Writing Our Lives

Writing Our Lives provides Syracuse area youth with creative opportunities to write, create, produce and share their stories. The program takes multiple formats, including after-school writing programs, summer writing institutes, book clubs, digital composing programs, theatrical performances and an annual youth writing conference.

Professor Marcelle Haddix also engages faculty and staff from across the School of Education and Syracuse University to present and facilitate workshops, as well as both undergraduate and graduate students.

For more information contact:

Marcelle Haddix, Chair of Reading and Language Arts; Dean's Professor|315.443.7642
Marcelle Haddix

Writing Our Lives Literacy Arts Fellowship

The Writing Our Lives Literary Arts Fellowship (WOLLAF) was launched in 2017 to provide outstanding literary artists from across the nation a unique opportunity to work specifically within the community of Syracuse, New York. This fellowship bridges creative teaching and community collaboration within the dynamic environment of Central New York. It connects Syracuse University departments with distinguished literary artists from an array of disciplines to explore cross-disciplinary programming that cultivates writing spaces not normally open to the public.


While providing the Syracuse community a unique opportunity to interact with professional literary artists, as well as literary departments at Syracuse University, the fellowship aims to bridge the relationship with artistic spaces located around the city. Inspiring a new direction for creative collaboration between literary artists and the SU faculty, WOLLAF’s mission is to strengthen the Syracuse art community while broadening public interest and understanding of literature and its affiliation within the arts. WOLLAF fellows commit to a year of extensive community engagement, and are explicitly for applicants who have an interest in both residing in and building relationships within the city of Syracuse.

Fellows will:

  • Work with the Reading and Language Arts Department Chair to identify individual artistic and administrative goals for the fellowship year, generating and developing curriculums and events appropriate to those goals;
  • Meet, collaborate, engage and work with a community of artistic professionals and organizations in the Greater Syracuse area;
  • Participate in and help the development of programming for the two annual Writing Our Lives conferences held during the academic year;
  • Teach a semester long course to youth within the Central New York community, at a facility in the Syracuse community, within the literary artist’s respective field;
  • Teach a 4-part graduate lecture within the Reading and Language Arts department;
  • Receive support for the advancement and advocacy of work generated during the year, along with continued access to Syracuse University resources and facilities during the course of the Fellowship.

Application and Selection Process

Fellows are selected through a rolling application process. Applicants must reside within close proximity of Syracuse, New York, or have the intention of relocating for an entirety of a year. Applicants must identify as a literary artist, have a strong interest in community engagement and make a case for how the Fellowship and participation in the Writing Our Lives program would promote transformative artistic, teaching, and professional growth.

Applicants will submit:

  • A cover sheet, which includes your name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • A current artistic and literary CV;
  • Two personal or professional references (listing the referee’s title or institutional affiliation, alongside their contact information). Referrers may be an artistic collaborator, professor, or educator familiar with you and your work;
  • A one-page Artistic Statement that describes (1) your current work; (2) where you feel you are in your creative and professional life; and your (3) career goals;
  • A project proposal of your semester-long workshop;
  • A sample of your work:
    • Poetry: 10 pages
    • Fiction and plays: up to 25 pages
    • Creative-Nonfiction: up to 25 pages
    • Performance art, including music, drama, spoken word: 5-7 minutes of audio or video.

Applications must be submitted electronically (Word or PDF documents) to Marcelle Haddix. Finalists will be notified by July. The selected Fellow will be notified by August.