Institutional News

Jeanie Riess Selected as Bennington Writing Seminars Residential Teaching Fellow

Jeanie Riess, a rising second-term MFA student in fiction, has been selected to be the third Residential Teaching Fellow at the Bennington Writing Seminars. The fellowship is the first of its kind in the country to offer full-time undergraduate teaching experience in a low-residency MFA format. Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, and enrollment in an on-campus class.

Photo of Jeanie Riess

Riess will work in the classroom for a full term beginning in Fall 2020. She’ll assist Bennington faculty member Manuel Gonzales in his class Screenwriting: Scene and Structure. Her duties include grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research, among other responsibilities. Riess will also gain experience in arts administration and programming while assisting with Poetry@Bennington, along with continuing her regular MFA coursework. 

The competitive fellowship is open to Bennington MFA students rising into their second, third or fourth term. Students are mentored 1:1 with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working, and by the faculty mentor with whom they have been assigned to work on their manuscript. Riess studied with longtime MFA faculty member and bestselling novelist, Jill McCorkle, during her first term at Bennington.

“We’re thrilled to have Jeanie here as the third Residential Teaching Fellow,” said Mark Wunderlich, director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. “Her deep publication history and background as an editor, researcher, and teacher make her a perfect fit. We conceived this fellowship to give Bennington students a unique opportunity to have full-time teaching experience and also to work closely with our literary partners.”

Riess is a writer from New Orleans who currently works as research editor at The New Yorker. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, the Oxford American, and The Atlantic's City Lab. She has also written for newspapers in Mississippi and Louisiana. 

“I'm really excited to spend the fall at Bennington, surrounded by talented writers and seas of books,” said Riess. 

She was a teaching fellow at the Kenyon Review's Young Writers summer session in 2016, earned a fiction fellowship from The University of Montana and was an editorial fellow at The New Republic. She is a graduate of Kenyon College.

Application deadlines to the Bennington Writing Seminars are September 1 (for admission to the January residency) and March 1 (for admission to the June residency.)