#75 Steven Tagle
Steven Tagle wants every writer to know about the Fulbright
A few episodes ago, when Patricia Park was on the show, she mentioned something that made my ears perk up: that she had researched the portion of her book that took place in Korea by applying for and receiving a Fullbright Fellowship. For my listeners abroad: You DON'T have to be a US citizen to apply.
I never knew this was an option for writers, so of course I was dying to know more and share on the show. When a friend introduced me to Steven, I knew I had the perfect resource. Steven spent a year in Greece, researching mythology for his project to re-write myths in light of modern issues facing Greece: the financial crisis and other parts of modern Greek life. As his gorgeous Instagram attests, a year in Greece fueled him tremendously as a writer and has given him ideas for countless new projects.
In this episode we explore the practical steps to applying for a Fullbright, how Steven researched which country he chose to apply to, and how the year away impacted him as a person and as a writer. To say I was ready to leap into the application process after this conversation is a massive understatement. I hope you explore these options as well and I can't wait to hear about the books inspired by travel and explorations abroad.
Discussed in Episode 75 with Steven Tagle:
Getting a Fulbright to research your novel
Where to find application strategies and award statistics for Fulbrights
Steven's personal process for securing his Fulbright
Choosing a country to study abroad in
Different countries have different language requirements
Fulbright is flexible - they know your project will change as you spend time in the new country
"When I first arrived in Greece… I felt like I didn’t have the right yet to write about it.”
A new culture's inspiration for absorbing, collecting, and gathering raw material
The tension between writing while in Greece and just absorbing the culture, and how Steven chose what to prioritize
On challenging himself to be open and to say yes to new experiences, different from how he lives in the States
On learning to trust others and try on different parts of himself
“It allowed me to test the boundaries of what I conceived of as myself.”
Viewing the Fulbright application as building a bridge between where you are and where you want to go
The new projects that can be created from the scholar experience