New Hidden Figures Fellowship Replaces Mayborn/BIO Fellowship
James McGrath Morris, the driving force behind the Mayborn/BIO Fellowship, is helping to launch a new fellowship program to assist aspiring authors working on a book about a lesser-known figure who merits a biography. The Santa Fe Hidden Figures Fellowship will provide a grant of $1,000, a two-week stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in a casita at the historic Acequia Madre House in cooperation with the Women’s International Studies Center (WISC), dinner five nights a week in the Morris home, a public reading, and a meeting with a literary agent.
Fellows will also have time for consultation with Morris on research and writing techniques suitable for a book on a hidden figure. Morris is the author of, among other books, The New York Times bestselling Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, The First Lady of the Black Press, which was awarded the Benjamin Hooks National Book Prize, given annually for the best book on civil rights history.
The fellowship evolved from the Mayborn/BIO Biography Fellowship, which for the last nine years has provided a creative residency to biographers. “We felt it had run its course and there was a greater need for a different fellowship program,” Morris said. “When I accepted the BIO Award in 2019, I said that BIO needs to find the way to support and foster works by those whose actions—rather than their fame—merit a biography. This new fellowship is an attempt to put that idea into action.”
The fellowship is open to women writing about a hidden figure or to men writing about a female hidden figure. The selection will be made by a panel that will include a former Mayborn/BIO Fellowship recipient. Details on the application process will become available in late May.