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Piedmont Laureate Fiction Application Call

The City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County are pleased to announce the opening of the application process for the position of Piedmont Laureate for 2022. Each year the program is open to writers creating work in a particular selected genre (poetry, novels, plays, etc.), and for the 2022 cycle, applications will be accepted from writers of fiction. The selected candidate will focus on elevating fiction in Wake, Durham and Orange counties. The application submission period will begin June 25, 2021 and close on August 25, 2021, 11:59pm.

We hope to elevate explorations of fiction writing across sub-genres and forms. Whereas we have in the past separated fiction genre by application year for speculative, mystery, and “classic” fiction literature, we are this year collapsing such sub-genre lines. Further, we welcome writers of novels, short stories, and flash fiction. We do ask that the fiction writing is created for an adult audience and emphasizes the written form. Note that future Piedmont Laureate specialization years will include playwriting and screenwriting, poetry, and creative nonfiction, and as such we are not accepting submissions this year from these genres.


Piedmont Laureate Program Mission

The Piedmont Laureate program is co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. Its primary goal is to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region. The program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens.

The Piedmont Laureate serves for one year and will offer the following activities in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties:

  • Present readings in a virtual or live environment at designated public sites (libraries, arts centers, schools, universities, and other community gathering places)
  • Encourage creative writing for all age groups (by offering workshops or other types of outreach)
  • Promote literature at select public events in a virtual or live environment
  • Bring attention to literature in less traditional settings
  • Propose original activities to expand appreciation of the literary arts


Piedmont Laureate Position Description

Advocate/Ambassador in Fiction:

  • Acts as the official ambassador/advocate in fiction literature for the sponsoring partners and their respective governing agencies
  • Represents the sponsoring partners at literary events*
  • Works with the sponsoring partners to further the literary arts in the local community as an advocate for fiction.

Recognition as Piedmont Laureate:

  • Receives recognition at various area events* and receives online media coverage related to the Laureate program

Hosts Community Literary Outreach Events:

  • Participates in and/or creates 3 events* for each sponsoring partner for a total of 12 virtual or live events.*
  • Regularly update Piedmont Laureate partners on the progress/status of the programming
  • Update Piedmont Laureate website events list monthly

Online Presence and Promotion:

  • Updates the Piedmont Laureate blog, social media platforms, and website at least once a month following best practices for these platforms. Minimum of 18 blog updates, social media more frequently.

*Note: Event ideas may include formats such as workshops, readings, presentations, book signings, virtual/remote meetings, programs, podcasts, interviews, appearances, outreach, etc. Considering the impact of COVID-19 upon our world, the Laureate Partners anticipate a mixture of in-person and virtual Piedmont Laureate events and will follow the Piedmont Laureate’s lead as to what feels safe and appropriate for event format.

Specific outreach activities for the Piedmont Laureate program, planned in conjunction with the sponsoring agencies, will reflect the program’s stated goals, and may include:

  • Readings and other creative writing activities
  • Participation at select virtual and live functions
  • Online media and virtual appearances
  • Creation of at least one (1) original activity to expand appreciation of literature

The Piedmont Laureate may also offer suggestions for future projects that will inspire public engagement in both real and virtual environments and focus on local support of the literary arts.


Piedmont Laureate Term and Honorarium

  • The Piedmont Laureate appointment is a one‐year term that shall formally commence on January 1, 2022 and conclude on December 31, 2022.
  • The Piedmont Laureate will receive an honorarium of $6,000. The Laureate will be paid $3,000 up front, $2,000 midway through the term, and $1,000 upon completion of all events. This disbursement will be coordinated and processed by United Arts.
  • The candidate will be required to sign a contractual agreement with United Arts to be eligible to receive the honorarium.


Piedmont Laureate Application Selection Process

Candidates will demonstrate:

  • Exemplary writing skill
  • History of publication and/or record of recognition within the field
  • Engagement with literary field and outreach to community
  • Comfort with public presentation and interaction in both virtual and in-person environments
  • Understanding of social media platforms Facebook and Twitter
  • Understanding of cloud platforms for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars
  • Availability and willingness to travel in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties for scheduled readings, workshops, and other public events when it is safe to do so according to federal, state, county, and municipal COVID-19 guidelines.

All submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee of literary community experts appointed by the sponsoring agencies. The selection committee will base its decisions primarily on the following criteria:

  • The applicant’s apparent potential as an ambassador for fiction.
  • The nature of the applicant’s affiliation with the community and support of the program’s mission statement.
  • The unique quality of the applicant’s writing samples.


Applicant Eligibility

The open call is for all writers of fiction residing in Wake, Durham or Orange counties who meet all of the below guideline criteria:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Resident of Wake, Durham, or Orange counties for at least one year
  • Plan on maintaining residency in Wake, Durham, or Orange counties for the duration of their appointment as Laureate


Application Selection Timeline

Application Submission Period

  • Application Period Opens: June 25, 2021
  • Virtual Information Session: July 14, 2021, 2pm
  • Application Submission Deadline: August 25, 2021, 11:59pm

Application Review Period

  • Review Period: September 2021
  • Recommendation by Selection Committee of Genre Specialists (fellow writers, critics, and/or esteemed literary community members): September 2021
  • Interview of Finalists by Piedmont Laureate Partner Representatives: October 2021
  • Selection of 2021 Piedmont Laureate: October 2021
  • Notification of Candidate: October 2021
  • Announcement of 2021 Piedmont Laureate to Public: October / November 2021

Piedmont Laureate Term

  • Piedmont Laureate Appointment Begins: January 1, 2022
  • Piedmont Laureate Appointment Ends: December 31, 2022


Application Requirements

Please upload the following to the online form:

  • Statement of interest (500 words or less): detail how you will contribute as Piedmont Laureate based on the position description and the goals of the program
  • Proposal (500 words or less): detail your ideas for using virtual platforms and in-person experiences to increase awareness and promote the Piedmont Laureate program
  • Work sample (10 to 20 pages of fiction writing):
    • Sample should be double-spaced with author’s name and title of the work noted on the first page
    • Writing should be in English
    • If submitting flash fiction, each piece should be on its own page
    • If submitting an excerpt of a longer work, please include a synopsis
    • Submission may include a mix of forms (e.g. flash, novel excerpt, short story)
  • Resumé: please emphasize literary achievements, literary engagement, and community outreach
  • 2 letters of support
  • Up to 2 critical reviews of work (optional)

The selection committee reserves the right to ask for additional information as needed.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.