writer’s resources

Person standing in a field holding a towering pile of books
Image by Steven Guzzardi


How To…
Fellowships and Residencies
On Writing and Craft
Recommended Memoirs
Indie Presses that Publish Memoir






Unique Opportunities

Buzzfeed’s Emerging Writer’s Fellowship: A four-month program with a $14K stipend designed to open the gates to writers traditionally locked out of opportunities in the media. Deadline: 12/4/2017

Ongoing Opportunities

Post MFA Resources: A List of Fellowships
Post MFA Resources:A List of  Residencies

Barbara Deming Memorial Fund: Small artist support grants ($500 – 1500) to individual feminist women in the arts whose work in some way focuses on women.

George Bennet Fellowship, Exeter, NH: One-year fellowship to finish your first book.

Hedgebrook: A retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island, about thirty-five miles northwest of Seattle on 48-acres of forest and meadow facing Puget Sound, with a view of Mount Rainier.  The retreat hosts women writers from all over the world for residencies of two to six weeks, at no cost to the writer.

Hub City’s Writers House Residency offers two residencies per year in a historic cottage in downtown Spartanburg, S.C. The program is open to emerging writers in the US who have completed a college degree (BA, BFA, MA, MFA, PhD) in creative writing within the past five years or are pursuing a graduate degree (MFA, MA, or PhD) in writing.

I-Park Artist in Residence Program in East Haddam, CT.  Nurturing artists and the creative process – in the fine arts and in nature. Residents are provided a private bedroom, a private studio, a meal program and shared amenities: artists’ kitchen, Common Area, library, wireless internet. The only cost is travel and a $30 application fee.

Martha’s Vineyard Writing Residency at the Noepe Center has a simple mission: to provide writers of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and plays a place in which to create or complete new works. The cost of the Residency varies depending on season.

The Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, NY:  Fully-funded one month fellowship. Highly supportive of emerging and established writers, particularly women and individuals who identify as GLBTQ. Millay also sponsors two-week, virtual (designed with parent-artists in mind) and group residencies.

National Park Service Artist in Residence Program: Various national parks, varying deadlines.

Starry Night Residency in Truth or Consequences, NM: Ideal for creatives who are self-directed and hungry for the quiet and reflective solitude of a rural environment that is off the beaten path, while still being in a small town. Financial aid and payment plans are available.

Sundress Academy for the Arts: An artists’ retreat on a 45-acre farm in Knoxville, Tennessee that offers residencies to writers, visual artists, filmmakers, composers, and more, from across the country.

Write A House: We fix up homes in Detroit and award long-term residencies to writers.

Writer’s Omi @ Ledig House:  sponsors forty writers and translators from around the world for up to two months each year. Through a competitive jury process, residents are chosen, invited to attend at no cost to themselves, except travel. Abundant, catered meals and comfortable, beautiful lodgings are provided in a scenic location in Columbia County, New York. Omi is two hours north of NYC by train.

( I have read most, the rest are sitting in my “to read” pile)

  • Beyond the Writers’ Workshop: New Ways to Write Creative Nonfiction, Carol Bly
  • Bird, Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott
  • Crafting The Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Non-Fiction, Dinty Moore
  • Drivel: Deliciously Bad Writing by Your Favorite Authors, edited, Julia Scott
  • Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir, William Zinsser
  • Keep It Real:Everything You Need to Know About Researching and Writing Creative NonfictionLee Gutkind
  • Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal, Alexandra Johnson
  • Lucky Break: How I Became a Writer, Roald Dahl
  • On Writing Well, William Zinsser
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Steven King
  • Reading Like A Writer: A guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, Francine Prose
  • The Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again, Sven Birkerts
  • The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron
  • The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
  • The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life, Dinty Moore
  • The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction, Dinty Moore
  • The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative, Vivian Gornick
  • The Truth of Memoir: How to Write about Yourself and Others with Honesty, Emotion, and Integrity, Kerry Cohen
  • The Writing Habit, David Huddle
  • The Writing Life, Annie Dillard
  • The Writing Life: Writers on How They Think and Work, Marie Arana
  • To Show and Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction, Philip Lopate
  • Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life, Dani Shapiro
  • Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past, William Zinsser
  • Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg
  • You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction–from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between ,  Lee Gutkind
  • Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity, Ray Bradbury


Sue William Silverman also has a fantastic reading list on her webpage, but I haven’t read all of those.

