Become a Writing Fellow
Writing Fellows are generous readers and responsive listeners. We “fellow” written assignments by asking the writer questions in the margins of their essay or during a conference. We ask questions so that the writer can clarify, explain, expand and explore their writing. We believe—and our practice reflects—that every work a writer brings us belongs to the voice of the writer.
Writing Fellows major in disciplines across the curriculum and we encourage students in all majors to apply. Crucial to being a Writing Fellow is an ability to connect with peers and to be curious about their work. Writing Fellows are first and foremost advocates for students’ voices.
I became a Writing Fellow because I firmly believe in the power of collaboration and conversation to strengthen one's writing and ideas. - Mariah
Science Writing Fellows
Science Writing Fellows are a subset of the Writing Fellows program. They work closely with science professors across departments and apply writing pedagogy to written assignments in science courses. Science Writing Fellows support students with developing tools to describe and share data and to use scientific language to communicate their research to the reader. Science Writing Fellows receive the same training as Writing Fellows, which includes exploring a general structure of scientific writing and practicing how to fellow lab reports.
I enjoy being a Fellow because it allows me to encourage collaboration and communication within the sciences but also encourage critical thinking and questioning in the humanities, deconstructing the idea that these two disciplines are separate. - Mehrose
Info Session with Admin: learn more about being a Writing Fellow from current Fellows and the administrative team.
Info Session with Fellows: learn more about being a Writing Fellow from the Fellows' experiences. Ask the questions and discuss what's like work as a Fellow.
SWF info session: learn more about how Science Writing Fellows are involved in the Program
Frequently Asked Questions
All current Barnard first-years and sophomores are encouraged to apply to the Writing Fellows Program. Applications become available in Spring semester of each year.
Those accepted to the Writing Fellows Program are required to take a one-semester course called "The Writer's Process," in the Fall semester following their acceptance. After completing the course, Fellows are required to work for three semesters (the first of which must immediately follow the semester in which they took "The Writer's Process"). As a Writing Fellow, you will be required to work in the Writing Center for one hour per week and you will work with, at least, one "attached" class per semester. You must also attend monthly writing fellow meetings.
Before becoming Writing Fellows, students must take "The Writer's Process." Only those accepted to the Writing Fellows Program may enroll.
“The Writer’s Process” is a semester-long, 4-credit, workshop in the teaching of writing. It is taught by Professor Cobrin (Director of the Writing Program) and Professor Watson (Associate Director of the Writing Program). Students write a minimum of three essays and submit ongoing reflective writing; they also work with each other’s writing and with that of students in First-Year Writing or First-Year Seminar. Toward the middle of the semester, students begin to help staff the Writing Center. And of course, they read a great deal of theory that influences their practice as a Writing Fellow like: various critiques and considerations about grammar; how to talk with students about their writing; what constitutes a text and who constructs it (the writer? the reader?); exploring a general structure of scientific writing and practicing how to fellow lab reports; and how race, ethnicity and gender influence our writing and reading.
The Writer’s Process: Student Responsibilities
- Read 1-3 articles/essays/chapters prior to each class discussion;
- Provide a (brief) reading response for each class;
- Write 3, approximately 5-7 page papers over the course of the semester;
- Meet with Professor Cobrin, Professor Watson or the Coordinator to conference about each paper; meetings totaling approx. 1-2 hours over the course of the semester;
- Meet with your peers to conference about each paper; meetings totaling approx. ~10 or more hours over the course of the semester;
- Work with ~5 students in an attached class on 2 papers; work totaling approx. ~15 hours in total and;
- Staff the Writing Center for one hour per week, starting in late Fall; ~5-6 hours in total.
Writer's Process satisfies: Thinking with Social Difference; Arts + Humanities; and as an English major requirement.
the salary for working as a Writing Fellow is $924/semester (which breaks down to $16.50/hr. Most Writing Fellows, however, cite the non-material benefits as being the most rewarding parts of working with the program. Many Writing Fellows say that through their fellowing work, they have learned to become better writers, better communicators, and better students.