Supporting Diverse Voices: Book Proposal Development Grants

Princeton University Press’s mission is to inspire scholarly inquiry and impact throughout the world. We are committed to a publications program that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. We realize that achieving this goal requires forging meaningful interventions and finding new ways to support underrepresented authors at every stage of the publishing process.

Today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Supporting Diverse Voices: Book Proposal Development Grants, an endeavor that grows from the recognition that mentorship networks and other intellectual lineages have often been amplified to the exclusion of already-underrepresented authors. In close partnership with four book coaches, the grant will offer direct support and coaching to scholarly authors preparing to draft a book proposal. The grant will cover all associated costs of this process, with grantees able to select which coach they wish to partner with.

Each grantee will have a sponsoring PUP editor who will work with authors and coaches throughout the process. Following coaching, grantees agree to give PUP the right of first refusal on proposals. For any projects PUP does not pursue, Press editors will mentor grantees on alternative possible publishing paths. Scholars and other prospective authors are invited to apply through the PUP website, with applications reviewed by the Press editors. The opportunity is open to previously published and first-time authors alike. Grants will be administered twice during the calendar year, with particular disciplines and groups specified for eligibility each cycle.

The first application cycle will run from February 15 to April 1 and will be open to women, transgender, and gender-expansive authors in science and mathematics. The decision to focus on these subject areas for the first grant cycle follows extensive research into the demographics of PUP’s own lists and study of inequitable gender representation across STEM fields in the United StatesUnited Kingdomand globally. Authors need not have a proposal prepared prior to application. application. Applicants will be notified of decisions during the week of May 17.

The second application cycle will run from August 1 to September 17 and will be open to proposals in the social sciences; additional author eligibility requirements and notification dates will be announced before June 30.

About the Book Coaches  

Michelle Boyd, PhD, is an award-winning writer, a former tenured faculty member, and the founder of InkWell Academic Writing Retreats. She spent the first part of her career studying the political significance of black racial identity. In 2008, her book Jim Crow Nostalgia: Reconstructing Race in Bronzeville (University of Minnesota Press) won a Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association. After earning tenure, Michelle focused her research and service on helping scholars better understand their writing process. In 2012 she cofounded and coached a dissertation-writing retreat for graduate students studying race and ethnicity. Three years later she left academia and founded InkWell, where she specializes in helping stuck, scared scholars free themselves from fear and build a satisfying, sustainable writing practice. Read her thoughts on writing and the writing life on Instagram @inkwellretreats.

Jane Jones, PhD, is a writing coach and editor who works with book-writing academics who feel overwhelmed and overworked. She started her business, Up In Consulting, after three years on the tenure track as an assistant professor of sociology. Up In Consulting is an antiracist, feminist, LGBTQ-affirming business that provides coaching and editing services for academic writers. In her six years of coaching and editing, her clients have published with presses including Chicago, University of California, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, and NYU. As importantly, she’s helped her clients develop a sense of confidence and clarity regarding their work.

Her flagship offering is an editing and coaching program called Elevate. Elevate is for academic book writers who want the expertise of an editor, the support of a coach, and a community of peers who know what it’s like to be writing a scholarly book. ⁠Follow her on Instagram @janejoannphd

Laura Portwood-Stacer, PhD, of Manuscript Works has worked with hundreds of authors to draft and refine book proposals for scholarly publishers. She specializes in interdisciplinary projects, taking particular interest in critical/cultural studies of technology; media and information studies; and race, gender, and sexuality. Portwood-Stacer is the author of the forthcoming The Book Proposal Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors (Princeton University Press). You can find her on Twitter @lportwoodstacer

Margy Thomas, PhD, is the founder of ScholarShape, host of the Oracles of Academia podcast, and creator of the Story-Argument model, a conceptual framework that describes the deep structure of fascinating scholarship across genres and disciplines. The Story-Argument model helps scholars bring creativity and intuition into their writing process in ways that enhance the rigor and coherence of their work. Connect with Margy on Twitter @scholarshape and Instagram @scholarshape and check out the Oracles of Academia in your favorite podcast app.