Seeking journalists, creative writers, and poets to develop stories and reporting projects related to climate change and migration
Application Deadline: August 15, 2016

http://www.culturestrike.org/release/request-applications-culturestrike-climate-and-environmental-justice-literary-fellowship

CultureStrike is a migrant-led organization that works with a national network of artists to change public sentiment around migration including climate change and forced displacement. We believe that art is critical to changing national consciousness and dominant narratives around migrants rights and environmental justice. Since our founding in 2011, we have connected a national network of 200+ socially engaged artists, provided space and funding for professional and creative development for emerging and established artists, developed shared strategy with grassroots movement groups, and spearheaded dozens of social justice campaigns that have resonated in the policy arena, pop culture programming, and social media. We support the creation and distribution of cultural products that bear witness to inequality, celebrate survival, and offer visionary counter-narratives. As we grow we continue to develop new projects that amplify our cultural strategy and inspire new artists and audiences with visions of social justice that inspire political will for change.

Our literary branch, CultureStrike Magazine, is announcing our first Climate Justice Literary Fellowship in the Summer/fFall of 2016 for creative literary works based on the theme of climate change and migration. We are seeking journalists, nonfiction writers, and poets to develop stories and reporting projects related to climate change, environmental justice, and the social and cultural questions surrounding migration and human movement. We seek writers from across the country, in every region, representing diverse communities, with an eye toward exploring regional and local experiences of global warming – including its root causes, environmental consequences on the social and cultural landscape, resilience of indigenous communities and communities of color and potential solutions.

We are offering two fellowships of $1000 – $2000 each for a literary project to be completed by December 28,  2016. Additionally, each fellow will receive up to $1500 towards related project expenses, including domestic travel.

WHAT We Are Looking For: Powerful narratives, investigative dives, and reporters rooted in communities most impacted by the social transformations this fellowship seeks to chronicle. We want to illuminate climate change as a global issue by focusing on the local impact on – and responses by – specific communities, particularly people and cultures that are not regularly reported on in the mainstream media.

We are interested in questions of displacement, conflict, social integration and social and economic disruptions or challenges induced by global warming, rising sea levels, resultant urbanization, and the cultural effects of rising global temperatures – as well as solutions and mitigation efforts grounded in these communities.  This can involve issues of pollution, natural disaster, energy production, and public health as well. We also want to highlight local stories of people taking action to effect change through political action.

WHO Are We Looking For: Writers who can speak broadly on climate change from unique perspectives, preferably from outside the mainstream. Writers of color, LGBTQ, all gender, cultural and immigrant backgrounds, women, young people, emerging writers all welcome to apply. Writers need not come from the communities or movements that they are reporting on, but we do hope to cultivate writers who have a personal connection or stake in the subject.

We are offering fellowships to two individuals in either of these two genres:

Creative fiction or poetry: to produce works of fiction and poetry, or creative works in related genres, that deal with timely migration and environment-related topics in a creative way.

Journalism or narrative nonfiction: to produce longform narrative journalism in the form of a series of investigative articles, a long investigative narrative, or a related form of storytelling. Priority given to stories with a compelling narrative and news value, as well as stories that make creative use of multimedia or technology components.

Publishing: We will provide editorial support and publish both on CultureStrike’s Online Magazine and whenever possible, help place the story in other publications.

Timeline: The estimated timetable for the reporting or writing project should end no later than December 28, 2016. Projects should commence at the time the awards are announced, around  October 1, 2016.

To Apply:

Please write a proposal for a writing project–poetry or nonfiction narrative journalism–involving critical questions surrounding the relationship between migration and climate change and the impact of ecological transformations wrought by climate change on frontline communities.

Please note that for the purposes of our programmatic focus, the project should focus on climate change as it affects US communities. But the fellowship could allow for some travel outside the US as part of an overall reporting project. All applicants should be primarily based in the US for the duration of the fellowship.

Your proposal should include

  1. A plan that details how you would shape a narrative around specific projects or initiatives that a community has developed, with both immediate and long-term impacts on the environment, whether in terms of changing policy or creating some alternative method of resolving an environmental issue.  (not to exceed 1 page)
  2. A statement  detailing your personal and professional reasons for seeking this fellowship (not to exceed 1 page)
  3. An anticipated timeline for activities to complete the project
  4. Anticipated expenses filled out in this template (please note: this will be a preliminary estimate to be negotiated with CultureStrike. We will strive to fund all related program costs up to $1500. Please disclose any other funding sources that may be pending).

Supporting Documentation

  • Please also submit 2-3 clips of previous work and a description of your past experience working with climate-related or migration-related issues. (not to exceed 8 pages of text total)
  • A Resume providing background on your past writing experience, whether in poetry and fiction, or journalism outlets.
What are eligible project costs?
The fellowship offers funding to cover travel, lodging and reporting-related expenses for up to a two-month assignment. Air travel, hotel, meals up to $65 per day, ground transportation, writing materials, reference books, short-term internet-usage reimbursements. Resources available only for domestic travel.

Application Checklist:

  1. Proposal (2-3 pages)

  2. Budget and funding request based on this template.

  3. Clips (2-3 pieces)

  4. Resume

Deadline: August 15
Send to: michelle[at]culturestrike[dot]org
Response date: September 15, with a project deadline of roughly December 28.
Note: this fellowship is not available to current CultureStrike contractors or staff, immediate relatives of staff, others who are currently receiving funding through a CultureStrike program.
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