Fiction and poetry are the lifeblood of Under the Volcano. Seekers of story and argonauts of the imagination, our participants may be published or unpublished, “emerging” or seasoned, speculative or realistic, but all are deeply committed to honing their work in a community of accomplished peers. We invite applications from writers across the Americas and beyond—in both English and Spanish—who are ready to take their voice to the next level.

"I have never felt so supported to achieve what I want. I "leave" this experience with my heart filled with joy, with my brain like a Christmas tree, full of new ideas, and with a sense that I have finally met my tribe."

– María Mínguez, San Francisco/Spain

"I walked away feeling enriched, and like I can actually make a career out of writing, instead of a dream."

Melissa Watkins, Boston

"Sin Under the Volcano y la beca no hubiera logrado este premio."

– Montserrat Rodríguez Ruelas, Tijuana

"Receiving the Imagination Unbound fellowship proved that the years I spent working my fingers to the bone and sharpening my writing to the finest point possible changed my life for the better."

– Alex Jennings, New Orleans   


"UTV ha cambiado mi manera de entender qué escribo y desde dónde escribo. Me voy feliz y con toda la inspiración para seguir mi sueño."

– Diego Arellano, Mexico City


"Three weeks of inspired and enthusiastic teaching, rigorous editing and encouragement to continue writing. I wish each session could have been longer. "

– Janet Dawson, Toronto & Tepoztlán

"Under The Volcano es una experiencia de imaginación: nos llama a imaginar nuevas formas de escribir y nuevas formas posibles de hacer comunidad. "

– Daniel Escoto, Mexico City


"The residency is a poetic vaccine. Thankful each day for the poetic protection! "

– Nz Tyhemba 



Our Creative Writing Program is unique in several ways:

  • Diverse, bilingual community;
  • Creative writers and journalists share meals, ideas and work-in-progress;
  • Twice weekly masterclasses offer clear guidance throughout the residency;
  • Agent talks and weekly open mics;
  • Ample time to write and revise;
  • Full or partial financial support for qualified applicants (talent + need);
  • Writers of color especially encouraged to apply.


Who’s Who in creative writing

Our masterclasses are led by master writers from across the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds. Current and past faculty include:

Founding faculty: Maureen Howard  &   Grace Paley

Community of the Imagination 


Every year, Under the Volcano presents a series of live curated conversations with leading poets, novelists, journalists and scientists, designed to inspire our participants to move their ideas onto a bigger canvas. These events, open to a wider public, allow us to transcend the limits of geography and to make our mission ever more inclusive.


One of the silver linings of the pandemic:  four extraordinary poets giving the invocation to our virtual Community of the Imagination in 2021.





Full Fellowships for Poets & Writers

The  Grace  Paley


is awarded to a woman poet or fiction writer of any age whose work Grace Paley would have encouraged and includes childcare if needed. 

The  Sandra  Cisneros


was established by friends and admirers of pioneering writer Sandra Cisneros to recognize an English-language Latinx creative writer of outstanding literary promise and leadership ability.

The  Imagination

Unbound  Fellowship 

recognizes a fiction writer whose work opens new worlds. This fellowship is for an English-language writer of speculative or experimental writing and has no age limits.

The Words  of  Witness


is awarded to a US-based writer of literary non-fiction whose work addresses issues of social justice, racism or the fate of the earth in an innovative way.


Voz Viva

Reconoce a un/a narrador/a de lengua hispana de destacado talento literario.

La Página Dorada

Esta  beca se otorga a una escritora mexicana menor de 40 años con un libro en puerta (novela o colección de cuentos) para incentivarla a terminar su proyecto mediante la participación en el taller de narrativa en español o en la Consulta de Manuscritos (Manuscript Seminar)


This fund was established to ensure greater participation and visibility of Black writers as we work to deepen our response to systemic racism. Support up to full tuition is available for Black writers who are accepted into any of our master classes.

Selected Alumni Books

Our alumni are publishing non-stop and we couldn’t be more proud.  Hardly a week goes by without word of another novel, short story collection, memoir or poetry chapbook by one of our alumni.  Many of the titles on this page began at Under the Volcano and grew by leaps and bounds before our eyes.