Social Justice

Fellowship for Black Women Writers

Deadline to apply is January 6, 2023

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Applications now being accepted for the 2023 "Miss Sarah" Fellowship for Black Women Writers

About The Fellowship:

Purpose: The “Miss Sarah” Fellowship for Black Women Writers aims to provide Black women writers a restful environment conducive to reflection and writing. It also offers uninterrupted time to plant the seed of an idea for a new writing project or to develop or complete a project underway.

For 2023 the Fellowship will focus on the genres of non-fiction, biographies and memoirs.

The selected writer will receive a ten-day residency in July 2023 and can choose whether to stay at Trillium Arts’ rural "Firefly Creek" apartment in Mars Hills, NC or at E. Patrick Johnson and Stephen Lewis’ “Montford Manor” residence near downtown Asheville, NC.

Montford Manor near downtown Asheville, NC

Participants will receive a $1,000 stipend and transportation to and from Asheville, NC. Additional benefits will be custom tailored to the needs of the awardee.

The preferred dates for a “Miss Sarah” Fellowship in 2023 are July 10-20. However, the panel will consider other dates.
Who is eligible?
Black women writers at any stage of their careers are invited to apply. For applicants outside of the United States, please note that travel expenses will only be covered within the United States. International airfare will be at the expense of the applicant. There is no application fee.
The Deadline to apply is Friday, January 6, 2023 at 11:59pm EST. 
The deadline is firm and the submission portal will be closed at the deadline.  Applications will be reviewed by a panel and applicants will be notified by late March, 2023.

How to Apply:
The application can be accessed HERE
f you have questions, please email

About "Miss Sarah"

Sarah M. Johnson was born on July 10, 1931 in Cleveland County, NC. In 1948, she moved to and settled in Hickory, NC, where she believed there would be greater job opportunities. Like many southern Black women of her generation, Sarah made a living as a domestic and factory worker, cleaning the homes of two prominent white families while simultaneously working as an employee of Hickory Springs Manufacturing.

E.Patrick Johnson and Sarah Johnson

A single mother of seven, including Trillium Arts Board member E. Patrick Johnson, whom she raised in a one-bedroom apartment in the Ridgeview community, where the majority of Black folks lived in Hickory, Sarah worked tirelessly to provide for each of her children. People throughout Hickory affectionately called her “Miss Sarah” due to her generous spirit and gifts as an extraordinary baker, and her desserts graced the tables of people far and wide. She rarely met a stranger. She was also well-known for her community activism as a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) - Hickory Branch. Sarah was honored as the Hickory Branch of the NAACP “Mother of the Year” in 1986 and was also crowned North Carolina state “Mother of the Year” in the same year.

What better way to honor "Miss Sarah" than to offer a fellowship that embodies her creativity and commitment to social justice? She passed away on July 17, 2019 at the age of 88.

About Trillium Arts

Enhancing a rich, thriving creative arts community in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, arts professionals Phil Reynolds and Heather Hartley are co-founders of TrilliumArts, a nonprofit residency center that provides regional, national and international artists in various disciplines time and space to create their best new work. As a creative home away from home, Trillium offers programs that foster creativity, generating deeper appreciation for the arts in an ecological environment.

All donations to Trillium Arts are tax deductible. Please consider 
making a donation today!

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Our mailing address is:

Trillium Arts

357 Joe Brown Road

Mars Hill, NC 28754

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