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About the Award

Established in 2016 and first awarded in 2017, the Steven Petrow LGBTQ+ Fellowship is open to writers in any genre who self-identify as LGBTQ+. This juried fellowship is awarded on a competitive basis, and the selection is made based on the quality of the submitted work. The Petrow Fellowship provides a fully-funded, two-week residency at Mt. San Angelo, which includes a private bedroom with private bath, a separate individual studio, and three meals a day in a community of cross-disciplinary artists.

Applications Details

Eligibility: Writers in any genre who self-identify as LGBTQ+

Residencies Available: September 1 – December 31, 2023
Length of Fellowship: Two weeks

Application Opens: October 1, 2022
Application Deadline: January 15, 2023
Application Fee*: $30
Notification by: April 30, 2023

* If the application fee presents a hardship, applicants should reach out to Artists Services at to request an application fee waiver.

About Steven Petrow

Steven Petrow is an award-winning journalist and book author who is best known for his Washington Post and New York Times essays on aging, health, and civility. He’s the author of multiple books, including Stupid Things I Won’t Do When I Get Old and Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners. His 2019 TED Talk (“3 Ways to Practice Civility”) has more than 1.6 million views. Steven’s work has been published in TimeThe Atlantic, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. Much of his work over the past decade has taken place at VCCA; he is grateful for the time, space, and magic at Mt. San Angelo and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors. Previously, Steven was the president of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. He lives in Hillsborough, N.C.

Carter Sickels, 2021 Petrow Fellow

Author headshotCarter Sickels is the author of the novel The Prettiest Star (Hub City Press), a Kirkus Best Book of 2020, Finalist for the Southern Book Prize, and a Best LGBT Book of 2020 by O Magazine. His debut novel The Evening Hour (Bloomsbury) was a 2013 Oregon Book Award finalist, a Triangle Publishing Award finalist, and a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and was adapted into a feature film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020. His writing appears in various publications, including The Atlantic, Oxford American, Poets & Writers, BuzzFeed, Guernica, Joyland, and Catapult. Carter has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, MacDowell, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

While in residence at VCCA, Carter generously participated in a VCCA Fireplace Series event streamed live from the library of the Fellows Residence at Mt. San Angelo. You can watch a recording of the event below. VCCA Fellows Council member Iraj Isaac Rahmim hosted the evening which also featured a reading by Steven Petrow.

Previous Petrow Fellows

2019: Daniel Handal, visual artist
2018: Lydia Conklin, writer
2017: Cris Beam, writer

Inaugural Steven Petrow LGBTQ Fellow Cris Beam