Creative Writing

KaToya Ellis Fleming Named a 2021 Richard S. Holden Diversity Fellow

JANUARY 28, 2022

WILMINGTON, N.C.—Publishing faculty KaToya Ellis Fleming has been named a 2021 Richard S. Holden Diversity Fellowship recipient.

The fellowship is a collaboration between the ACES Education Fund and the Dow Jones News Fund and was awarded to six early- and mid-career editors from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities. Each fellow will receive funds that can be applied to course tuition, conference fees, travel, and other costs that will help aid in their career development and skill building.

“These six editors impressed us with their commitment to advancing diversity in their workplaces and in their published work, all in support of the audiences they serve,” Henry Fuhrmann, president of the ACES Education Fund, said in a press release announcing the fellows last December. “Each has shown a passion for making a difference and promise for significant accomplishments in coming years.” 

Fleming, an assistant professor of publishing arts and editor of Lookout Books, truly appreciates the opportunities the fellowship will provide.

“This fellowship was game-changing for me as an early-career editor,” she said. “I’ll be able to continue to develop my craft, stay abreast of the changing editorial trends, and attend industry conferences that I otherwise may not have been able to attend.”

As her work focuses on race and culture in the American South, it’s especially fitting that Fleming would receive this fellowship. Advancing diversity and presenting work from marginalized voices is at the core of the work she does, and the upcoming project she’s editing at Lookout, Bigger Than Bravery, fits both the publishing house’s and the fellowship’s missions perfectly. “I get to edit not one, but 33 Black writers whom I admire!” she said, noting she’s excited about the project. “I couldn't have imagined a better first editorial project.“ 

UNCW students and Fleming’s colleagues will also benefit from the fellowship, and she notes that both inspire her daily. "How lucky I am that I get to work alongside such talented writers and editors and mentor students who are so respectful of the craft and go on to do such great things in the industry,” she shared. “I'm proud to be a part of this community.  

A Georgia native, Fleming received a B.A. from Spelman College, where she was editor of FOCUS literary magazine for a year, and an MFA from the University of Georgia. She previously served as an editor at Oxford American magazine and was their 2019-2020 Oxford American Jeff Baskin Writers Fellow, and she was a 2018 Southern Foodways Alliance Oral History Fellow. In addition to UNCW, Fleming has taught classes and workshops at Hendrix College, the Georgia Writers Association’s Red Clay Writers Conference at Kennesaw State University, and the University of Georgia.

The Holden Fellowship was announced as a pilot program in the summer of 2020 and is named in honor of the late Richard S. Holden who, according to the Education Fund, “championed diversity in the ranks of editors as the longtime managing director for the Dow Jones News Fund.”