Frontline Fellowship

    for Chinese Non-Fiction Writing



    In our time, to write is to partake. 




  • The Frontline Fellowship for Chinese Non-Fiction Writing is designed to benefit non-fiction writers and journalists working in the Chinese language. The fellowship provides up to $7,000 in funding to help them complete a project of their choice. Throughout the fellowship, recipients will also benefit from mentorship, guidance, workshop, and editorial support. Fellows' work is expected to culminate in a notable story to be published on Matters' website and editorial partners' platforms.
    The fellowship operates on a rolling calendar, and there is usually one selection cycle every four months. Applicants must be working on a long-form project in order to apply (e.g., an article, or a book), and the project must be wholly nonfiction and rely on in-depth interviews and original research for sourcing.
    Fellows are selected for the program based on the quality, relevance, professional experience, and promise of the applicant’s work. We welcome applications from academics and non-professional journalists insofar as the intended audience of the project is the general public. We encourage applicants from minority backgrounds to apply, especially those who are willing to empower readers with a sense of true, contextual understanding of stories shaping their lives.
  • 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.



    First place: $7,000 USD


    Second place: $5,000 USD


    Third place: $2,000 USD



    Fellows will spend 8 to 12 weeks in the fellowship, reporting, writing, attending workshops and working with editors.

  • 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 that 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*: Grants from other competitions or funding from other organizations must NOT have been received for the proposal. The proposal CANNOT be produced by any full-time employee of a media organization. The fellowship reserves the right to revoke grants and awards in the event of a violation.
    To find out about what happens after your submission,
    Click on the right

    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 an interview.
    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

    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 $2,500 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?


    Tell us a little about yourself

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

    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.

    Prepare the 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


    If you have any questions, please send an email to fellowship@matters.news. 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 an interview.


    In order to further explore applicants' ideas and motivations, an online interview will be scheduled.
  • Selection Committee Members

    (in alphabetical order by last name/first letter)

    AI Xiaoming
    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
    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


    First Place

    Moving Forward in the Unknown: Connection For MIRROR Fans



    ( click the photo to see the article )
  • Second Place

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


    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



    ( click the photo to see the article )
  • Third Place

    Taming and Being Tamed: Breeding Tibetan Mastiffs in Lhasa


    ZHOU Yu-fei


    ( click the photo to see the article )

  • Third Place

    After the Smock Clears: The Road from Beirut to Damascus


    Alicia Chen

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

    First Place

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




    ( click the photo to see the article )

  • Second Place

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




    ( click the photo to see the article )

  • Third Place

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




    ( click the photo to see the article )

  • Third Place

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




    ( click the photo to see the article )

  • About the Frontline Fellowship for Chinese Non-Fiction Writing



    The Frontline Fellowship for Chinese Non-Fiction Writing is jointly funded by Matters and the Renaissance Foundation (RFHK). In addition to nurturing and supporting nonfiction writing in the Chinese language world, it provides journalism with a way to cover complex crises that is accessible and engaging without compromising their complexity. The fellowship is open to people of all nationalities, geographic locations, and backgrounds.​


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