Mayborn Fellowship in Biography

The Mayborn Fellowship in Biography offers a two- to three-week creative residency in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Providing a concentrated period of uninterrupted time, as well as mentoring by distinguished biographer James McGrath Morris, the fellowship is intended to provide an emerging biographer with solitude and inspiration.

The committee selecting a recipient of this fellowship will evaluate applicants based on three criteria:

  • A viable biographical project clearly described (see below for guidelines)
  • Proof that sufficient research has been, or will be completed, before the residency so as to be able to use the time for writing
  • Evidence that the residency could play an important role in the development of the project

Eric Nishimoto: “The privilege and import of being a Mayborn Fellow in Biography is not lost on this fledgling author. To learn the craft and develop my book under the ‘biographers’ biographer’ is the opportunity of a lifetime for which the Mayborn, in so many diverse ways, has prepared me. Santa Fe to write and be mentored by Jamie Morris – wow.”

This fellowship includes the following:

  • Free registration to the 2020 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference
  • Free registration to the 2021 Biographers International Conference
  • Two to three weeks creative residency in Santa Fe with mentoring from James McGrath Morris
  • A reading at the end of your stay
  • $500 to help defray costs

Deadline to apply is August 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Notification of award will be made by September 1, 2020. The winner will schedule his/her residency with James McGrath Morris.

To apply for this scholarship:

  • Download application below.
  • Fill in all text boxes electronically.
  • Email the completed form and your biography sample in Word or PDF format to with “Mayborn Fellowship in Biography – Your Last Name” in the subject line.
  • The biography sample needs to include three sample chapters with a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of no more than three pages for each chapter in the proposed book. The entire biography sample needs to be double-spaced.

Download application

For more information, please call writing contest coordinator Jo Ann Livingston at 214-403-5853.

Previous Mayborn Fellowship in Biography Winners:

  • Morgan Voeltz Swanson
  • Julia Flynn Siler
  • Judith Bula Wise
  • Brian O'Leary
  • Eric Nishimoto
  • Diana Parsell
  • Sarah Perry