Announcing Rebuild’s 2020 Youth Literary Fellowship

Applications due Sunday, May 10th at 6:00PM CST

The Reading the Black Library Youth Fellowship is a youth-centered writing residency activating the historic Johnson Publishing and Ed J Williams artifacts in the Stony Island Arts Bank’s collections. Four Chicago poets between the ages of 16-24 years will be selected for a summer fellowship. Under the mentorship and guidance of interdisciplinary artist Avery R Young, the fellows will be given access to the collections to research and identify source material from the historic Johnson Publishing Company collection – over 10,000 20th Century books and periodicals centering blackness and black history, and Ed J Williams Collection – over 4,000 objects of “Negrobilia,” including 18th and 19th century abolitionist periodicals and ephemera. Over the course of the summer, the fellows will create new works based on their chosen materials, and workshop them under Avery’s guidance. The fellowship will culminate in public youth-led programs, performances and the release of a chapbook, broadsides, or similar material outcome, designed by the youth fellows, that incorporates their source materials alongside new work.   

This fellowship is open to all Chicago-based youth ages 16-24. The youth fellows will receive a stipend of $500 for their participation. The fellows must be able to travel to the Stony Island Arts Bank multiple times over the course of the fellowship. Young people of all experience levels and abilities are encouraged to submit their work. While this fellowship targets poets, we use that term broadly, and encourage aspiring artists, musicians, and interdisciplinary writers to apply.

This fellowship is made possible with support from Il Humanities.