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Writing beyond the Academy

Read Brett Ashley Kaplan's "Writing Beyond the Academy: A Report"

The deadline to apply has passed.

The Association for Jewish Studies is pleased to announce a four-day in-person seminar to help academics develop skills for sharing their expertise with the wider public and engaging diverse audiences beyond the walls of academia. Participants will workshop their own pre-prepared writing samples and participate in instructional seminars on topics such as writing op-eds, personal essays, trade book proposals, narrative non-fiction, and cultural criticism, as well as public speaking and managing social media. The workshop will be held Monday, June 12 - Thursday, June 15, 2023 in Manhattan and will be led by Samuel Freedman, award-winning author of Jew v. Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry, professor of journalism at Columbia University, and columnist for The New York Times, and will feature additional instructional guests.

Applications will be accepted on a competitive basis from among the membership of the Association for Jewish Studies, with a submission deadline of March 31, 2023. Applicants must have a terminal degree in their field.

Participants will be expected to come to the workshop with 1 to 2 works-in-progress. These can include editorials, personal essays, cultural criticism essays, narrative non-fiction pieces, trade book proposals, or similar works intended for non-academic audiences.


The AJS will provide up to $1,500 on a reimbursable basis to help cover housing and transportation, which they will arrange on their own. Meals will also be at the expense of participants, although lunch will be provided each day of the workshop. There is no cost to participate in the program itself.

This program is generously supported by funding from The Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation.


Applicants must be current members of the Association for Jewish Studies for the 2023 membership year. Applicants must also have a terminal degree in their field. Graduate students are not eligible to apply.

Application Instructions

Applications are due by March 31, 2023. Applicants must submit all materials online through Interfolio. The AJS will send out notifications by the beginning of April. Applicants will be required to submit:

  • •     CV
  • •     Writing sample
  • •     A personal statement, no longer than one page single-spaced, explaining your interest in this workshop. Please make sure to address the following questions: 1) Why do you think your work has the potential to reach audiences beyond the academy? 2) Why do you want your work to reach wider audiences, beyond the scholarly academy? 3) What, specifically, do you want to share about your work or Jewish Studies? 4) What skills specifically do you want to develop in this workshop?