Skip to main content

The purpose of the Kenan Visiting Writer program is to provide an early-career writer with the opportunity to teach enthusiastic and talented undergraduate students while working on a second book. Kenan Visiting Writers teach one class per semester and give a public reading during their year at Carolina. Past Kenan Visiting Writers have gone on to publish more books—often in multiple genres—and win awards and honors such as the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Pushcart Prize, the Sustainable Arts Fellowship, the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and many more. The one-year appointment now rotates between creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

Previous Kenan Visiting Writers

2001-2002 June Spence
2002-2003 Daniel Anderson
2003-2004 Virginia Holman
2004-2005 Thorpe Moeckel
2005-2006 Nic Pizzolatto
2006-2007 David Roderick
2007-2008 Joni Tevis
2008-2010 Wilmer Mills
2010-2012 Lori Ostlund
2012-2014 Rachel Richardson

2014-2015 Daisy Hernandez
2015-2016 Matthew Olzmann
2016-2017 April Ayres Lawson
2017-2018 Thomas Mira y Lopez
2018-2019 Mesha Maren
2019-2020 Sophie Klahr
2020-2021 Melissa Faliveno
2021-2022 Julia Ridley Smith
2022-2023 Destiny Hemphill
2023-2024 Maddie Norris

Applications for Kenan Visiting Writer

The Creative Writing Program in UNC’s Department of English and Comparative Literature seeks to bring an emerging talent to campus for a one-year teaching appointment as the Kenan Visiting Writer.  For the 2024-2025 academic year, beginning August 2024, the Program requests applicants in fiction.

This one-year appointment carries a salary of $40,000. The selected candidate will teach one undergraduate creative writing course per semester, most likely at the introductory level. The selected candidate will also give one public reading and otherwise participate fully in the life of the Creative Writing Program. UNC strives to create an environment where all members of the community feel welcome, valued, and can thrive. The ideal candidate will share in this commitment. The anticipated start date for this position is July 1, 2024. These classes are on campus and the selected candidate must be on campus to teach.

An M.F.A. in Creative Writing is required.

Applicants should also have:

  • Significant publication in major literary magazines
  • Published one recent book or have one book under contract
  • Previous college teaching experience

The 2023-2024 job posting will be available from November 19 to January 10.

  • A curriculum vita,
  • Up to 20 pages of published work (uploaded as a “writing/research sample”),
  • A sample syllabus,
  • A 1-page personal statement indicating how an appointment of this sort would serve the applicant’s needs and endeavors (uploaded as “cover letter”), and
  • Two letters of reference, at least two of which should be written by those familiar with the applicant’s teaching abilities and who can evaluate the applicant’s suitability for this position, should be provided via Interfolio or addressed to:

Professor Ross White
Director of Creative Writing
UNC Chapel Hill, Campus Box 3520
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3520.

Questions about the position, the job requirements, or the hiring department should be directed to Professor White.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and welcomes all to apply regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We also encourage protected veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply. UNC is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, advancing the ideals espoused at welcome applications from candidates who will add to the ECL’s diversity. You can read our departmental diversity efforts here

Applications will close on January 10, 2024. See to apply.