Deconstructed Wordsmith is a series of a la carte virtual events and one-on-one meetings to help participants advance their publishing and career goals. Events will take place during the month of October and will include a craft talk and interview with Sigrid Nunez, an agent panel to discuss the state of publishing, and a series of virtual one-on-one consultations with agents and editors.

Scholarships for Deconstructed Wordsmith are intended specifically to help access the one-on-one consultations for personalized feedback. Consultations with agents and editors will involve submission of a query letter and five manuscript pages in advance. These materials should be ready at the time of registration (mid-August).

The 15 minute conversations will allow for back and forth about the materials, suggested next steps for improvement or approach when more formally pitching agents, and general questions about the publishing process. Each agent and editor will have one scholarship slot available. The regular price for consultations is $100. The price after scholarship assistance is $5.


Application

Deadline to apply is July 9 by 11:59 p.m. Central Time. Applicants will hear back about the status of their application after July 26. 

The Loft is committed to equity in our programming by creating opportunities for folks who face barriers in artistic career development, especially those from historically marginalized communities. We welcome all who seek financial assistance to apply for this opportunity, and encourage individuals from historically marginalized communities to apply, including, but not limited to, Black and Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ individuals, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities.

We anticipate far more applications from highly qualified candidates than we can possibly accept. Please know our scholarship committee reads every application we receive and evaluates them holistically based on three central factors:

1. Demonstrated interest in the art and craft of writing.

Describe your writing journey. What genre are you passionate about? Are you developing a specific project? How have you demonstrated a commitment to writing, whether personally or professionally? Why are you interested in this opportunity?

2. Expressed need for financial support.

Why are you seeking financial support to attend this opportunity? Are you enrolled in a public assistance program, such as: TANF; MFIP; General Assistance; WIC; Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or Minnesota Care; SSI (Disability, Not Retirement); Food Stamps; Section 8 Housing? If not, what factors impact your need for financial assistance to attend Wordsmith?  *Please note proof of income and/or a specific income threshold is not required for scholarship eligibility. We read each application holistically, taking each applicant’s unique financial barriers into consideration, along with all other central criteria. **

3. Experienced barriers to participation in artistic career development

The Loft understands that financial barriers are not the only barriers to participation in writing and career development opportunities. What other factors impact or have impacted your ability to participate in such opportunities? Do you identify as part of a historically marginalized community?


Consultation Details

Up to 16 agents and editors with expertise in a variety of genres will be available for one-on-one consultations. Consultations are 15 minutes each and include feedback on a query letter and the first five pages of your work.

Scholarship applications are reviewed holistically based on the three main criteria listed above. Recipients will be assigned consultation slots with agents/editors based on the priorities, topics, and genres the recipient indicates in their application, so please complete the application accordingly to accurately represent your writing interests. Please note consultations are assigned to the best of our ability based on these areas of interest and agent/editor scheduling availability. No agent/editor transfers or scheduling shifts will be available.

Please note a query letter and writing sample of the first five pages of your work is not required to apply for a scholarship, but will be required during registration in August. Please plan accordingly to prepare these documents ahead of time should you receive a scholarship to register.

Scholarships cover 95% of the cost, making the total paid by the recipient upon registration $5.00.

Please contact Emma Saks, Program Associate, at esaks@loft.org or 612-215-2587 with questions.

The Loft has traditionally offered a 30% discount on tuition to low-income students via the honor system, plus scholarship discounts of 95% for select classes to households enrolled in a public assistance program. However, we have been listening to constituents and understand that the 30% discount was often insufficient to make our classes affordable to low-income families, and that income thresholds for public assistance are so low, they often leave out low-income and historically marginalized people. Additionally, financial barriers are not the only barriers to participation, and the Loft seeks to support students experiencing various barriers to participation in our writing classes.

Through the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Loft has received funding to implement a new scholarship program that better reflects our goals to expand financial assistance for students! We welcome all who seek financial assistance to apply for this opportunity, and encourage individuals from historically marginalized communities to apply, including, but not limited to, Black and Indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ individuals, low-income individuals, and people with disabilities. Scholarship recipients will be able to register for two classes of their choice with the 95% scholarship discount. Scholarships are reviewed holistically via the factors outlined below, and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis as funding allows. 

We anticipate far more applications from highly qualified candidates than we can possibly accept. Please know our scholarship committee reads every application we receive and evaluates them holistically based on three central factors: 

1. A demonstrated interest in the craft of writing and commitment to Loft class participation

Do you have specific genres or types of classes at the Loft you're passionate about? What skills do you seek to gain from a writing class? Are you excited about a specific project you're working on? What is your writing journey? What drives your commitment to taking a class at the Loft? 

