Writer in Residence (George Bennett Fellowship)


Phillips Exeter Academy is pleased to announce that the George Bennett Fellow for 2016-2017 is Walter B. Thompson.  Read more about Walter B. Thompson.

The online application for the 50th Anniversary 2017-2018 fellowship will be live from 12:01 a.m. EST on October 1, 2016 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30, 2016.


GEORGE E. BENNETT '23, a native of Exeter, was graduated from Harvard in 1927 and taught at the Gilman School before returning to the Academy in 1929 as an instructor in English. During his 37 years at the Academy, he was closely identified with the development of creative writing and was the inspiration for many students who later became professional writers. In 1959, he was named chair of the department of English. In 1961, he was named the 1959 Donner Foundation Professor and in 1962 he became the first Independence Foundation Professor. After a five-year term as chair of his department, he continued teaching until his death in 1965. He was, many will agree, one of the most distinguished teachers of English in the modern history of Exeter. Read about Bennett Fellows and their works... 

Read about the Bennett Fellowship in The Exeter Bulletin, Summer 2003


The purpose of the George Bennett Fellowship is to provide time and freedom from material considerations to a person seriously contemplating or pursuing a career as a writer. It provides for one academic year a stipend (at present $15,260.00), as well as housing and meals for this person and family, at Academy expense. As Writer-in-Residence the person shall live in Exeter and, in return for stipend and housing, shall (besides carrying out his or her own literary projects) make his or her self and talents available in an informal and unofficial way to students interested in writing and, more specifically, to students in English classes and to members of student literary organizations.

The Writer shall not be considered a member of the Academy faculty; she or he shall have no regular or prescribed duties — shall not, for instance, teach (or take classes for an extended period), shall not be asked to coach athletics or dramatics or debating, shall not be a formal adviser to any Academy organization. The Academy house provided shall not contain students. The nature and extent of the Writer's involvement with Academy purposes and with Academy students are to be determined (except for the above prohibitions) more by the Writer's own interest and good will than by Academy demand.

During the tenure of the Fellowship the Writer shall not have any other full- or part-time job, and cannot be actively enrolled in a degree program in any college or graduate school.


The Academy will provide, for the academic year, a house or an apartment (furnished, if necessary), depending upon the needs of the Writer. The Writer and the Writer's family may take meals in the Academy dining hall at no expense while school is in session.


The Fellowship shall be held for the academic year. Between September and June, the Writer shall be in residence whenever the Academy is in session.