The American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship
Enriching cross-cultural intellectual discourse since 2013
Who should apply?
We welcome the applications of writers and researchers wishing to pursue a creative project for a month or longer while participating actively in the intellectual life of the American Library. Applicants should be working on a book project, fiction or non-fiction, or a feature-length documentary film, that contributes to cross-cultural discourse.
There are two one-month Fellowship periods a year in fall and spring, with dates to be specified later.
Particular attention will be paid to an applicant’s ability to offer the Library community a variety of opportunities for exploring a topic.
International applicants are encouraged—you need not be American to apply. The proposed project must be in English.
Members of the Library governance are not eligible recipients of a Visiting Fellowship.
The Fellowship is made possible through the generous support of The de Groot Foundation.
Visiting Fellows are expected to:
- Be present in Paris during the period of the fellowship.
- Be present in the American Library a minimum of three half-days a week.
- Present an hour-long evening program at the Library.
- Participate in a Library reception.
- Meet with staff informally to explore a topic of mutual interest.
- Extend the Library’s reach by participating in events arranged by the Library with other organizations in Paris.
- Provide the Library and the funding foundation with a written report of the Fellowship experience.
- Appropriately acknowledge the Library and the Visiting Fellowship in publications and print media related to the Fellowship project.
- Participate in the Library’s social media communication, fundraising campaigns, and other public events.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Visiting Fellow winter 2015
A $5,000 stipend will be paid before start of a Fellowship period. The award, to be spent at the discretion of the Fellow, is designed to cover travel to Paris, accommodation, and expenses associated with the month in Paris. In addition to the stipend, the Library will connect the fellow to resources and people in Paris that could be helpful to his or her project.
How to apply
This year’s application form, which is now closed, asked applicants to provide:
- A single file containing:
- A cover letter (one page)
- CV (two pages max.)
- The narrative description of your project (two pages max.)
- The names and contacts of two professional references
- A one-time application fee of 30 euros
Frequently asked questions
Q: Will you consider offering a virtual Visiting Fellowship?
A: No, due to the improving COVID situation in France, Fellows are expected to be present in Paris during the period of the Fellowship.
Q: I’m based in Paris (or France). Can I still apply?
A: Yes. We give equal weight to applications from France-based creatives.
Q: Do I need to be a published author in order to be awarded the Visiting Fellowship?
A: While you do not need to be a published author to apply, many of our Fellows have one or more previous publications under their belts and often have a publishing contract secured for their next project.
Q: When will I hear back? Do you send out confirmations?
A: The deadline for applications is 1 April 2022. You can expect to hear back from us with a final decision by July 2022. We will confirm receipt of your application within a few days of submission.
Q: Can you give me advice about my application?
A: In the interest of fairness, we are unable to advise potential applicants on their materials.
Q: After I’ve applied, can I send additional materials or request that part of my application be swapped in or out after submission?
A: No. Once an application is received, you cannot swap or add materials.
Q: How many applications do you receive and how many Visiting Fellows will you accept?
A: We typically receive between 100 and 200 applications in our annual cycle, and we award two Visiting Fellowships per year.
Q: Will you consider my application if I do not pay?
A: No. Only applicants who have submitted the application fee (30 euros) will be considered for the Visiting Fellowship. We will inform you if your application is missing payment, but please plan to submit payment with your application in order to receive full consideration.
Q: How much does it cost to apply to the Visiting Fellowship?
A: 30 euros. If the application fee poses an issue for you, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What is the difference between your Visiting Fellowship and Writer-in-Residence programs?
A: Visiting Fellows are chosen through an application process. Writers-in-Residence are invited directly by the Library, and are typically more senior or established authors. We do not consider proposals for Writers-in-Residence.
Q: What can I expect from the experience if I am awarded a Visiting Fellowship?
A: Here’s what our inaugural fellow Anthony Flint had to say about the Visiting Fellowship: “As much as I rely on the Internet, I’m a big fan of going places. As a reporter for The Boston Globe, I learned that there was a lot that could be accomplished on the telephone, on deadline, but that there was always something to be gained just by showing up at an event, bumping into people, observing things, or having unplanned conversations. A Visiting Fellowship at the American Library in Paris was an extraordinary opportunity, prima facie. It was made even more so by all these experiences, many of which I could not have planned. So while I cannot possibly express my gratitude sufficiently to the American Library in Paris, the board and staff, to the de Groots and the de Groot Foundation, I can say that it worked. I’m confident that future Visiting Fellows will have similar unscripted revelations. Who knows what might await. My advice to them would be as follows: Just go.”
Q: My question isn’t answered above. Who should I contact?
A: Please contact email@example.com if you have any other questions.
