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    The Frontline Fellowship

    for Chinese Creative Nonfiction

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    Creation is participation

     

     

     

  • The Frontline Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction is designed to benefit nonfiction writers and journalists working in the Chinese language. The fellowship provides up to US$7,000 in funding to help storytellers complete a project of their choice. Recipients benefit throughout their fellowships from mentorship, guidance, workshops, and editorial support. Fellowships culminate in substantial stories then published through the most influential media platforms.

     

    Submissions for the fellowship are accepted on a rolling basis, with at least one selection cycle every six months. To submit for consideration, applicants must have a long-form project — such as a full-length article or book — in progress. Proposed projects must be fully nonfiction in approach, and must rely on in-depth interviews and original research.

     

    Selections for the program are based on the quality and relevance of submitted projects, as well as demonstrated professional experience. The program welcomes applications from academics and non-professional journalists, so long as the proposed project is aimed at the broader public. We encourage applications from journalists and writers from minority backgrounds, particularly for work that challenges readers with a true, contextual understanding of the stories shaping their lives.

  • Winner List for the Third Season

    "AYi AZhi"

    Author: You Fang

    Editor: Xu Xiao

     

    "From Natural Disasters to Man-Made Calamities: A Century of Turmoil in Syria and Turkey"

    Author: Yu Chin-Mei

    Editor: Liu Yi

     

    "The Last Class: Challenge and Survival of Tibetan Language Education in China"

    Author: Zhong Xiao-Xi

    Editor: Xie Ding

     

    "The 'Spring Revolution of Burma' and the Burmese Exile Community on the Thai-Myanmar Border"

    Author: Ban Ge

    Editor: Ku Yu-ling

     

    "Exiled Between Two Lands: A Decade of Mainland-Taiwan Female Labor Migration Through Sham Marriages"

    Author: Lin Chiu-Ming

    Editor:Chuang Jui-Lin

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    Participants

     

    All applicants who write in Chinese, regardless of nationality, profession, or age, are welcome to apply. Please submit a project proposal and a writing sample.

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    Grants

     

    First place: $7,000 USD

     

    Second place: $5,000 USD

     

    Third place: $2,000 USD

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    Mentorship

     

    Fellows will spend 8 to 12 weeks in the fellowship, which includes reporting, writing, workshop attendance, and direct engagement with editors.

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    Apply for the Fellowship

    To apply, please submit a proposal -
    • Up to 2,500 words outlining the topic you want to cover, and why this topic is important, timely, or relevant;
    • Detail the topics, issues, themes, challenges, stakes, or questions your project will cover.
    • Things to consider also include: Why you are the best person to write about this topic, and how you plan to implement the proposal.
    • Describe your relevant experience and/or past works, and tell us why this fellowship is right for you;
    • Include a budget outline for any travel, reporting, and research expenses you may require.
    In addition to your proposal, we require an 800 - 1500 word writing sample.

     

    *Note: The proposed project MUST NOT have received grants or funding from other competitions. This includes but is not limited to: works that have won prizes in other competitions; works that have received creative grants from other organizations; works produced for media organizations under full-time hire; and works that have been contracted to publishers. The fellowship reserves the right to revoke grants and awards in the event of violations.

     

    To find out about what happens after your submission,
    Click on the right
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    After Your Submission

    Applicants will generally hear back within 4 to 6 weeks of submission. The fellowship first reviews all applications for eligibility and sends them to the selection committee. The committee will then select the strongest proposals – usually 8 to 10 – for follow-up interviews.

     

    When interviews are completed, the selection committee reconvenes to select the fellows based on the strength of the project and the available budget. We also provide individual feedback on applications not selected.

     

     

    To find out more about the prizes,
    click on the right
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    Grants and Prizes

    Each season, five fellows are selected based on their proposals and writing samples. The selection process does not involve a ranking. A grant of $1,000 is provided to each fellow to begin their project.
     
    Upon completion of fellows' projects, the fellowship determines the rankings based on their final pieces, with $7,000, $5,000, and $2,000 USD awarded to the first, second, and third places, respectively. Fellows will receive the remaining amounts of the prizes based on their respective positions.
     
  • How do I apply?

