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New City Critics Fellowship 2024-2025 Frequently Asked Questions

Application Deadline: Thursday, June 20, 11:59pm

Applicants may direct any inquiries regarding the fellowship to submissions@urbandesignforum.org.


  1. Is the fellowship open to international or non-local applicants? Is there a possibility for remote/hybrid attendance?

New City Critics Fellows will meet in person in New York City. Fellows must live or work in the New York metropolitan area for the duration of the program. If you are not based in New York City when applying, you will need to provide proof or a plan demonstrating your commitment to be in NYC during the fellowship.

  1. I am a structural engineer working in New York City. Can I apply?

Yes. Writers and urbanists of varying ages, experiences, and disciplines are encouraged to apply, as long as they have a body of written work to share.

  1. Will the fellowship provide US visa or employment sponsorship?

No. Candidates must be authorized to work in the United States.

  1. How do you define early- to mid-career writers? Is there an age limit?

The fellowship is open to candidates of all ages and has no educational or degree requirements. Candidates should possess experience in both writing and urban practice, though we expect the balance to vary. We encourage submissions that demonstrate prior publication and significant engagement with the field of cities and urbanism.

  1. Can candidates have a full-time job or be in school during the fellowship?

The program is intended to complement fellows’ current employment or academic pursuits. Fellows will meet on Monday evenings twice a month in New York City. During the 9-month fellowship, there will be an estimated total of 55 hours dedicated to program sessions. To see the greatest benefit of the fellowship’s offerings, we expect fellows to commit to around 8 hours per week outside of sessions for reading, research, and writing. 

  1. For the application, should the statement of interest be a stand-alone, 500-word critical work or incorporate a personal angle as well?

In the statement of interest, we want to understand your perspective on contemporary urban writing and learn about the ideas and values driving your work. This is an opportunity to share the conversations you are engaged in, the critiques you have, and how you position yourself in the discourse on cities.

  1. Are candidates expected to have a topic of research before applying to the fellowship program? 

We do not expect candidates to have a developed research topic. The statement of interest will be an opportunity for candidates to share the ideas and values propelling their work and how they are engaging with the critical discourse on cities.

  1. Will submission materials be kept confidential?  

Application materials will be kept confidential and used for jury review only. 

  1. Can topics and fields of interest be outside the current Overton Window of general architecture or design publications or even Urban Omnibus?

Yes. New City Critics seeks to encourage a more expansive conversation on the future of cities. We are open to and excited to work with participants on a wide range of topics relevant to urban design and development and not currently found in mainstream discourse.

  1. For writing samples, are published works from the past 3 years acceptable?

Published works from the last five years are acceptable.

  1. What is considered “published” work? Can self-published work be considered?

“Published” work refers to writings made available to a larger audience through formal channels, such as print or online platforms. This includes articles, essays, or papers that have appeared in newspapers, magazines, journals, books, or recognized online platforms or blogs. Self-published work, such as personal blogs or newsletters, can also be considered if produced with an audience in mind and reflects the author’s critical engagement with urbanism or related topics.

  1. Can I submit different media other than writing in my application?

You will have two opportunities to share your work in the application. The required writing sample submission can include images but will be evaluated in terms of writing and storytelling. You can use the optional additional work sample to share a project in a different medium.

  1. Should the writing samples have to do with NYC and/or design and the built environment?

Writing samples do not need to focus on New York City or the built environment. However, we expect candidates’ Statements of Interest to respond to writings on New York City’s built environment or cities in general.

  1. Can work samples be co-authored?

Additional work samples could be co-authored with a clear indication of project roles, but the main writing sample should be your work only.

  1. Can two or more people apply collectively to the Fellowship?

Collectives may apply. In such cases, applicants are encouraged to describe how each person will contribute and participate in the 9-month fellowship. 

  1. Do we own the copyrights of work published in the program and are we able to disseminate it elsewhere in the future?

All written material published on Urban Omnibus is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license unless otherwise specified. This means writers are free and encouraged to repost and reprint articles elsewhere, with attribution. The rights to all images published on Urban Omnibus are retained by the artist or rights holder as specified. For other works published as part of the fellowship, copyright and ownership will be subject to the policies of the relevant publication.

  1. How do you define critics from underrepresented backgrounds?

Candidates of all ethnicities, races, genders, ages, professional or educational backgrounds, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, and physical abilities are welcome to apply. We encourage applications from those who do not see themselves or their experiences or perspectives reflected in the fields of criticism, urbanism, and design today. 

  1. Will the semi-finalist interviews be in person or online?

Program staff will conduct online interviews with candidates during the last week of July 2024.

  1. If awarded the fellowship, is there a timetable for the disbursement of the stipend? 

The honorarium will be disbursed in three installments: at the beginning, midpoint, and conclusion of the fellowship.

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