Visiting Fellows & Scholars of Note
Jen Silverman (2022–23, Scholar of Note) is the author of the debut novel We Play Ourselves and the story collection The Island Dwellers (Random House) and the poetry chapbook Bath, selected by Traci Brimhall for Driftwood Press. Additional work has appeared in Vogue, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Sun, Literary Hub, Yale Review, and elsewhere. Jen’s plays include Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties; The Moors; The Roommate; and Witch. They have been produced off-Broadway, regionally across the US, and internationally in Australia, the UK, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Spain. Recently, Jen wrote The Miranda Obsession as a narrative podcast for Audible, starring Rachel Brosnahan. Jen also writes for TV and film. Jen is a three-time MacDowell Fellow and a member of New Dramatists. Honors include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts (2022, Prose) and the Guggenheim (2022, Drama).
Mark Mayer’s (2022–23, Scholar of Note) first book, AERIALISTS (Bloomsbury, 2019), won the Michener-Copernicus Prize and was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. His stories have been published in American Short Fiction, Kenyon Review, Guernica, and the Iowa Review. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Memphis.
Ladee Hubbard (2022–23, Scholar of Note) is the author of two novels: The Talented Ribkins – which received the 2018 Hurston Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Ernest J. Gaines Award – and the The Rib King, published in 2021. Her short story collection, The Last Suspicious Holdout was published in March 2022. She received a BA from Princeton University, a MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a PhD in Folklore and Mythology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her writing has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship and The Berlin Prize among other fellowships and awards. She lives in New Orleans.
Adrienne Raphel (2022–23, Visiting Fellow) is the author of Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them, named an Editor’s Choice by the New York Times Book Review; What Was It For, winner of the Rescue Press Black Box Poetry Prize; and Our Dark Academia, forthcoming this fall. Her writing appears in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and many other publications. She has been a featured speaker at events such as the National Book Festival at the Library of Congress, and she serves as a mentor with the Periplus collective. Raphel holds a PhD from Harvard, an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a BA from Princeton. She is currently a Lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program and teaches with the Berlin Writers’ Workshop.
Kate Kirkpatrick (2022–23, Visiting Fellow) is a philosopher based in Oxford, where she is Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy and Christian Ethics at Regent’s Park College. She is author of Sartre on Sin (OUP, 2017), Sartre and Theology (Bloomsbury, 2017), and the internationally acclaimed biography Becoming Beauvoir: A Life (Bloomsbury, 2019), which was selected as one of the best books of 2019 by the Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, and The Telegraph, and is currently being translated into over a dozen languages. In 2021 she was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to write a philosophical commentary on Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex.
Dina Nayeri (fall 2021) is the author of The Ungrateful Refugee, winner of the 2020 Geschwister-Scholl-Preis, finalist for the 2021 Elle Grand Prix des Lectrices, the 2019 Kirkus Prize, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and winner of the 2020 Clara Johnson Award. Her essay of the same name was one of the most widely shared 2017 Long Reads in the Guardian. A 2019 Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination Fellow, winner of the 2018 UNESCO City of Literature Paul Engle Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts literature grant (2015), O. Henry Prize(2015), Best American Short Stories (2018), and fellowships from the McDowell Colony, Bogliasco Foundation, and Yaddo, her stories and essays have been published by the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, the Guardian, Los Angeles Times, New Yorker, Granta, Wall Street Journal, and many others. Her debut novel, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (2013) was translated to 14 languages. Her second novel, Refuge (2017) was a New York Times editor’s choice. She holds a BA from Princeton, an MBA from Harvard, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and Teaching Writing Fellow.
Ian Williams’s (spring 2022) latest book is Word Problems, a poetry collection that considers the ethical and political issues of our time as math and grammar problems. His novel, Reproduction, won of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize. It was published in Canada, the US, and the UK, and translated into Italian. His poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone’s Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. CBC named him as one of ten Canadian writers to watch. He is a trustee for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Williams holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto and is currently a professor of poetry at the University of British Columbia. He was the 2014–2015 Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Program.
Rhae Lynn Barnes (summer 2019) is Assistant Professor of American Cultural History at Princeton University and specializes in the globalization of American popular culture and racism. While at the American Library in Paris, Rhae Lynn worked on her first book, Darkology: When the American Dream Wore Blackface, which maps the political, economic, and global cultural geography of amateur blackface minstrelsy. She also conducted research for a new edition of the Image of the Black in Western Art series. She is Executive Advisor with Henry Louis Gates Jr. to the four-part PBS documentary series Reconstruction: America After the Civil War. Rhae Lynn earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University and B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Molly Antopol (summer 2019) is the author The UnAmericans (W.W. Norton, 2014), a story collection that won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award and a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, among other prizes. During her time in Paris, Antopol worked on her novel in progress, The After Party, which will also be published by Norton. The book explores issues of surveillance and privacy, making it deeply resonant in the current landscape.
Ian Leslie (spring 2019) is a journalist writing about the science of human behaviour, drawing on a wide range of interdisciplinary expertise. He is the author of Born Liars: Why We Can’t Live Without Deceit, and Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It. Ian’s book Conflicted: How Productive Disagreements Lead to Better Outcomes was published in 2021.
