Pulliam Fellowship (Archive)

This page is a portal to historical information archived from the Association of Opinion Journalists (formerly National Conference of Editorial Writers, 1947-2011) which merged into ASNE in 2016-2017.


The Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship is a Sigma Delta Chi Foundation program. The Society of Professional Journalists first offered the fellowship in 1977, when Nina Pulliam provided funding for the program. It honor Mrs. Pulliam's husband, one of the original members of the Society, which was founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi. Eugene C. Pulliam was the publisher of The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis News, The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette.

What the fellowship provides

The Pulliam Fellowship awards $75,000 to an outstanding editorial writer or columnist to help broaden his or her journalistic horizons and knowledge of the world. The annual award can be used to cover the cost of study, research and/or travel in any field. The fellowship results in editorials and other writings, including books.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a Pulliam fellowship, a candidate must:

  • Hold a position as a part-time or full-time editorial writer or columnist at a news publication located in the United States. Applications also are welcome from freelance opinion writers who devote a majority of their time, or derive a majority of their income, from that pursuit.
  • Have at least three years experience as an editorial writer or columnist.
  • Demonstrate outstanding writing and analytical abilities.
  • Secure assurances by the editor or publisher that the applicant will be allowed sufficient time to pursue the fellowship without jeopardizing employment. (Fellows do not have to leave their jobs.)
  • Demonstrate ability and intent to publish work within 18 months of selection. (If selected, work must be published within 18 months of receiving the fellowship).
  • All entries must be in English.

The selected applicant must provide a post-fellowship written report on how funds were used. Each Fellowship recipient will become a mentor to the following year’s recipient.


The Fellowship has no formal application form. Each applicant should submit the following materials:

  • A cover letter stating the purpose and nature of the proposed study, a time line for accomplishing the work, and a plan for how the stipend will be used. The cover letter should contain complete contact information for the applicant including mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address.
  • The editor’s endorsement.
  • A one-page professional biography and summary of professional experience.
  • Five samples of editorials or columns.

Submission Instructions

Nominations should be submitted as PDF documents. If you have Word documents to submit, save them as PDFs before uploading them using the nomination form.

Selection and Presentation

A panel of judges will review materials submitted by all the applicants and select the Fellow. The Fellowship presentation historically has taken place during a fall event of the National Conference of Editorial Writers then Association of Opinion Journalists. Beginning with 2016, it will be handled entirely by the Society of Professional Journalists or SPJ's educational arm, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation (SDX-F). See spj.org.

If selected, applicant should consult with their financial and/or tax adviser. Any tax implications associated with the Fellowship are the responsibility of the Fellowship recipient.


For more information contact SPJ Headquarters at 317-927-8000 or by e-mail: awards@spj.org 

Past Pulliam Fellowship Winners: