There are a few changes in the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program for the coming year (Sept. 2021 through August 2022). The changes will include the length of the residency and the amount of the stipend. All the other information on our website, including the criteria for applicants, will remain the same. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. Additional information on 21-22 applications will be posted soon.
Sponsored by the Graduate School at The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, the Dobie Paisano Fellowship Program provides writers solitude, time, and a comfortable place to work. The retreat is on a 250-acre ranch about twenty minutes west of Austin. Here J. Frank Dobie's ranch house sits below a wall of cliffs and near a clear, beautiful creek. The house is fully furnished with modern conveniences. Utilities, the internet, and phone service are provided, though the fellow must pay for long distance telephone service, and the internet service can, at times, be ornery.
There are two distinct fellowships aimed at native Texans or writers who have written importantly about Texas. The fellowships are available to writers in any genre, especially poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, though non-fiction should be written for the general audience. The length of residency may change for maintenance or program needs.
The Jesse H. Jones Writing Fellowship will be aimed at, though certainly not limited to, writers who are early in their careers and who would benefit from an extended period at the ranch. Demonstration of prior publishing and critical success is not expected, though, as in the past, many applicants will indeed have such a record. Any writer at any level of success (including those with strong publishing records) is eligible for the Jesse Jones Fellowship. Of course, the writer's suitability for ranch life is always taken into account. This coming year, the residency will be from January 7, 2021 - April 30th, 2021 with a $4500 per month stipend.
The Ralph A. Johnston Memorial Fellowship is aimed at writers who have already demonstrated some publishing and critical success. This may or may not be writers a little later along in their literary careers. The definition of "publishing and critical success" will be determined by the judges each year, but, in general, we would expect at least one critically well-received book, or an impressive list of published essays, articles, poems, stories, etc. The decision of the judges will be based on the quality of the writer's past work and the potential for future excellence. Of course, the writer's suitability for ranch life is always taken into account. This coming year, the residency will be from September 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020 with a $6000 per month stipend.
At the time of application, the applicant must meet one of the following requirements: (1) be a native Texan, (2) have resided in Texas at least three years at some time, or (3) have published significant work with a Texas subject.
Applications will open December 1 on Submittable. Entries for fellowships for 2020 - 2021 must be submitted on or before January 15, 2020.
The application fee is $20.00 for one fellowship, $30.00 for both. Application fees are non-refundable.
Applications will be accepted online through Submittable.
You will need to create a free Submittable account in order to submit to these forms. Here is a quick guide on how to get started: https://submittable.help/submitters/making-new-submissions/how-do-i-submit
The Submittable password requires 8 or more characters, and must contain two of the following: upper case letter, symbol, or number.
You can save a draft of your work if you would like to finish filling out the form at a later date.
We will follow-up with you about your submission by email. Please be sure the email address you used to sign up for your Submittable Account is one that you check regularly.
Please reach out to Submittable's Customer Support team with any technical questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
The application process asks for the following things. A writing sample that best helps us evaluate the quality of your writing and the kind or kinds of things you write about. A clear and concise description of what you plan to work on during your residency. Please include a rough idea of where you are on this project—just the thinking stage? a completed first draft?, etc. A brief statement on your suitability for ranch life. Please limit writing samples to no more than 50 manuscript pages. Supporting work, including published work, is permitted but is included in the 50-page limit. The writing sample should reflect your best work and be indicative of the type of writing you would pursue at Paisano. [NOTE: Supporting work is permitted but is included in the 50-page limit. Judges will read only the first 50 pages submitted.
Judges for the competition are members of the Texas Institute of Letters and/or former fellows. We do not release the names of the judges. There will be different judging panels for each fellowship.
Personal recommendations are not requested and are not included in applicant files.
Announcement of Winners
Winners are announced in early May. Applicants are notified of the results via email as soon as possible. Applicants do not receive any critique of their entries.
Austin and Austin-area Applicants
The purpose of a Dobie Paisano fellowship is to provide solitude and financial support for a committed writer. The fellowship requires full-time residency at the ranch. It cannot be used as a part-time work site or as a temporary retreat. If you live in Austin or the Austin area, it would be useful to the judges to read of your commitment to this requirement. You can address this commitment on the application form under: "Why do you feel that you would be a suitable Paisano fellow?"