Special Programs

Writing Away the Stigma Fellowship (2016)

A free, six-part workshop and writing fellowship for people who have been affected by mental illness.

Writing Away the Stigma will provide support for 12 individuals to study in Pittsburgh, free of charge, with the founder and editor of Creative Nonfiction magazine, Lee Gutkind. Selected fellows will attend five weekly workshops led by Lee, which will cover the entire writing process. All participants will conceive their stories, learn the creative nonfiction craft, and write first and follow-up drafts. In preparation for a series of public events and readings, a later session will focus on developing skills for reading/performing stories effectively for an audience.

Who Should Apply

Anyone with a true story to tell about the challenges or the satisfactions of confronting mental health problems—whether your own or those of a friend, colleague, or family member.

How to Apply

Upload a one page, single-spaced letter in our Submittable portal describing why you want to tell your story and who you want to reach and impact. Prior publications or experience as a writer are not necessary, but this letter should be concise and to the point and demonstrate your ability to communicate your ideas and purpose clearly.

Deadline for Submissions

Monday, November 30, 2015 (11:59 pm EST)


You must be available to attend workshops in Pittsburgh on the following dates:

  • Sunday, January 24. Please note: this workshop will be free and open to all applicants, not just to the accepted fellows. (afternoon event, tentatively 2 – 6 pm)
  • 4 Monday evening workshops (6 – 9 pm), February 1, 8, 15, 22 (for accepted fellows only)
  • A reading/performance workshop (date TBD–for accepted fellows only)


All fellows should expect to attend and participate in a “graduation” reading, scheduled for the evening of Thursday, May 5, 2016.

There will be three other readings in various locations in early May; ideally, each fellow will be able to participate in at least one of these events.

Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference

Each fellow who successfully completes the series of workshops will receive a scholarship to the 2016 Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference, scheduled for Memorial Day weekend (May 28-29). 


Pittsburgh, PA. Exact locations of individual events TBD.

Funding for the Writing Away the Stigma project was provided by the Fred C. Schatz Fund and the Sarah and Goldie Wolfe Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.

More Information:
About the ProjectApply for the Internship | Project Background