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Carson McCullers Center

Carson McCullers Center


The Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers


We will begin accepting applications for the 2017 Fellowship on February 1, 2017. Deadline for submissions is April 1, 2017.


Named in honor of Carson's parents, The Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers was inspired by McCullers's experience at the Breadloaf Writer's Conference in Vermont and, especially, the Yaddo Arts Colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. To honor the contribution of these writers' residences to McCullers's work, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians awards fellowships for writers to spend time in her childhood home in Columbus, Georgia. The fellowships are intended to afford the writers in residence uninterrupted time to dedicate to their work, free from the distractions of daily life and other professional responsibilities.

Description and details

The Marguerite and Lamar Fellowship for Writers will be offered for the fall semester of 2017, the fellowship to begin the first of September and to end the first of December. During this period of time, the Writing Fellow will reside in a spacious private apartment in Carson McCullers's childhood home, the Smith-McCullers House. The Fellow will be provided with a stipend of $5,000 to cover costs of transportation, food and other incidentals. Fellowship recipients are encouraged to take an active role in the community and to meet informally with students and local residents interested in writing. The Fellow will work with the McCullers Center Director to plan a presentation near the end of the residency.

The Smith-McCullers House is located on a quiet residential street in a historic neighborhood in Columbus, Georgia. The Fellow will reside in a spacious private apartment occupying one-half of the Smith-McCullers House. The remainder of the house serves as the Smith-McCullers house museum. Because the house operates as a museum and outreach center, events and tours frequently occur in the upper part of the home during the Fellow's time here. However, the apartment is comprised of a large living/writing/sleeping space, a private bathroom, and a private entrance, allowing Fellows to work without interruption or disturbance by the Center and Museum. The kitchen is shared by the Fellow and the Center. The Center uses the kitchen for special events throughout the fall, in which the Fellow is always invited to participate.

The apartment is adequately furnished; Fellows need bring only their personal belongings. The Carson McCullers Center provides utilities, general property maintenance, a computer and online service. Fellows are encouraged to bring a laptop. Since public transportation in the Columbus area leaves something to be desired, an automobile would prove more than useful; however, there are grocery stores, post offices, and other services within walking distance, so an automobile is not an absolute necessity. Still, an automobile is highly recommended. A spouse or companion is welcome, but children and pets will not be allowed.

Congratulations to Melissa Pritchard!
The Marquerite and Lamar Smith Writing Fellow for 2016

Past fellows:

  • 2006 -- Melanie Fallon
  • 2007 -- Mylene Dressler
  • 2008 -- Kelly Hayes-Raitt
  • 2009 -- Selena Anderson
  • 2010 -- Jessica Garratt
  • 2011 -- David Samuel Levinson
  • 2012 -- Evan James
  • 2013 -- Anzhelina Polonskaya
  • 2014 -- Caitlin Hayes
  • 2015 -- Rebecca Gayle Howell
  • 2016 -- Melissa Pritchard


We will begin accepting submissions February 1, 2017.  Application deadline is on or before April 1, 2017.

Application Materials

I. Compile the following information for submission to our on-line Human Resources site:

  • a cover letter which explains why you would make a suitable fellow, as well as the nature and extent of the work you intend to complete during the 3-month residency
  • your latest curriculum vitae, making sure to include fellowships, scholarships, prizes, or other honors you have received;
  • a writing sample of no more than 20 pages;

You may mail any book or books that you have published as a writing sample (books will be returned upon request):

The Carson McCullers Center Fellowship Program
English Department
Columbus State University
4225 University Avenue
Columbus, GA 31907

II. Also, we require at least two letters of recommendation. Please have your recommenders submit these on-line at the link, which will posted at a date closer to the deadline.

All applications must be completed on or before April 1.

All applications will be acknowledged, and finalists will be chosen and scheduled for telephone interviews with the selection committee by May 15.

After each finalist completes a telephone interview, a Fellow will be chosen by the selection committee, to be announced June 1.

Direct questions to:
The Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians

Announcement of Winner: June 1. All applicants will receive notification of the winner.

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