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Announcing the 2019 Eliza So Fellowship


Submittable is delighted to announce its third annual Eliza So Fellowship. In 2019, Submittable will offer two month-long residencies in Missoula, Montana, affording time and solitude to writers finishing a book-length project.

Our inaugural fellow in 2017 was Melissa Sipin; in 2018, fellowships were awarded to Paul Tran and Sheree Winslow.

The 2019 fellowships will include lodging in Missoula, along with a $500 food stipend and $400 toward travel. Fellows will stay in a private house on the Clark Fork river trail, just blocks from downtown, grocery shopping, the farmers market, parks, restaurants, coffee shops, and more.

We’re pleased to offer two residencies (one in August and one in September), awarded in the following categories:

  • The Eliza So Fellowship for Immigrant Writers
  • The Eliza So Fellowship for Native American Writers


author photoThe final judge for the Fellowship for Immigrant Writers will be Marcelo Hernandez CastilloMarcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, and translator. He is the author of Cenzontle, chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. prize (BOA editions 2018). His first chapbook, DULCE, was the winner of the Drinking Gourd Prize published by Northwestern University Press. His memoir, Children of the Land is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020. He was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. He holds a B.A. from Sacramento State University and was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. He co-founded the Undocupoets campaign, which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” award. His work has appeared or is featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, People Magazine, PBS Newshour, Fusion TV, New England Review, Gulf Coast, Buzzfeed, Indiana Review, and Southern Humanities Review, among others. He lives in Marysville, California, where he teaches poetry to incarcerated youth and also teaches at the Ashland University low-residency MFA program.


author photoThe final judge for the Fellowship for Native American Writers will be Joan Naviyuk Kane. Joan Naviyuk Kane is Inupiaq with family from King Island and Mary’s Igloo, Alaska. She was raised in and attended public school in Anchorage, where she currently raises her sons as a single mother. Kane graduated with honors from Harvard College, where she was a Harvard National Scholar, and from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she matriculated in September 2001 as the recipient of a graduate Writing Fellowship. Her prose and poetry books include The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife (2009), Hyperboreal (2013), The Straits (2015), Milk Black Carbon (2017), A Few Lines in the Manifest (2018), Sublingual (2018), and Another Bright Departure (forthcoming 2019). She is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry and teaches in the low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Applications for the 2019 Eliza So Fellowship open January 15, 2019, at the following link: https://fellowship.submittable.com/submit



1) You have a novel, collection of stories, memoir, or other prose work (fiction, nonfiction, or hybrid) in progress (100 pages minimum) or poetry collection in progress (30 pages minimum)  

2) You are either:

  • a US immigrant writer (documented or undocumented),
  • a Native American writer

3) You are available during one or both of the following periods:

  • August 3 – August 30, 2019
  • September 1 – September 29, 2019.


Fellows will be asked to give a public reading in Missoula and write a blog post of at least 1,000 words for Submittable during their residency.

If fellows are interested in doing a Brown Bag lunchtime presentation for staff at Submittable’s Missoula headquarters during their stay—on their book project, craft, or any literary topic that interests them—we would be delighted. However, a Brown Bag presentation is not required.


This fellowship was named in honor of Eliza So, the mother of Submittable’s Head of People Asta So. Eliza immigrated to the US from Hong Kong in 1982, with her husband and two daughters. She worked in administrative and housekeeping jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. At age 58, she began showing signs of dementia, and she was diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s in 2012. She is one of the kindest, warmest, and most hard-working people you could meet, and we pay tribute to her life and legacy with this opportunity.


We look forward to receiving and reviewing your applications. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch anytime with questions about the fellowship.

Rachel Mindell

Rachel Mindell is Senior Editor for Submittable's Marketing Team. She also writes and teaches poetry. You can find Rachel's creative work here: rachelmindell.com