NC Literary Hall of Fame



Postmark deadline: June 30 (annual)
Submissions accepted: May 1 – June 30

The North Carolina Writers’ Network offers an annual Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship, in honor of the late poet, editor, and educator. The Buckner Fellowship, in the amount of $500 awarded to one writer each year, supports North Carolina emerging writers whose work shows promise of excellence and commitment to a literary career.

Applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and will not have had yet the support needed to achieve major recognition for their work. No specific academic background is required or preferred. Each year the program will accept applications from writers working primarily in one of four specified genres, rotated over a four-year cycle.

The 2021 Buckner Fellowship will support an emerging writer of creative nonfiction.

Fellowship recipients will use the $500 award to allay the costs associated with the business of writing: paper, printing, writing supplies, submission fees, research expenses, travel, conference registration fees, etc. In addition to the cash award, recipients will receive a complimentary one-year membership in the North Carolina Writers’ Network, as well as scholarship aid to attend the Network’s annual Fall and Spring Conferences.

Applications will be accepted only through Submittable from May 1 to June 30, annually.

Fellowship applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Writers must have established legal residence in North Carolina for at least one year prior to applying, and plan on residing in North Carolina through the Fellowship year.
  • Writers must be between the ages of 21 and 35, as of December 31 of the year in which they apply.
  • Students enrolled in degree-granting programs are not eligible to apply, even if the focus of study is not directly related to writing. (If at any point during the judging process an applicant accepts an offer to study in a degree-granting program, please alert NCWN immediately to have the application pulled from consideration.)
  • Fellowship recipients should “pay it forward.” Fellowship winners, in the course of their award year, are invited to help at least one other writer, in whatever fashion they see fit (mentoring, critiquing, providing a reference, etc.), carrying on Sally Buckner’s lifelong support of other writers.
  • Applicants are required to submit a completed application form and accompanying work sample, letter of support, and vitae by June 30. (For a sample vitae, click here.)

For NCWN members, there is no cost to apply for the Fellowship; for non-members, the application fee is $10. A committee appointed by NCWN will review applications, and invite finalists to interview (via virtual platform) with committee members. The Fellowship winner will be formally introduced at the Network’s Fall Conference. At the end of the award year, recipients will be required to complete a brief report on writing progress made over the past year.

The Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship seeks to support North Carolina writers as they navigate the challenges (and expenses) of the literary world, honoring and continuing Sally Buckner’s devotion to North Carolina’s literary tradition and community.

The North Carolina Writers' Network connects, promotes, and serves writers of this state, providing education in the craft and business of writing, opportunities for recognition and critique of literary work, resources for writers at all stages of development, support for and advocacy of the literary heritage of North Carolina, and a community for those who write.

For more information about the Sally Buckner Emerging Writers’ Fellowship and NCWN, visit or contact June Guralnick, Fellowship Program Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tell us about yourself and your writing journey. Discuss your writing goals for the coming year and how you see your work being advanced by the Fellowship. Where do you see yourself in five years and why? Please also include your birth date, and briefly identify your work sample and whether it is an excerpt from a larger work.


  • Submit creative nonfiction work that best represents you as a writer. You may submit published work, unpublished work, excerpts from larger works or works-in-progress. The entry must be submitted in English and must be your own original work. As the manuscripts will not be published/reprinted, the author retains all rights to the work(s). Multiple submissions from an author are not permitted.
  • Applicants should submit up to 5,000 words, double-spaced from one work of creative nonfiction in a single PDF document in 12-point type font. Work samples must be in manuscript format; actual book/printed copies will be discarded. (Please note that finalists may be asked to submit an additional work sample.)
  • Simultaneous submissions accepted.
  • At the top of every page, include the page number in the upper right corner and title of the work.
  • Save your work sample as a single PDF, using your first and last name followed by "Worksample" as the file name. Example: JaneDoeWorksample.

Attach a professional CV, no more than 3 pages, listing any writing experience, education, awards, and publishing credits. Submit as a PDF, using your first and last name followed by "Resume" as file name. Example: KrisKringleResume.

One letter of recommendation, not to exceed 2 pages, written by an individual who is either familiar with your writing, or can attest to your ability to complete a writing project. Letter must include the current recommender’s e-mail address and phone number. Letters may not be from family members. Submit as a PDF, using your first and last name followed by "Recommendation" as file name. Example: BettyBoopRecommendation.

Please list the number of years you have kept your primary residence in North Carolina.

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