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Summer Research Awards and Grants

Summer Research Awards and Grants in English Literature and Creative Writing

Mellon Grants in the Humanities support students who hope to pursue individual projects during the summer months, typically under the direction of a faculty member.  Past recipients  have included creative writers.  The due date for applications is typically a few weeks after the start of the Spring semester. For more information, see Summer Research Opportunities in the Humanities.

The Morrell-Potter Summer Stipend in Creative Writing, sponsored by the Creative Writing Program of the Swarthmore Department of English Literature, supports a writer of exceptional promise during the summer after the junior year.  This prize of $4500, intended to enable a summer's writing project, will be awarded to a student poet or fiction writer of exceptional promise as chosen by the English Literature Department's writing faculty.  More info regarding submissions.

The Friends Historical Library and the Peace Collection hire students during the academic year and over the summer to work on special projects. Pamela Harris reports that they regularly hire a reference intern, extend at least one spring internship for a paid summer project, and sponsor two SPEED interns: More info about the SPEED program.

English Literature students have often found internships at libraries, museums, publishing houses, literary magazines, and small presses during the summer.  Recently, for example, Swarthmore students have served as interns in the American Society of Magazine Editors’ summer immersion program, at the Folger Library in Washington DC, the American Poetry Review, Copper Canyon Press, Graywolf Press, Saturnalia Books, and Tupelo Press. 

Here are some specific internships:

American Society of Magazine Editors 

CartoDB (mapping software, Digital Humanities)

NEH program internships

Folger Shakespeare Library

Library of Congress Junior Fellows

Library of Congress internships

Presidential Libraries

Berkman Klein Center

Berkman Klein Center list of related organizations with internships


DH summer fellowship possibilities:
  • CUNY Digital Humanities
  • Stanford Lit Lab
  • Northeastern DH

Writers’ conferences, workshops, and seminars

Student poets and fiction writers often attend summer writers’ conferences, workshops, and seminars.  Our students have participated in the Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets and recent graduates have attended international poetry conferences in Prague and Canada. A number of Swarthmore fiction writers have attended the Alpha Fantastic Literature Workshop, at the U of Pittsburgh's Greensburg Campus for young writers ages 14-19.  Students might also consider the Odyssey Fantasy Workshop at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, in June; the Clarion Writing Workshop (one at UC San Diego, the other, "West", in Seattle); the Summer Literary Seminars scheduled for Montreal, Lithuania, and Kenya this year; the Baltic Writing Residency; the Home School (formerly the Ashbery Home School; the Iowa Summer Workshops; the New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore; the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont; the Yeats Summer School in Sligo, Ireland; and hundreds of others.  

Some links: 

Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets

Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers

Odyssey Writing Workshop

Clarion Writers' Workshop

Summer Literary Seminars

New York State Summer Writers Institute

Middlebury Bread Loaf Writers' Conference

Yeats International Summer School

Iowa Summer Workshops

The Baltic Writing Residency

Career Services can assist you in finding summer opportunities. Career counselors are available for consultation by appointment, call 610-328- 8352 or come by Parrish 135. Career peer advisors are available to get you started, Monday to Friday, 1 to 4:30, in Parrish 135.

  • Apply early!
  • Don’t apply to only one or two internships
  • Research the organization
  • Write a persuasive cover letter
  • Clean-up and restrict your Facebook account
  • Network with employees when possible
  • Follow-up to express your interest
  • Prepare for a possible interview
  • Rejection is to be expected!