  • A Childhood: The Biography of Place, Harry Crews
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah
  • A Place in the Country, Laura Shaine Cunningham
  • A Three Dog Life, Abigail Thomas
  • Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir, Frank McCourt
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver
  • Another Bullshit Night in Suck City: A Memoir, Nick Flynn
  • Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy
  • Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood, bell hooks
  • Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast
  • Chronology of Water, Lidia Yuknavitch
  • Dark at the Roots, Sarah Thyre
  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller
  • Down These Mean Streets, Piri Thomas
  • Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in Another Language, Katherine Russell Rich
  • Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour, Rachel Shukert
  • Fiction Ruined My Family, Jeanne Darst
  • Fierce Attachments: A Memoir, Vivian Gornick
  • Foreskin’s Lament, Shalom Auslander
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel
  • Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things, Jenny Lawson
  • Half a Life, Darin Strauss
  • House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer’s Journey Home, Mark Richard
  • Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, Roxane Gay
  • I Could Tell You Stories: Sojourns in the Land of Memory, Patricia Hampl
  • I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron
  • King of the Mild Frontier, Chris Crutcher
  • Life Among the Savages, Shirley Jackson
  • Lucky, Alice Sebold
  • Maus I, A Survivor’s Tale, Art Speigelman
  • Mumbai, Scranton, New York: A Memoir, Tamara Shopsin
  • Night, Elie Wiesel
  • On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen Kings
  • Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje
  • Running with Scissors: A Memoir, Augusten Burroughs
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays, Joan Didion
  • Son of a Gun, Justin St. Germain
  • Special Exits, Joyce Farmer
  • Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life, Dani Shapiro
  • Stitches, David Small
  • The Adderall Diaries, Stephen Elliott
  • The Basketball Diaries, Jim Carroll
  • The Boys of My Youth, Jo Ann Beard
  • The Chelsea Whistle, Michelle Tea
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Scenes from a Life, Robert Goolrick
  • The Glass Castle: A Memoir, Jeannette Walls
  • The Kiss, Kathryn Harrison
  • The Liars’ Club: A Memoir, Mary Karr
  • The Night of the Gun, David Carr
  • The Suicide Index: Putting My Father’s Death in Order, Joan Wickersham
  • The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir, Toni Bentley
  • The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  • Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism, Temple Grandin
  • This Boy’s Life: A Memoir, Tobias Wolff
  • Three Dog Life, Abigail Thomas
  • Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir, Margaux Fragoso
  • Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir, Liz Prince
  • Too Afraid to Cry, Ali Cobby Eckermann
  • Two or Three Things I Know for Sure, Dorothy Allison
  • What Comes Next and How to Like It, Abigail Thomas
  • When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice, Terry Tempest Williams
  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeannette Winterson
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed

