Who can apply for a fellowship?
The Alicia Patterson fellowships are open only to U.S. citizens who are fulltime print journalists, or to non-U.S. citizens who work fulltime for U.S. print publications, either in America or abroad. Freelancers are welcome to apply. All applicants, including those being considered for the new Cissy Patterson fellowship for environmental or science topics, should complete the Alicia Patterson Foundation application. The aim of the trustees who established the foundation was to improve the quality of U.S. print journalism. Foreign journalists seeking fellowship help may want to consult the annual list of contest and awards compiled by Editor and Publisher magazine in New York City. That issue is published the last week of December each year and can often be found in business libraries. The magazine sells individual copies of the issue for $6 on-line.
Cissy Patterson Fellowship for Science and Environmental Writers
Beginning with the 2016 fellowship class, an additional fellow specializing in either science or environmental journalism will be added. This fellow will be designated as a Cissy Patterson fellow, in honor of Alicia’s aunt, the publisher Cissy Patterson.
No special application is needed. All fellows apply for the Alicia Patterson fellowship and applications that deal with science or the environment will be considered for this additional fellowship. Science and environmental topics will continue to be awarded Alicia Patterson fellowships.
A complete, typed statement not to exceed three (3) single-spaced pages, on how you would use an Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship, and why. A brief summary of the four articles you will be required to write as an APF fellow should be included as part of your statement. Each candidate may submit only one proposal. Two applicants may collaborate on one proposal, for example, a writer and a photographer.
Submitting work samples
Reporters and Writers
1. Please submit three copies of three articles with publication date and place noted. To fit into the judges’ packets, they must be kept to 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Either reduce longer articles by copy machine reduction or cut and paste articles on several 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of white paper. Reprints from databases are fine.
2. Number multiple pages of any article. Please don’t use staples or fancy folders because we need to duplicate your material for the judges. You may submit originals or clear photocopies. Please don’t send books or chapters of books.
3. Each part of series counts as one article, so it may be wise to choose only one part of a series and submit two other, unrelated articles in order to show diversity of topics.
4. Please do not submit any more than three articles. The judges will see only three and we’d rather you make the selection. The content of the articles, rather than date or place or publication, is most important.
Please send three copies of four samples of work you have edited, using the guidelines above. Attach a statement regarding your contribution to the finished product. If you also write, you may substitute two of your own articles in the four sample total.
Please submit one set of 8 to 12 samples. These can be published photographs or unmounted prints. No slides please. Samples cannot exceed 12 x 14 inches.
Please make sure the text from your printer is dark enough to generate readable pages when photocopied. Fancy presentation (folders, binding, plastic sheaths for articles, even paper clips) make our work harder. Also, fax copies do not reproduce well. Please don’t wait until the last day because we cannot use fax transmissions.
Please write atop the application form whether you are applying for a 12 or 6 month fellowships. Note: judges on rare occasion have awarded a six month fellowship for an applicant requesting a 12-month grant.
Remember, all applicants must submit application, clips, essays and budget in triplicate, in three separate packets. Photographers submit only one set of their prints. Please arrange your materials in three identical groupings, i.e. each group includes one autobiography, one budget, and one set of clips or work samples.
Have two (2) persons who are familiar with your work and your proposal submit a letter of recommendation directly to the Foundation by October 1. There is no set template for the letters; please ask recommenders to write about your talents, ability to overcome obstacles, etc. Please list the names and addresses of your references on the application form.
A typed statement, not to exceed two (2) single spaced pages, to include reasons for going into journalism, journalistic experience, and future plans.
A detailed, typed budget statement, not to exceed one (1) page, to include two categories.
Projected fellowship Costs: Travel, books, short-term housing, etc.
Personal Maintenance: An estimate of living expenses for one year for yourself and your family (if any).
Where possible, list known costs; where not, estimate. Subtotal each category, then total both. At the bottom of your budget page, please indicate what funds, if any, would be available from other sources in support of your proposal fellowship year.
Application Hints and Advice
The foundation does not match salaries. The fellowship stipend is $40,000 for twelve months and $20,000 for six months and must cover your travel and research costs. You also must pay taxes on this income, which most fellows do by submitting quarterly payments to the IRS, as many freelancers do.
We ask that you submit a budget to see how you would accomplish your proposal. Although our project and living expenses may add up to more than the stipend, the Foundation only can provide either $20,000 or $40,000 to each fellow. If you are employed, it is customary for news organization to make up the difference between the stipend and your salary. Many newsrooms require applicants so seek approval of a leave before applying in order to receive the paper or magazine’s financial support. Please check with your newsroom managers first. However, your employer’s ability or willingness to give you support does not affect the selection process.
You will be notified during mid-November if you have been selected as a semi-finalist. Winners will be chosen during the first week of December. There usually are 5 to 7 fellows each year. Winners are expected to begin their fellowships within the first three months of the calendar year.