Call for Proposals: Faculty Book Manuscript Workshops (Spring 2022)

Call for Proposals: Faculty Book Manuscript Workshops. Image of stack of books.

Deadline: October 1, 2021

The Franklin Humanities Institute seeks proposals for Faculty Book Manuscript Workshops to take place in Spring 2022.

View or download this CFP in PDF format

The Franklin Humanities Institute’s Faculty Book Manuscript Workshop Program provides support for 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 for the workshop as well as logistical support from FHI staff. (Note that it does not include fellowship or course-release funding.)

All regular rank faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences, regardless of seniority, are eligible to apply, but Assistant Professors will receive priority consideration. Single-author monographs are our focus, but we are also interested in translations, collaborative projects, and innovative major publications in a variety of formats and platforms, along with ideas for altering the workshop format to suit these projects.

Timing and leave
Junior faculty are strongly advised to apply for the workshop in advance of their junior leave. While the award does not include funding for additional leave, the FHI commits to assisting workshop recipients with their applications for externally funded additional leave in order to support the final revisions of their manuscripts.  

When applying, applicants should consider carefully their anticipated writing schedule. The FHI will work with each awardee to schedule their workshop, based on a realistic due date for a complete draft of the book manuscript, which will be sent 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

Deadline to apply
The deadline for proposals is Friday, October 1, 2021.

Workshop details
Each workshop convenes two senior scholars whose work is relevant to the subject of the book in question, an acquisitions editor from a major scholarly press, and a select group of local faculty from Duke and area universities.

The faculty member whose project is the focus of the workshop will select each participant. The FHI will handle 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.

The half-day workshop begins with presentations from the invited guests, each of whom will be asked to make a formal presentation of their thoughts on 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 total participants, selected by the author.

Note about COVID-19 Arrangements 
Spring 2022 workshops will be planned on Zoom until further notice. Since Spring 2020, we have hosted ten Book Manuscript Workshops on Zoom; participants valued the stimulating and substantive discussions, and authors found them rewarding. If you have questions about workshop arrangements during these unprecedented times, please contact Sylvia Miller at

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 in this narrative.
  3. A list of prospective invitees to the workshop, to include: (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 not make advance commitments to anyone on their list beyond confirming the general interest of the prospective participant, if this is deemed necessary. Applicants should be sure to include more than one scholar in each category.
  4. A current curriculum vitae.
  5. A firm date for completion of the book manuscript.
  6. Proposals must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Friday, October 1, 2021 via email attachment to Please include the phrase “Book MS Workshop Proposal” in the subject line. Please minimize the number of attachments; a single document for the proposal and a second for the CV is acceptable.
  7. Applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been successful approximately six weeks from the submission deadline.

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