Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

UPDATE: Announcing the Humanities Tennessee Fellowship in Criticism

Award for writers from marginalized communities names first recipient


January 3, 2023: We’re pleased to announce that Kashif Andrew Graham has been awarded the Humanities Tennessee Fellowship in Criticism for 2023.

A freelance writer and librarian, Kashif is a frequent contributor to Nashville Scene, Chapter 16, Theological Librarianship, and other literary outlets. He has also appeared on C-SPAN, Queerology, and WPLN’s This is Nashville. Kashif can often be found bridging the arts and entertainment by introducing films and plays and hosting panel discussions. He is currently at work on a novel about an interracial gay couple living in East Tennessee. 

We offer our congratulations to Kashif and our heartfelt thanks to all the writers who applied for the fellowship. We’re honored that so many talented folks were interested in working with Humanities Tennessee and Chapter 16. We wish them all the best. 



[This post originally appeared on November 7, 2022.]

At Humanities Tennessee, we recognize the crucial importance of including a broad range of voices and perspectives in our cultural discourse. With that in mind, we’re delighted to announce the Humanities Tennessee Fellowship in Criticism at Chapter 16. This fellowship will provide professional opportunities, mentoring, and support for an emerging writer from a marginalized community who is interested in writing criticism and journalism about the world of books and publishing.

The six-month fellowship, to begin in early 2023, includes a $1000 monthly stipend and the opportunity to write 1-2 assigned pieces per month for publication at Chapter 16, paid at the site’s standard freelance rates. Applicants should be 21 or older and reside in Tennessee. Individuals who received their education in Tennessee or spent their formative years here will also be considered.

The ideal applicant has strong writing skills and a keen interest in literature, preferably across a wide range of genres. Experience with writing for publication is preferred but not required. The goal of the fellowship is to provide training, guidance, and support to a writer who’s interested in pursuing criticism and literary journalism at a professional level. In addition to opportunities to contribute to Chapter 16, the fellow will meet regularly with the site’s editor for informal discussion about building a writing career.

All the work of the fellowship will be done remotely, so reliable internet access is a must for all applicants.

Interested writers should provide the following:

~A brief statement of no more than 250 words describing your connection to Tennessee and your interest in criticism and culture writing. Please share a few personal details about yourself and provide relevant publication credits if you have them.

~One writing sample of 700-2000 words. A book review is ideal, but critical writing about other topics (music, art, film, food) will also be considered. Please do not submit fiction, poetry, or personal essays.

A published or unpublished sample review is acceptable. If the published work is available online, a link will be sufficient. Otherwise, paste both your personal statement and your sample review, along with your full name and phone number, into the body of an email and send it to

Applications must be received by midnight on December 11, 2022.

UPDATE: Announcing the Humanities Tennessee Fellowship in Criticism

Humanities Tennessee is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Founded in 1973, we continue to develop ways to connect, learn, and grow as a community.