A non-profit 501(c)(3) independent organization since 1991, Friends of Writers provides scholarships to MFA students and fellowships to MFA grads.
Friends of Writers carries a legacy of generosity. FOW began in 1991 by the founder of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and two alumni – Joan Aleshire and Martha Rhodes. They sought to create a supportive nonprofit organization to assist adult writers financially, through readings, scholarships and shared resources.
From July 2009 onwards, FOW has provided more than three hundred scholarships and internships, estimated at $735,000, to students and alumni of the MFA program. We continue to support writers in need today. In addition, FOW provides scholarships and financial support to an annual conference of alumni. FOW has supported the production of five writing anthologies, whose editors and contributors donated 100% of each book’s advances and royalties to FOW scholarships. We also created a digitized anthology of lectures and readings from 1988 onwards, making the Program for Writers collection of craft lectures available to writers world over for a small fee. With the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, we also make emergency grants to assist students and alumni navigate unforeseen circumstances.
Co-Founder and Board Member Martha Rhodes remarked, “Generosity has been the driving force of Friends of Writers and the reason why I will always work for and support this organization…We are a small but mighty force, determined to reach out to our dynamic community of writers and hold on fast. This determination has never waned and Friends of Writers continues, to this day, to make life as a writer possible for so many.”