What is the deadline?
Applications open September 15, 2023 and close November 1, 2023. You can preview the entire application here.

Is there an application fee?

I haven’t published a book. Am I eligible for the fellowship?
While this fellowship is for emerging and early-career writers, candidates must have published at least one book by a trade or literary press to be eligible. Authors with only self-published books are not eligible for consideration.

My first book won’t be out before the application deadline, but I will have bound galleys. Can I apply?
Yes. You are welcome to apply, or you can defer your application to the following year. 

What specific materials do I submit for the fellowship application?
See our application guidelines here.

Where do I send my application?
Apply through Submittable.

What if I have other questions?
Please email blackmountaininstitute@unlv.edu with any questions.

When will I hear back?
Applicants will be notified in early 2024 if their application has made it to the finalist stage. Shearing Fellows will be selected no later than April 2024.

Who reviews these applications?
Candidate selection will be made by a committee of staff and community stakeholders.

What are the fellowship dates?
As of the 2024-25 Fellowship cycle,  BMI will select two fellows for the same, nine-month term, which will last the length of the UNLV academic calendar (approximately late August 2024 through mid-May 2025).

How much time am I expected to spend in Las Vegas?
Fellows are expected to be in Las Vegas for the full term of their fellowships, but BMI expects they may have commitments to short-term travel during the fellowship. BMI also offers little to no programming during UNLV’s winter break, which is generally from mid-December through early January.

Does the fellowship include housing?
Yes, BMI fellows are provided housing, adjacent to other artists, in downtown Las Vegas. Fellows cover their own electricity and internet.

What is the financial compensation for this fellowship?
Fellows will receive $40,000, paid through part-time employment through the academic year (“letter of appointment”). Fellows are paid on the first of each month (partial months of services are prorated accordingly). Note: all UNLV employees, including BMI’s visiting fellows, are subject to mandatory retirement withholdings (You can learn more about UNLV’s FICA Alternative Plan here).

What does the “working fellowship” entail?
BMI’s visiting fellows are asked to maintain regular office hours (no fewer than 10 hours per week). In addition, fellows are asked to fulfill BMI’s service requirements; these community engagement responsibilities are flexible and custom-tailored to fellows’ particular interests and projects. You should plan to propose ideas for community engagement in your application; it is an important part of how your application will be evaluated.

Is health insurance included?
Under the fellowship, fellows are eligible for health coverage (learn more about UNLV’s plan options and rates here). Health coverage begins on the first day of the month concurrent with, or following, the commencement of the fellowship and ends the last day of the month during which the fellowship ends (To illustrate: If a fellow elected to receive health coverage during their BMI fellowship and, if their residency ran from 8/26/24 – 05/17/25, they would receive health coverage from 9/1/24 – 05/31/25).

In addition, the UNLV health center has a drop-in clinic and pharmacy, where fellows—regardless of their insurance status—can see a nurse practitioner or a physician.

Do I need a car in Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is not an easily walkable city, particularly in summer and fall months when temperatures are high. We strongly encourage bringing a vehicle if you have one. Rideshares (Lyft and Uber), bike share, and public transportation are also available.

What is it like to live in Las Vegas?
There is so much to Las Vegas beyond the Strip. You can listen to the free CityCast Las Vegas podcast, follow sites like TheList.Vegas, and check out programming at The Writer’s Block and The Beverly Theater for more. There are amazing opportunities to hike, both within 30 minutes of downtown and also a day-trip away. There are cultural resources like the Neon Museum and Springs Preserve, and a robust public library system, in addition to the galleries, museums, and libraries on the UNLV campus. We encourage you to learn about our unique city as you consider applying to the Shearing Fellowship.