MDOCS Storytellers' Institute

2023 Visiting Fellows Application Information

The MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute is a non-fiction arts residency on Skidmore College campus every June. A creative and intellectual community, the institute brings together professional non-fiction storytellers and artists (Visiting Fellows), Skidmore College students/ faculty/ staff (Skidmore Fellows), and Regional community members participating in the MDOCS Co-Creation Initiative (Regional Fellows). The institute is a fully funded opportunity that offers fellows time to work on personal non-fiction arts projects, networking opportunities, access to a creative community of critique and nurture, a platform to publicly display work, and an intellectual community to engage with the year’s theme. Join us this year!

Applications are closed and will re-open for the 2024 institute in the fall of 2023.

This year our theme is Off the Beaten Path: Outside the Hero’s Journey –– Realty is more complicated, more collaborative, and more interesting than what we have come to call the Hero’s Journey. It does not follow a beginning, middle, and end, with rising action and turning points that deliver a resolution with all threads tied up neatly in a bow. Many non-fiction makers have always created work that is outside the Hero’s Journey. Work that meanders through squiggly time, that is polyvocal, and that de-centers simple conflict in favor of growth. However, artists are increasingly trained to present themselves as the hero of their own artistic-biographical story, with their process acting as the journey, and their product acting as the boon brought home to audiences, erasing the collaboration that goes into non-fiction storytelling and forcing makers to narrativize their practice and commoditize themselves. read more

“My work has intersected with the work of other fellows in surprising and often beautiful ways. I’ve started thinking about myself and my performance work in a fundamentally different way as a result of this month, and I can’t wait to go even further into these new projects and bring new perspectives to old projects.” Micaela Blei, Visiting Fellow ’19


The Institute runs from May 31st- June 30th, 2023 on the Skidmore College campus.

Fellowship includes:   


  • Applicants must have a non-fiction-based practice and propose a non-fiction-based project. 
  • Applicants must have an interest in teaching and learning. 
  • Accepted fellows are expected to fully engage with institute events and be in residence for its duration. If a fellow is not in residence for the full institute, their stipend will be reduced. 

What you need to apply:

  • A completed application, which includes a work sample that demonstrates your experience in non-fiction creative work and two references.

Hear from our past Visiting and Skidmore Fellows about what the Institute meant to them!

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