Hala Alyan (fall 2018) is the author of several poetry books and the novel Salt Houses. In Paris, she worked on her novel, The Arsonists’ City, published in March 2021, about a family that unravels as its members come together to sell their ancestral home in Beirut. Alyan lives in New York, and is also a licensed psychologist.
Vanessa Manko (spring 2018) is the author of The Invention of Exile. She earned her MFA from Hunter College where she was the recipient of a Hertog Fellowship. Her work has appeared in Granta, the New York Times Magazine, The Barnes & Noble Review, and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. She has taught writing at Wesleyan University, New York University, and SUNY Purchase. While at the Library, she worked on a novel in progress called A Question of Illumination, inspired by the life of Loïe Fuller, the late 19th-century modern dancer.
James Verini (fall 2017) is a magazine journalist who has reported extensively from Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere. His reporting on the fall of ISIS in Iraq and the battle for Mosul in The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic, where he is a Contributing Writer, was into a book for WW Norton, They Will Have to Die Now: Mosul and the Fall of the Caliphate, published in 2019. He also writes for The New Yorker, The Atavist Magazine, and others.
Jacqueline Woodson (spring 2017) is an award-winning writer of books for children and young adults. She is known for Miracle’s Boys, which won the Coretta Scott King Award in 2001, and her Newbery Honor-winning titles Brown Girl Dreaming, After Tupac and D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way. Her recent books include Harbor Me, The Day You Begin, and Red at the Bone. For her lifetime contribution as a children’s writer, Woodson won the Margaret Edwards Award in 2005. She won the National Book Award in 2014 in the category of Young People’s Literature for Brown Girl Dreaming, and was nominated in Fiction for Another Brooklyn. She is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow and a recipient of a 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Anna Leahy and Doug Dechow (fall 2016) are co-authors of Generation Space: A Love Story, which they previewed during their joint fellowship. At Chapman University Dr. Leahy, a poet and nonfiction writer, teaches in the MFA and BFA programs; and Dechow is the Engineering, Science, and Digital Humanities Librarian. They are the creators of the Lofty Ambitions blog, which covers science, aviation, and spaceflight. During their fellowship Anna led a poetry workshop, and Doug presented correspondence from The Center for American War Letters.
Megan Mayhew Bergman (spring 2016) is a writer and journalist. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Paris Review, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, Oxford American, Orion, Best American Short Stories 2011 and 2015, and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. She is the author of two collections of short stories: Almost Famous Women and Birds of a Lesser Paradise. Her upcoming book, How Strange a Season, will be published by Scribner. Bergman won the Garrett Award for Fiction in 2012 and the Phil Reed Environmental Writing Award for Journalism in 2020. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Conservation Law Foundation. During her Visiting Fellowship at the American Library in Paris, she gave a talk about supporting women in the arts and conducted a creative writing workshop. She currently teaches literature and environmental writing at Middlebury College.
Lan Samantha Chang (fall 2015) is a poet and author of Hunger, a collection of short fiction, and two novels, Inheritance and All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost. Her upcoming novel, The Family Chao, will be published by W. W. Norton in 2022. She is the Program Director and Elizabeth M. Stanley Professor in the Arts of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. She has been awarded fellowships from Stanford University, Princeton University, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. While a Visiting Fellow at the American Library in Paris, Chang presented an evening program about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s revision process for The Great Gatsby and led a four-part novel-writing workshop.
Susan Hiner (spring 2015) is a professor of French and francophone studies at Vassar. During her Visiting Fellowship at the Library, Hiner researched Behind the Seams: Women, Fashion, and Work in Nineteenth-Century France, which was the topic of her evening program. She is also the author of Accessories to Modernity: Fashion and the Feminine in Nineteenth-Century France.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (winter 2015) is a former national correspondent at the Atlantic. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood; Between the World and Me; We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy; and The Water Dancer. Between the World and Me won the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction and is a New York Times Bestseller. The book has been heralded by Toni Morrison and President Obama. Though Coates’s American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship was for a novel still in progress about an African American who moves from Chicago to Paris, he was also at work on the final draft of Between the World and Me during his time in Paris, and he gave his first public reading of the text at the Library. On another night during his Fellowship, he spoke about his landmark article “The Case for Reparations” (The Atlantic) and conducted an event for teens about superheroes and comic books and their place in pop culture.
Alex Danchev (1955-2016) (fall 2014) was a professor of international relations at University of St Andrews. He was also the author of Cezanne: A Life (shortlisted for the 2013 Library Book award), the collection of essays On Art and War and Terror, and a work on René Magritte, the subject of his research during his Fellowship. At the Library he spoke about Magritte and participated in a panel discussion about the state of global terrorism.
Anthony Flint (fall 2013), is an author and journalist, a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and an expert on global urbanization, land policy, and architeture and urban design. He is the author of Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow; Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City; and This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America. He has worked as a journalist for over thirty years, primarily for The Boston Globe. During his Fellowship at the Library, he researched Le Corbusier, investigated structures designed by the renowned architect, and met people who knew him personally.