2. Expressed need for financial support

Are you enrolled in a public assistance program, such as: TANF; MFIP; General Assistance; WIC; Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or Minnesota Care; SSI (Disability, Not Retirement); Food Stamps; Section 8 Housing? If not, what factors impact your need for financial assistance to take a Loft class? 

3. Experienced barriers to participation in artistic career development 

The Loft understands that financial barriers are not the only barriers to participation in writing development opportunities. Have other factors impacted your ability to take a writing class? Do you identify as part of a historically marginalized community?  

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis at the beginning of each month by a scholarship review committee. Please be patient when waiting to hear back on the status of your application, as this process may take up to 4-5 weeks. If your application is approved, you will receive further communication detailing how to register for two scholarship classes of your choice. These two scholarship classes must be claimed by the end of 2021. 

Previous recipients are welcome to reapply after their two scholarship classes have been completed. Each application will be reviewed holistically through the same process detailed above. However, please note reapproval is not guaranteed.  With this new program, the Loft aims to provide financial aid for as many students as possible, so previous recipients will be provided additional scholarships if/as funding allows on a first come first served basis. Thank you for your understanding as we seek to expand and support our Loft community. 

If you have questions or if this virtual application is a barrier for you, please contact Emma Saks, program associate, at 612-215-2587 or esaks@loft.org for assistance.

To apply, please complete the application below. Please login below  to your existing Submittable account or create an account to view and complete the application. 

The Loft Literary Center invites poets, fiction, and nonfiction writers to apply to the 2021–2022 Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose. This program offers advanced criticism and professional development opportunities to twelve writers: four each in the genres of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. 


THE PROGRAM
Twelve early career writers are selected through a competitive judging process to work intensively with six nationally acclaimed writers of prose and poetry. Three of the mentors spend an extended period of time working with the entire group and conducting genre-specific workshops with the four writers in their genres. The other three mentors come in for intensive weekends of craft seminars with the full group and individual manuscript conferences with the writers in their genre. All participants are featured in a public reading—four fellows with two mentors—throughout the course of the year. 

Eligibility

  • Work must be in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Nonfiction may include memoir, personal essay, literary journalism, and biography. It does not include reportage, blogs, or opinion pieces.
  • You may apply in more than one genre, but can only win in one. If you are applying in both fiction and nonfiction, you must submit different work samples.
  • You must be a resident of Minnesota for a minimum of 12 months on the date of your application.
  • You must not have published (traditional or self-published) more than one book in any genre.
  • You may submit work previously published in magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • You must not be an enrolled student in a degree-granting program (including K-12, college, graduate or post-graduate studies) at the time of the application and/or during the Mentor Series fellowship period.
  • You are eligible to reapply to the Mentor Series as an alumni after ten years have passed. 
  • Board and staff members of the Loft and the Jerome Foundation are ineligible.


Fellows are selected on the basis of the strength of their manuscripts and project plans and will receive an award of $1,000 to defray the costs of program participation (book purchases, child care, etc.). Fellows are required to prepare for and attend all program-related meetings, seminars, readings, workshops, manuscript conferences, and social activities. These activities may be virtual or in-person depending on mentors' and fellows' comfort level and public health guidelines.

All program dates are tentative and subject to change. Orientation for fellows is currently scheduled for September 11, 2021. 

If you have questions about eligibility, please call program specialist Marion Gomez at 612-215-2578 or email her at mgomez@loft.org. More information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available on our website: www.loft.org.

The Loft is unable to answer questions during the week of the deadline, so please contact us in advance of July 2nd. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 9th, at 11:59 p.m.

Judging Process

A panel of preliminary readers composed of recent Mentor Series fellows who are ineligible to apply for the program will review the initial manuscripts received to the competition. From these, they will select 20 finalists in each genre which will be forwarded to the respective mentors for final decisions. The two mentors in each genre will confer and select four winners and two honorable mentions.  


DEADLINE:

  • All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on July 9, 2021. 
  • Winners will be notified by September 3, 2021 by phone. All other applicants will receive an email. Please be certain to include your contact information for summer if it is different from your current address.  


The Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose is made possible through the support of the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Loft Members.

The Loft Literary Center invites poets, fiction, and nonfiction writers to apply to the 2021–2022 Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose. This program offers advanced criticism and professional development opportunities to twelve writers: four each in the genres of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. 


THE PROGRAM
Twelve early career writers are selected through a competitive judging process to work intensively with six nationally acclaimed writers of prose and poetry. Three of the mentors spend an extended period of time working with the entire group and conducting genre-specific workshops with the four writers in their genres. The other three mentors come in for intensive weekends of craft seminars with the full group and individual manuscript conferences with the writers in their genre. All participants are featured in a public reading—four fellows with two mentors—throughout the course of the year.

