How it Works:
- BookEnds offers training in a unique revision process, community-based and rooted
in critical-response workshop methods, with emphasis on the diversification of literary
voices—in other words, helping the novelist realize the best version of their work.
A BookEnds fellow learns how to revise and edit using a combination of interrogatory
techniques designed to help dissect a manuscript’s structure in search of opportunities
and weaknesses, as well as to track the way character arcs unfold individually and
- In a given year there are four “pods” of BookEnds fellows, each composed of three
carefully-matched students. Students are accepted in groups of three, so a BookEnds
offer means that you have already been matched in a pod grouping. Commitment to this
pod group, and the three manuscripts your pod will share, is essential to the success
of the BookEnds year.
- Mentors are assigned in December of the fellowship year. Work with a mentor is the
primary focus of the second half of the BookEnds program. The mentorship relationship
with an established author takes place alongside continued pod activities and activities
shared by the entire fellowship.
- At the end of the BookEnds year, fellows return to campus for a public reading and
graduation dinner; an hourlong one-on-one meeting with a seasoned literary agent
who will have already read their work; and an alumni retreat featuring a guest author
who gives a craft talk and facilitates group discussion of writing and publishing
life. We want to stress that the agent meeting is neither a pitch session nor a guaranteed
step toward agent representation; rather, it is a valuable opportunity to have an
industry expert offer an opinion about a manuscript in terms of its potential in the
marketplace, and provide advice about revisions that might still be in order.
- While our program focuses on helping participants finish or polish their novels by
the end of the year, every successful writer knows that each novel has its own path
to completion, and that sometimes those paths take surprising turns that require more
time. At BookEnds we provide you with the tools and support to do the deepest level
of revisions you are capable of tackling. In any case, your book—and, in many ways,
we hope, you—will be transformed by the BookEnds year. Our vibrant alumni group offers ongoing
support for revision, querying, publication, and beyond, with an active Slack worksite,
virtual writing sessions, and check-in meetings with program directors. The BookEnds
Alumni Visiting Writers Series includes guests such as Matt Bell, Melissa Chadburn,
Peter Ho Davies, Lucy Ives, Rebecca Makkai, Courtney Maum, Alice McDermott, and Jim
2023-2024 is our seventh fellowship year! Recent and upcoming publishing highlights include:
Year Two alumni Caitlin Mullen's Please See Us was selected as one of the New York Times’ top ten crime novels for the year and winner of the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel. Several BookEnds fellows' novels have been published in 2022: Alison Fairbrother's The Catch (Random House), a New York Times Editors' Choice; Sue Mell's contest-winning Provenance (Madville), Coco Picard's contest-winning The Healing Circle (Red Hen). In 2023, Daisy Alpert Florin's My Last Innocent Year (Holt) was the subject of the New York Times Group Text as well as a a New York Times Editors' Choicem while Vanessa Cuti’s The Tip Line (Crooked Lane) was a new York Public Library Summer 2023 Staff Pick. Forthcoming BookEnds novels include Nora Decter's What's Not Mine (ECW Press, April 2024), Joselyn Takacs’ Pearce Oysters (Zibby Owens, 2024), and Giano Cromley's American Mythology (Anchor, 2025). We look forward to sharing more such news in the near future!