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The Gabriel García Márquez Fellowship in cultural journalism

La Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano and the Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia  invites applications for The Gabriel García Márquez Fellowship in cultural journalism.

About The Gabriel García Márquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism

„Even if someone set me loose blindfolded, I would know I’m in the Caribbean.” In this way, Gabriel García Márquez described his visceral connection with this part of the world, to which he owes the cadence and exuberance of his literary and journalistic work, the cultural universe that has fed a large part of his life.

Inspired by that link, the New Journalism Foundation -FNPI-, created by García Márquez himself in the city of Cartagena de Indias, and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia have joined forces to create an international program of training and creation in which reporters from different parts of world will have the opportunity to expand their range in cultural journalism and to explore and recount, in Spanish and in English, the stories of Colombian Caribbean culture, which mix the richness of the traditional and the popular with the latest in literature, music and visual arts.

This project has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of the Secretariat of Culture of Barranquilla (the city declared the 2013 American Capital of Culture), The Cartago Foundation, the Hay Festival and the Cartagena International Music Festival, and the support of the Organization Ardila Lülle (OAL) and the University Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Caribbean campus.

The aim of this workshop will be to use the themes of music, literature and popular culture to strengthen the basic forms of cultural journalism, specifically the interview, extended reportage and critical commentary. It will also give an opportunity to think about the role of cultural journalism in an era in which creator and audience have an increasingly direct contact, facilitated by digital tools.

The training laboratories will be the International Music Festival, the Hay Festival in Cartagena de Indias and the opening of the Barranquilla Carnival, a public festival declared by UNESCO to be a Heritage of Humanity.

These three international meetings gather together extraordinary popular culture and contemporary art in two cities that act as a prism for understanding the universe created by García Márquez. For a better understanding of this relationship, we recommend his book of memoirs „Living to Tell the Tale.”

The reporters who will take part in this experience, will be guided by colleagues of high professional renown, accompanied by guest experts to help expand both their vision and the criteria by which they choose the facts and characters that will serve as the protagonists of their stories.

With its connection to this project, which aims to become an annual program, the Ministry of Culture and the sponsoring organizations highlight the passion of Gabriel García Márquez for journalism, literature, music and Caribbean culture. In this way, they join the celebration in 2012 of the 30th anniversary of his Nobel Prize for Literature, of which García Márquez once said that at least half of that award was due to his work as a journalist.

How does the Fellowship work?

Closing date for application: October 2, 2012

Publication date of students selected: October 18, 2012
Venue: Cartagena and Barranquilla (Colombia)

The Gabriel García Márquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism will be divided into three modules: Music, Popular Culture and Literature. All modules will be coordinated by FNPI teacher Héctor Feliciano and the American journalist Jonathan Levi. In addition, each module will include guest experts, both national and international.

A total of 20 journalists will be selected and split in two groups of 10. During the first week, the first group will work on the music module.  During the third week, the second group will work on the literature module.  During the second week, both groups will work together on the popular culture module.


1) Music: from January 7-13, 2013 during the Cartagena International Music Festival. Guest Masters: Anne Midgette (USA), music journalist and blogger of the Washington Post newspaper, and Diego Fischerman (Argentina), journalist, music critic and blogger of the newspaper Página/12,from Argentina.

2) Popular Culture: from January 14-20,2013, within the framework of Pre-Carnival of Barranquilla. Guest Master: Alberto Salcedo Ramos (Colombia), writer and teacher from FNPI.

3) Literature: from January 21-27, 2012, during the Hay Festival Cartagena. Guest Masters: Francine Prose (United States), writer and ex-president of the PEN American Center and Mario Jursich (Colombia), director of the magazine El Malpensante.

Each module will be approached with the methodology that characterizes FNPI workshops, in which the priority is on practical work and conversation provokes professional exchanges in an atmosphere of camaraderie and informality.

The sessions will be held in English, which requires that all participants have a working knowledge of the language. In cases when the sessions are held in Spanish, there will be simultaneous translation.

Additionally, we will hold virtual sessions via Skype, to tackle topics related to digital journalism with two teachers from FNPI – Jean François Fogel (France) and Gumersindo Lafuente (Spain).  We will also make a visit to Aracataca, to get to know the town where García Márquez was born.

It is expected that all Fellows, in addition to the work they do as part of the workshop, will write and report for their own home media outlets, about the cultural events that they attend during the workshop.

IMPORTANT: When making the application, each candidate must specify in his text of autobiography if he or she wants to work in the Music or the Literature module. Please note that you can join only one of the two modules.


  • We will select 20 journalists, fluent in English, with a minimum of three years experience, who work or publish in print or digital media.
  • To verify English proficiency, there will be an interview via telephone or skype with the finalists.
  • 6 places will be reserved for Colombians, some of whom may be selected from among the journalists who have previously participated in the training program in cultural journalism of the Ministry of Culture.
  • The 20 selected will be divided into two groups of 10.  Each of the groups will work for 2 weeks, one week in Cartagena and the other in Barranquilla.

Those selected must bring to the workshop:

  • Personal Laptop computer.
  • Copies of the media for which they work or publish.

 Requirements for Application

 Applicants must fill out the registration form through the FNPI system and attach:

  • An autobiography, between 400 and 800 words (in English, Spanish or Portuguese), stressing both journalistic experience in the cultural field (music or literature according to the module chosen) and reasons for wanting to attend the fellowship.

With this text we want to evaluate your narrative skills and your ability to construct a engaging reportage. Try your best!

This essay is the most important criterion for selection and should be prepared prior to completing the form online. Conventional resumes will not be taken into account.

  • A letter of support that certifies employment with the media for which you work. In the case of freelancers, we require certification from the media that you have published there during the previous six months. In both instances, the letter must specify that the media is committed to publishing the articles you produce during the fellowship, as long as they comply with their editorial politics
  • A piece of reportage or other article of your authorship that has been published in the past year. This text must focus on either music or literature depending on the module chosen by the applicant.
  • NOTE: Only online registration is valid, made ​​via the registration form on the website of FNPI. Registrations by fax, email or postal mail, will not be accepted.

 Registration and support

Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, the participants will not have to pay a registration fee for this activity. They will also receive the following financial support:

  • Roundtrip ticket, economy class
  • Accommodation in a single room during the term of the fellowship
  • International medical insurance during the term of the fellowship
  • Refreshments daily, a welcome dinner, a farewell dinner for each group, and a lunch to introduce both groups in Barranquilla
  • Working materials.
  • Press credentials for access to the festivals and artists.

 How to apply

To register for The Gabriel García Márquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism, please follow the steps listed below:

  1. Go to the top of this page where you will find a box to login (Iniciar Sesión)
  2. Sign in with your email and password. If you do not have an account in you must complete the registration data on the following link: http: // 
  3. Click on „Postularse” (Apply).
  4. Fill out the form displayed and attach the required documents mentioned in Requirements for Application.
  5. Click on Send.

If you have questions about the registration process, please write to