(Memoir Friendly) INDIE PRESSES

  • Algonquin – A Workman Press imprint devoted to publishing literary fiction and nonfiction by undiscovered writers
  • Barrelhouse Books – looks for engaging, dynamic works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction; smart, insightful novels and short story collections that are complex without being obtuse; the kind of stuff your intelligent, non-reader friends will love as much as your MFA classmates.
  • Black Mountain Press – Through the end of 2021 their focus will be in collections of poetry, memoir, novels and collections of short stories.
  • Canongate – Fiercely independent Scottish press committed to unorthodox and innovative publishing. Snail mail or agented submissions only.
  • Carolina Wren Press -A very small, independent publisher with an interest in voices from beyond the mainstream. They publish prose and poetry by underrepresented writers such as women, people of color, authors with disabilities, LGBT authors, and experimental writers .
  • City Lights -Cutting-edge fiction, poetry, memoirs, literary translations and books on vital social and political issues.
  • Cleis Press -The largest independent sexuality publishing company in the United States, focusing on LGBTQ, BDSM, romance, and erotic writing for all sexual preferences.
  • Coffeehouse Press –  Publishes literary novels, full-length short story collections, poetry, creative nonfiction, book-length essays and essay collections, and the occasional memoir from emerging and midcareer authors. Nearly all CHP authors have had works published in literary magazines or other publications (a resume including a list of prior publications can strengthen your submission).
  • Counterpoint -Author-driven, they devote all energy to the fresh, cutting-edge, and literary voices in fiction and nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and anthologies, all of which collectively focus on current affairs and politics, counterculture, music, history, memoir, literary biography, religion, and philosophy. Recently merged with Catapult.
  • Dzanc Books – Innovative and award-winning literary fiction, including short story collections and novels; The Collagist, a monthly online literary journal; Dzanc Creative Writing Sessions is low-cost writing instruction to beginning and emerging writers; Writers-in-Residence Program teaching creative writing to elementary and secondary public school students; Disquiet International Literary Conference in Portugal; and more. Not currently open to submissions: 11/1/17
  • Emergency – New York based, publishes fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and emergent forms that fall outside these traditional categories.
  • Emily Books – Publishes the best work of transgressive writers of the past, present and future. via their Coffee House Press imprint.
  • Farrar, Straus & Giroux – Renowned for its international list of literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s books. Snail Mail submissions only.
  • Future Tense Books – Committed to showcasing writers who are not just important and innovative, but also accessible and fun. Not currently taking submissions, but open to introductory emails.
  • Greenpoint Press – Publishing high-quality fiction and nonfiction that might otherwise be neglected by commercial publishers, with an emphasis on “personal stories” with a strong narrative and distinctive voice. Part of New York Writers Resources, which includes New York Writers Workshop and Ducts, a literary webzine.
  • Graywolf Press – Ensuring that compelling literary voices have a strong outlet for their work during an era in which 80 percent of US books are produced by five commercial publishers whose need to earn a profit hampers their commitment to the arts.
  • Heyday Books– Promoting widespread awareness and celebration of California’s many cultures, landscapes, and boundary-breaking ideas. Not currently open to submissions 11/1/17
  • Hippocampus Books – Like the magazine, they are focused on creative nonfiction, including memoir, essay collections, travel writing, craft and creativity books and literary journalism
  • hypertrophic press –  a microscopic independent press that publishes both books and a quarterly literary magazine. Not currently open for submissions 11/1/17
  • Kore Press – A print and online literary publisher celebrating feminist expressions from writers that span practices, aesthetics, sexualities, races, and ethnicities.
  • Les Figues – Award-winning, independent publisher of poetry, prose, visual art, conceptual writing, and translation, favoring projects which push the boundaries of genre, form, and general acceptability.
  • MacAdam/Cage – Publishing quality fiction and non-fiction and committed to bringing new and talented voices to the literary marketplace.
  • McSweeneys –  Exists to champion ambitious and inspired new writing, and to challenge conventional expectations about where it’s found, how it looks, and who participates.
  • Milkweed – Publishing literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, Milkweed believes literature has the potential to change the way we see the world.
  • New Rivers Press –  Literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by new and emerging authors from around Minnesota and the world. They have three global contests and general submission periods.
  • Nothing But the Truth Publishing –  Specializing in works by diverse female authors.Not currently open for submissions 11/1/17
  • Ooligan Press – Publishes books honoring the cultural and natural diversity of the Pacific Northwest. Ooligan is a teaching press staffed by students pursuing master’s degrees in the Department of English at Portland State University (PSU).
  • Paris Press – Nonprofit educational organization that publishes groundbreaking yet overlooked literature by women.
  • Persea Books –  Most of all, “we are looking for the fresh voice, a clear point of view, the well-written work that will endure. We are pleased to publish debut books and to continue publishing the authors we take on.”
  • Rare Bird – A home for authors and publishers seeking new ways of publishing and marketing books that deserve to be read.
  • Red Hen Press – Non-profit press specializing in poetry, literary fiction, and nonfiction, they are looking for novels, memoir, creative nonfiction, hybrid works, and story, essay, and poetry collections of exceptional literary merit that demonstrate a high level of mastery.
  • River Teeth Press – River Teeth’s editors and editorial board conduct a yearly national contest to identify the best book-length manuscript of literary nonfiction.
  • Santa Fe Writers Project – An independent press dedicated to the craft of writing, embracing new trends and ideas beyond those of the current publishing industry. Their online Literary Journal provides a home for published and unpublished authors, featuring fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and experimental work.
  • Santa Monica Press -Not afraid to cast a wide editorial net, their eclectic list of lively and modern non-fiction titles includes books in popular culture, film history, photography, humor, biography, travel, and reference.
  • Sarabande -Publishes poetry, short fiction, and essay and serves as an educational resource for readers, students, and teachers of creative writing.
  • Seal Press – An imprint of Perseus Books. Inspired by the notion that a book can change a woman’s life, Seal Press is devoted to publishing titles that inform, reveal, engage, delight, and support women of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Soft Skull – A Counterpoint imprint, publishing groundbreaking fiction and nonfiction.
  • Soho Press – Based in NYC and known for introducing bold new literary voices, award-winning international crime fiction, and compelling young adult mystery and thrillers.
  • StringTown Press -Focused on Northwest authors, and to that extent, we publish a limited amount of work from outside the Northwest. Not currently considering unsolicited book-length manuscripts.
  • Tarpaulin Sky – Like the journal, the press focuses on cross-genre / trans-genre / hybrid forms as well as innovative poetry and prose.
  • Three Rooms Press – Looking for exciting, new, “cut-the-edge” fiction or nonfiction projects created with a sharp approach that stands apart from the mainstream.
  • Turtle Point Press -An independent publisher distinguished by books of superior literary content and elegant design, delighting readers with new fiction, poetry, memoirs, translations, and rediscovered classics since 1990.
  • Twisted Road Publications -They seek gifted writers whose works are under-represented by corporate marketing,  partial to those who possesses a gift for compassionate, sharp-eyed truth-telling, rendering fully formed characters and stories that get under the skin.