Stegner Fellowship

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The Stegner Fellowship program is a two-year creative writing fellowship at Stanford University. The award is named after American Wallace Stegner (1909—1993), an historian, novelist, short story writer, environmentalist, and Stanford faculty member who founded the university's creative writing program.

Ten fellowships are awarded every year, five in fiction and five in poetry. The recipients do not need a degree to receive the fellowships, though many fellows already hold the terminal MFA degree in creative writing. A workshop-based program, no degree is awarded after the two-year fellowship (prior to 1990, many fellows enrolled in Stanford's now-defunct MA program in creative writing).[citation needed]

Fellows receive a stipend of $26,000 per year, as well as health insurance and their tuition charges to Stanford.[1] Fellows are required to live close enough to Stanford to be able to attend all workshops, as well as other department-related readings and events.


Stegner founded the Stanford creative writing department and fellowship program in 1946. Initial funding was supplied by Dr. E.H. Jones, brother of the chair of the Stanford English Department, Richard Foster Jones. Initially the fellowship was for three writing fellows per year, many of whom were World War II veterans returning home from overseas. In 1973, then-director John L'Heureux expanded the program to include ten fiction writers and ten poets per year.[2]


The current poetry faculty for the program consists of director Eavan Boland, Kenneth Fields, and W. S. Di Piero. The current fiction faculty for the program consists of Elizabeth Tallent and former Stegner Fellow Tobias Wolff.[1] Other notable writers often serve as guest instructors for a quarter as part of other endowed lectureships. Recent visiting writers include Heather McHugh, Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee, Bharati Mukherjee, Robert Pinsky, Colm Toibin, Li-Young Lee and, just before his death in 2004, Thom Gunn.

Notable Stegner Fellows


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Wallace Stegner Fellowship," Stanford University Creative Writing Department website. Accessed Nov. 3, 2012.
  2. "History of the Stanford Creative Writing Program," Stanford University Creative Writing Program. Accessed Nov. 3, 2012.

External links