Eligibility

  • Work must be in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Nonfiction may include memoir, personal essay, literary journalism, and biography. It does not include reportage, blogs, or opinion pieces.
  • You may apply in more than one genre, but can only win in one. If you are applying in both fiction and nonfiction, you must submit different work samples.
  • You must be a resident of Minnesota for a minimum of 12 months on the date of your application.
  • You must not have published (traditional or self-published) more than one book in any genre.
  • You may submit work previously published in magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • You must not be an enrolled student in a degree-granting program (including K-12, college, graduate or post-graduate studies) at the time of application and/or during the Mentor Series fellowship period.
  • You are eligible to reapply to the Mentor Series as an alumni after ten years have passed. 
  • Board and staff members of the Loft and the Jerome Foundation are ineligible.


Fellows are selected on the basis of the strength of their manuscripts and project plans and will receive an award of $1,000 to defray the costs of program participation (book purchases, child care, etc.). Fellows are required to prepare for and attend all program-related meetings, seminars, readings, workshops, manuscript conferences, and social activities. These activities may be virtual or in-person depending on mentors' and fellows' comfort level and public health guidelines.

All program dates are tentative and subject to change. Orientation for fellows is currently scheduled for September 11, 2021.

If you have questions about eligibility, please call program specialist Marion Gomez at 612-215-2578 or email her at mgomez@loft.org. More information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available on our website: www.loft.org.

The Loft is unable to answer questions during the week of the deadline, so please contact us in advance of July 2nd. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 9th, at 11:59 p.m.

Judging Process

A panel of preliminary readers composed of recent Mentor Series fellows who are ineligible to apply for the program will review the initial manuscripts received to the competition. From these, they will select 20 finalists in each genre which will be forwarded to the respective mentors for final decisions. The two mentors in each genre will confer and select four winners and two honorable mentions. 


DEADLINE:

  • All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on July 9, 2021. 
  • Winners will be notified by September 3, 2021 by phone. All other applicants will receive an email. Please be certain to include your contact information for summer if it is different from your current address. 


The Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose is made possible through the support of the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Loft Members.

The Loft Literary Center invites poets, fiction, and nonfiction writers to apply to the 2021–2022 Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose. This program offers advanced criticism and professional development opportunities to twelve writers: four each in the genres of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. 


THE PROGRAM
Twelve early career writers are selected through a competitive judging process to work intensively with six nationally acclaimed writers of prose and poetry. Three of the mentors spend an extended period of time working with the entire group and conducting genre-specific workshops with the four writers in their genres. The other three mentors come in for intensive weekends of craft seminars with the full group and individual manuscript conferences with the writers in their genre. All participants are featured in a public reading—four fellows with two mentors—throughout the course of the year.

Eligibility

  • Work must be in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Nonfiction may include memoir, personal essay, literary journalism, and biography. It does not include reportage, blogs, or opinion pieces.
  • You may apply in more than one genre, but can only win in one. If you are applying in both fiction and nonfiction, you must submit different work samples.
  • You must be a resident of Minnesota for a minimum of 12 months on the date of your application.
  • You must not have published (traditional or self-published) more than one book in any genre.
  • You may submit work previously published in magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • You must not be an enrolled student in a degree-granting program (including K-12, college, graduate or post-graduate studies) at the time of the application and/or during the Mentor Series fellowship period.
  • You are eligible to reapply to the Mentor Series as an alumni after ten years have passed. 
  • Board and staff members of the Loft and the Jerome Foundation are ineligible.


Fellows are selected on the basis of the strength of their manuscripts and project plans and will receive an award of $1,000 to defray the costs of program participation (book purchases, child care, etc.). Fellows are required to prepare for and attend all program-related meetings, seminars, readings, workshops, manuscript conferences, and social activities. These activities may be virtual or in-person depending on mentors' and fellows' comfort level and public health guidelines.

All program dates are tentative and subject to change. Orientation for fellows is currently scheduled for September 11, 2021.

If you have questions about eligibility, please call program specialist Marion Gomez at 612-215-2578 or email her at mgomez@loft.org. More information, including answers to frequently asked questions, is available on our website: www.loft.org.

The Loft is unable to answer questions during the week of the deadline, so please contact us in advance of July 2nd. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 9th, at 11:59 p.m.

Judging Process

A panel of preliminary readers composed of recent Mentor Series fellows who are ineligible to apply for the program will review the initial manuscripts received to the competition. From these, they will select 20 finalists in each genre which will be forwarded to the respective mentors for final decisions. The two mentors in each genre will confer and select four winners and two honorable mentions.  


DEADLINE:

  • All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on July 9, 2021. 
  • Winners will be notified by September 3, 2021 by phone. All other applicants will receive an email. Please be certain to include your contact information for summer if it is different from your current address. 


The Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose is made possible through the support of the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Loft Members.

The Loft Literary Center