant from the Jerome Foundation, matched by additional funds from individuals. Nine writers will be selected in 2015 and during the one-year fellowship period will receive:

  • A grant of $5,000 in total
  • The option to engage in a mentorship with a selected freelance editor
  • The opportunity to meet with agents who represent new writers
  • A Center for Fiction membership
  • Free admission to all Center events for one year, including our Craftwork lectures series on writing
  • 30% discount on tuition at select writing workshops at The Center
  • Two public readings as part of our annual program of events

Applicants must be current residents of one of the five boroughs, and must remain in New York City for the entire year of the fellowship. Students in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply. This program supports emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence. Applicants can be of any age, but must be in the early stages of their careers as fiction writers and will not have had the support needed to achieve major recognition for their work. We define “emerging writer” as someone who has not yet had a novel or short story collection published by either a major or independent publisher and who is also not currently under contract to a publisher for a work of fiction. Eligible applicants may have had stories or novel excerpts published in magazines, literary journals or online, but this is not a requirement.


The submission period for the 2015 Emerging Writers Fellowship is now closed. We will re-open for 2016 applications in December.



2014 Fellows


Lisa Armstrong (Brooklyn), Cedrick Mendoza-Tolentino (Manhattan), Stephanie Miki Arndt (Manhattan), Dwyer Murphy (Brooklyn), Zeeva Bukai (Brooklyn), Belal Rafiq (Manhattan), Elysha Chang (Brooklyn), Wil Weitzel (Manhattan), and Su-Yee Lin (Queens).


Click here to view the video of the fellows reading their work in October 2014.




2013 Fellows




The 2013 Center for Fiction Fellows were: Lexi Freiman, Patricia Park, Jane Rose Porter, Onnesha Roychoudhuri, Ricco Villanueva Siasoco, Bezalel Stern, Lauren Wilkinson, Brennen Wysong, and Courtney Zoffness.


Click here to view the video of the fellows reading their work in September 2013.





2012 Fellows



The 2012 Center for Fiction fellows were: Leopoldine CoreRosalie KnechtLisa LeeDaniel Long, Manuel MartinezTracy O'Neill, Tim O'SullivanJackie Reitzes, and Seamus Scanlon


Click here for the video of the fellows reading their work in October 2012.





2011 Fellows


The 2011 Center for Fiction Fellows were: Ted Bajek, Marie-Helene Bertino, Mitchell Jackson, Caleb Leisure, Geneviève Mathis, Elizabeth Shah-Hosseini, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan and James Yeh.


Click here to watch the video of the fellows reading their work in October 2011.









The Center for Fiction Fellowships for NYC Early Career Writers are made possible through a grant from The Jerome Foundation with matching funds from individual donors.


Please join The Jerome Foundation in supporting New York City's most talented early career writers, and help us grow this important program. 



Books by

Our Former Fellows!

Safe As Houses

by Marie-Helene Bertino

2 a.m. at The Cat's Pajamas

by Marie-Helene Bertino

  The Residue Years

by Mitchell S. Jackson

  Relief Map

by Rosalie Knecht

 The Hopeful

by Tracy O'Neill

Re Jane

by Patricia Park

  Go To Hells: An Updated Guide to Dante's Underworld by Onnesha Roychoudhuri


  As Close As You'll Ever Be

by Seamus Scanlon


  Blue Talk and Love

by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan 



And look out for L'American by Lauren Wilkinson, forthcoming