Writing Fellows Program
Are you an aspiring writer at the beginning stages of your career? Isn’t it time you got published? If accepted to AFF’s Writing Fellows Program, you’ll:
- Improve your writing skills in policy, journalism, and more!
- Learn how to get published
- Network with well-known DC writers and editors
- Get one-on-one mentoring
About the Program
Sessions are held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm for 6 weeks and include featured editors and writers in small-group writing workshops. Food and beverages are provided during the sessions.
Apply to attend in person in Washington, DC, or virtually via webcam. Attendance, whether in person or virtual, at all six evening sessions is mandatory.
Alumni of the program have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Examiner, National Review, Reason, Forbes, the Daily Caller, and many other publications. They have gone on to work as reporters and opinion writers at prominent media outlets, as staffers in the White House and on Capitol Hill, and as senior fellows at think-tanks.
Past speakers and guests have included:
Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist
Tim Carney, commentary editor at the Washington Examiner
Philip Klein, managing editor at the Washington Examiner
Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics White House Correspondent
Anneke Green, Senior Director at White House Writers Group
Peter Suderman, features editor at Reason Magazine
Ben Domenech, founder and publisher of The Federalist
Romina Boccia, research fellow at the Heritage Foundation
Julian Sanchez, senior fellow at the Cato Institute
How to Apply
Spring Season Cohort
- Tuesdays in February and March
- Applications due January 20
Summer Season Cohort
- Wednesdays in June and July
- Applications due May 20
Fall Season Cohort
- Tuesdays in late September through early November
- Applications due September 1
Applicants will need to submit:
- A resume
- A cover letter that mentions one skill the applicant hopes to improve in the program (op-ed writing, interviewing, reporting, etc.)
- Two published writing samples (no more than 1,000 words each)
A letter of recommendation may be sent to email@example.com, but is not required.
Accepted applicants will be notified after the application deadline. Additional questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Buckley Awards
The Buckley Awards, originally founded and organized by the Young Conservatives Coalition from 2010-2016, began as a way to recognize outstanding young professional conservatives for their above-and-beyond service to the conservative movement. The award is in honor of William F. Buckley, Jr., who before the age of 30 became the leader of the early conservative movement championing conservative fusion – a philosophy that brought together various strands of conservatism to work together to achieve political success and conserve America’s founding principles. The award ceremony is still one of the only ones in our movement that focuses on great achievements of young professional conservatives.
Previous Buckley Award winners include (organizations listed from the time of the award):
Ashlea Frazier – Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center
Adam Josefczyk – Forge Leadership Network
Kerri Kupec – Alliance Defending Freedom
Christopher Malagisi – Conservative Book Club
Russ Vought – Office of Management and Budget
Pete Hegseth – Fox News/Author
Charlie Kirk – Turning Point USA
Beverly Hallberg – District Media Group
Jessica Jensen – Young America’s Foundation
Thomas Peters – uCampaign
Jim Geraghty – National Review
Kristen Soltis Anderson – Echelon Insights
Mollie Hemingway – The Federalist
Lachlan Markay – Washington Free Beacon
Matthew Continetti – Washington Free Beacon
Roger Custer – America’s Future Foundation
Ryan Williams – Claremont Institute
James O’Keefe – Project Veritas
Yuval Levin – National Affairs
Ryan T. Anderson – The Heritage Foundation
Alex Smith – College Republican National Committee
Remy Munasifi – Reason TV
Will Weatherford – Speaker of Florida House of Representatives
Katie Pavlich – Townhall & Fox News
Heather Pfitzenmaier – The Heritage Foundation
Alex Schriver – College Republican National Committee
Paul Teller – Republican Study Committee
Matt Lewis – The Daily Caller
Peter Redpath – The Federalist Society
Amy Frederick – 60 Plus
Vinnie Vernuccio – Competitive Enterprise Institute
Hannah Giles – Big Journalism
Kristan Hawkins – Students of Life
Karin Agness – Network of enlightened Women
John McCormack – The Weekly Standard
Evan Dent Flores – Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow
The Emerging Leader Awards were previously given by AFF to the next big names in the liberty movement, recognizing graduating college seniors who are passionate about liberty and show great potential to advance those ideas throughout their careers.
