Call for Proposals: Faculty Book Manuscript Workshops


Deadline: January 22, 2019

The Franklin Humanities Institute’s Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program supports the development and completion of scholarly monographs. It provides a structure for generating constructive, informed criticism on near-final book manuscripts, at a moment in the writing process when authors can most effectively utilize feedback. The aim of the program is to transform already excellent scholarly projects into superior published works.

The FHI introduced the Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program in 2008, and developed it with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 2011 to 2015. In recognition of the support that the program provides for faculty research, it is now funded by the Provost as part of the university’s academic strategic plan, Together Duke.

The Book MS Workshop award includes funding as well as logistical support.

ELIGIBILITY: All regular rank faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences, regardless of seniority, are eligible to apply, but Assistant Professors completing monographs will receive priority consideration. We are also interested in translations, collaborative projects, and innovative major publications in a variety of formats and platforms.

TIMING AND LEAVE: Junior faculty are strongly advised to apply for the workshop in advance of their junior leave. Please note that this award does not include funding for additional leave. However, the FHI commits to assisting workshop recipients in applying for additional leave in order to support the final revisions of their manuscripts with the benefit of the workshop’s insights.

When applying, applicants should consider carefully their anticipated writing schedule. The FHI works with each awardee to schedule their workshop, based on a realistic due date for a complete draft of the book manuscript. Manuscripts should be delivered to participants at least one month prior to the workshop date.

For digital or multi-modal projects, a workshop earlier in the research and writing process might be more useful; feel free to consult the FHI about timing at

WORKSHOP DETAILS: Each workshop convenes two expert commentators external to Duke, an acquisitions editor from a major scholarly press, and a select group of local faculty from Duke and area universities. The author selects workshop participants based on their expertise in fields relevant to the project.

The half-day workshop begins with presentations from the invited guests, each of whom prepares 15–20 minutes of remarks assessing the strengths of the draft and areas for further development. The author responds, and an open discussion with the group follows, continuing over a working lunch.

Workshops are closed, and groups are limited to 15 or fewer total participants.

The FHI handles all logistics related to the workshop, including sending formal invitations to workshop participants, making travel arrangements for external guests, scheduling the workshop, reserving a room, printing and distributing manuscripts to workshop participants, providing catered meals, and issuing honoraria. This allows faculty to focus on finishing their manuscripts in the months approaching the workshop.

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS AND SELECTION CRITERIA: Proposals should focus on scholarly manuscripts being produced with the aim to secure a publishing contract. One workshop per year may be dedicated to digital or multi-modal projects.

Authors and their projects will be selected based on the potential significance of the finished work to the field in question, and the potential impact of the work on the author’s career. The applicant's academic accomplishments will also be taken into account. Workshop proposals must include the following components:

  • A one-page summary of the project in development, including a schedule for completion. In this summary, applicants should also include a statement indicating whether the work is under contract with a publisher, a list of publishers who have expressed interest, or a list of publishers the applicant feels would be ideal for the project but who have not yet been approached.
  • A one-page narrative explaining why and how this opportunity will be important to the process of completing the work. If appropriate, applicants should include a brief statement specifying their tenure and/or promotion timelines.
  • A list of prospective invitees to the workshop, including: (1) two scholars external to Duke; (2) one acquisitions editor at a major scholarly press (not necessarily an editor who has been approached); and (3) a list of general invitees to the workshops from Duke and area universities. The list may include no more than 15 people, and should be divided into areas of relevance, with each prospective participant in each area ranked according to preference. Please note that this list is intended to give the review committee a sense of the proposed workshop and will not be considered final. Applicants should be sure to include more than one scholar in each category.
  • A current curriculum vitae.
  • A rank of your preferred semester for the workshop (Spring or Fall 2018; Spring 2019).
  • Proposals must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 via email attachment (Word and PDF) to Please include the phrase “Book MS Workshop Proposal” in the subject line.
  • Applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been successful approximately six weeks from the submission deadline.

Questions? Email or