    1

    Tell us a bit about yourself

    1. Your name
    2. Your email and other contact information
    3. Any nonfiction publication or relevant experience
    2

    Prepare the Proposal

    We ask for a proposal of up to 2,500 words, outlining the topic, issue, theme and challenge that your project intends to cover.
    3

    Prepare Your Writing Sample

    Please prepare a writing sample related to the topic to give the selection committee an idea of your writing ability and style, and to convey your passion for the chosen topic
    4

    Submit

    Please use this link to submit your application. If you have any questions, please send an email to fellowship@matters.town. We will get back to you within two business days.
  • How are winning entries selected?

    Selection Committee

    There are 32 members on our selection committee. They are prominent nonfiction writers and journalists in the Chinese-speaking world as well as publishers and media personalities.

    Scores and Votes

    Each entry will be assessed, discussed and selected based on theme, creativity, feasibility, and the author's past achievements. The committee will select the strongest proposals for follow-up interviews.

    Interviews

    Online interviews will be scheduled to explore each applicant’s ideas and motivations.

  • Selection Committee Members

    (in alphabetical order by last name/first letter)

    AI Xiaoming
    Annpo
    Breakazine
    CHAN Koonchung
    CHEN Chun
    CHEN Yi-Shan
    CHOY Bao Yuk Ling
    CHUANG Jui-Lin
    FANG Kecheng
    FU Yue
    GAO Ya-Ning
    GU Xiaoqing
    GUO Yujie
    HO Hsin-Chieh
    JIANG Xue
    KU Yu-ling
    KWAN Chun Hoi
    KWAN Tin Lam
    LAM Oiwan
    LEE Haochung
    LEE Koey
    LI Daisy Yuet Wah
    LI Jingrui
    LI Jill
    LIANG Yu-Fang
    LIU Chih-Hsin
    LIU Shao-Hua
    LIU Zichao
    Lo Han
    LO Shuyi
    Michael Berry
    Mimiyana
    NING Hui
    QIAN Jianan
    QIN Liwen
    SO Mei Chi
    TAM Vivian W.W.
    TOH Jin-Xuan
    TONG Christophe Yui
    TU Feng-en
    WANG Jasmine
    WU Qi
    XIE Ding
    XIE Haitao
    XU Xiao
    YAN Fei
    YEUNG Tin Shui
    YANG Xiao
    YANG Yin
    ZHANG Han
    ZHANG Hui-Qin
    ZOU Sicong
  • First Season's Winning Entries

    攝影:曾梓洋

    First Place

    Moving Forward in the Unknown: Connection For MIRROR Fans

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    ZHAO YUN

     
    ( click the photo to see the article )
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    Second Place

    The Last Generation of Female Miners——Zhang Gui's Life Story

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    TAI Po-fen

     
    ( click the photo to see the article )
  • 受訪者米婭與她的AI女友Bertha 圖為記錄片《我的AI戀人》(2021)靜幀 導演已授權

    Third Place

    Their AI Lovers——Real or Just Cyber Love

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    ScarlyZ

     
    ( click the photo to see the article )
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    Third Place

    Taming and Being Tamed: Breeding Tibetan Mastiffs in Lhasa

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    ZHOU Yu-fei

     

    ( click the photo to see the article )

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    Third Place

    After the Smock Clears: The Road from Beirut to Damascus

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    Alicia Chen

     
    ( click the photo to see the article )
  • Second Season's Winning Entries

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    First Place

    Night Master: To be a psychic in the fringe space of modern China

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    HUANG YUQING

     

    ( click the photo to see the article )

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    Second Place

    The Gold Coast: The Hidden Currents of Chinese Grassroots Gold Hunters in West Africa

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    TAN WEI

     

    ( click the photo to see the article )

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    Third Place

    Vet-herders’ One Spring and Fall——Treating Immobile Herd and Mobile Diseases

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    Urihan

     

    ( click the photo to see the article )

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    Third Place

    Chinese e-residents of Estonia: The path to a new identity

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    Urihan

     

    ( click the photo to see the article )

  • About the Frontline Fellowship for Chinese Creative Nonfiction

     

     

     

    The Frontline Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction, jointly funded by Matters and the Renaissance Foundation (RFHK) in 2021, nurtures nonfiction writers working in the Chinese language through grants, one-to-one mentorship, publication assistance, and community workshops. In 2024, this support has been extended to translation with the inauguration of the Non-Fiction Translation Fellowship in collaboration with the Duke Story Lab at Duke University.