The award was discontinued in 2018, but these past Emerging Leaders are names to watch for decades to come as they work to advance liberty.
2017 Emerging Leaders
Razi Lane (Hillsdale College), Vanessa Rivera (Florida Gulf Coast University), Natalie Bao Tram Le (Harvard University), Caitlyn Tierney (Virginia Tech), Alex “Allie” Harris (Miami University), Jacob Richards (Arizona Christian University), John Flo (St. Louis University), Lisa DiGiovanna (California State University, Los Angeles), Louis Anthony Bertolotti (University of Notre Dame), Andrew DiGiovanna (Citrus College).
2016 Emerging Leaders
Sam Audia (University of Michigan), Mariana Barillas (Thomas Edison State University); Megan Cook (Salem College), Cahleel Copus (University of Wisconsin Madison), Chris Harelson (Latter Day Saints Business College), Destiny Goede (University of Florida), Chris Perrigan (Florida Gulf Coast University), Cameron Swathwood (Liberty University), Daniel Takash (John Hopkins University), Natalie Tuttle (Florida State University), Liz Wolfe (The College of William and Mary)
Build Your Skills and Increase Freedom in Your Community
Get Involved with your Chapter
We’re always looking for people to help coordinate programs and events. Lend your expertise to support the chapter, or expand your skills by stepping into a new role. Volunteers have the opportunity to work with the chapter leaders to host fun programs, meet guest speakers, and promote liberty to their peers.
Join Your Chapter’s Advisory Board
Make a significant impact in your community and help grow your local chapter by serving as an advisory board member. Advisory board members work closely with the chapter leaders to plan and coordinate events, engage with members, promote the chapter, and offer guidance and support.
Start a New AFF Chapter
Get paid to advance liberty in your city and inspire your peers for free markets and limited government. We’re always looking for entrepreneurial young leaders who are passionate about the ideas of liberty to join us in our mission. As a chapter leader you will plan and organize unique and fun opportunities for young professionals in your community to learn about free market ideas and develop the skills to become advocates for liberty.
Our team will help you start your chapter and provide resources to ensure your chapter launch is a success. Furthermore, we will continue to offer guidance and support as you grow and establish your chapter, so you can focus on hosting quality programs to build the liberty movement in your city.
Chapter Leader Resources and Benefits:
Chapter leaders develop professional skills and gain exceptional leadership experience while at the same time advance the ideas of liberty and a free society in their city. Leaders receive a quarterly stipend along with the following benefits:
- Access to a robust national network of like-minded friends, speakers, and opportunities.
- Training and mentoring on best practices, based on 25+ other successful chapters.
- Collaboration key leaders, elected officials, and academic experts in your state.
- Connection to chapter leaders in other cities for resources, support, and program ideas.
- Invitations to exclusive events and trainings to build your skills and your network.
- Incentives for growth of your chapter.
- Attendance at AFFʼs Annual Chapter Leadership Retreat
Chapter Leader Expectations:
- Time commitment of approximately 10-15 hours/month. Some months may be more or less depending on the number of events and/or volunteers in your chapter.
- Identify Advisory Board members and volunteers to support your chapter and plan for sustained success.
- Host a minimum of 4 events per year (1 per quarter).
- Programs will be on policy, community, or professional development, but may not be political in nature.
- Outreach and recruitment focused on young professionals. All are welcome to attend AFF events, but the target audience are young leaders in your community (approx. 22-40 years old).
- Submit regular program information, budget reporting, and updates to the AFF national team.
If you have any questions, contact Heather Pfitzenmaier at email@example.com.