ACES: The Society for Editing and the Dow Jones News Fund have created the Richard S. Holden Diversity Fellowship, a pilot program dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion by advancing early- and mid-career professionals in their work as editors and aspiring industry leaders. Our goal is to enable participants to obtain the training and support they need for a faster track to success. 

The organizations will initially award up to three fellowships of up to $3,000 each. Candidates from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply. The grants are intended to enable Holden Fellows to enroll in established training programs, attend seminars and conferences, or pursue other activities aimed at advancing their careers. Fellows may apply their funds to travel, course tuition, conference fees, or other costs related to their continuing career development and skill building. 

Startup funding for the Holden Diversity Fellowship has been provided by grants of $7,500 each from the ACES Education Fund and the Dow Jones News Fund, as well as generous donations from individual members of the ACES Education Fund board of directors and other friends of the late Rich Holden. 

After the initial application and selection period is completed, ACES and the Dow Jones News Fund plan to award later grants on a rolling basis, with deadlines of approximately once every quarter.


Applicants for the Holden Diversity Fellowship must have at least five years of professional experience in editing, and must be an ACES member in good standing.

Preference will be given to editors who lack employer support for career training. Applicants will be asked to submit a preliminary action plan and proposed budget. They may select established training programs on their own or choose from a menu of possibilities suggested by the Holden Fellowship committee.

Awarding of the Holden Diversity Fellowship is no guarantee of admission to any program. Applicants are responsible for pursuing such opportunities and providing proof of acceptance. Funds will be disbursed on an approved schedule based on successful applicants’ registration, tuition, travel, and other financial obligations. Holden Fellows will have up to 18 months in which to use their awarded funds.


The initial application period for the Richard S. Holden Fellowship has closed. Please see ACES member emails and this website for updates on the next round of applications starting in 2021.

The application consists of the following materials:

  • A résumé.
  • Complete contact information for two references who are familiar with your work in editing and can speak to your potential for career development and advancement.
  • A personal essay telling us about where you have been and what you aspire to do. Give us your views on the importance of diversity and inclusion in your personal work and in the wider world of editing and communication. Tell us about your successes (or even frustrations) in dealing with such issues in your work experiences. Share with us specific actions you have taken to advance the cause of inclusion and understanding. If you have been active in ACES and other affinity organizations, tell us about that. Please aim for 500 to 750 words, though it’s fine to write more.
  • A proposed plan of action, including an approximate timeline, listing programs to which you have applied or to which you hope to apply and to which you would devote your fellowship funds.
Suggested Programing

Applicants to the Holden Diversity Fellowship are encouraged to identify training programs of their choosing or to consider possibilities from the following list:

ACES Programs

  • The ACES Academy
    • Digital suite of training for editors offers webcasts, videos, on-demand courses, and in-depth virtual sessions
  • ACES Advanced Editing Certificate
    • Advanced editing training package for experienced editors “seeking to move their work to a new level”

Leadership and Diversity

Public Relations


Specialized Editing

About Richard S. Holden

The fellowship recognizes the work of the late Richard S. Holden, a giant in the world of news editing, and his dedication to promoting diversity. Hundreds of professional editors owe their starts to his work at The Wall Street Journal in New York and in Asia for nearly two decades. Then, at the Dow Jones News Fund, Rich spent 22 years engaged in selecting and training hundreds more for internships he arranged in news editing, financial journalism, and digital media. He followed through with his dedication as a mentor and instructor for aspiring journalists of color at summer programs of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Rich was a lifetime member of ACES and a longtime member of the board of the ACES Education Fund, the organization’s fundraising and scholarship arm. He was one of the first industry leaders to join ACES after its inception in 1997 as the American Copy Editors Society. Through its scholarship programs, ACES has helped more than 100 young editors to complete their college studies and advance into the professional ranks of the news industry, corporate and nonprofit editing, academia, book publishing, and other fields.

The ACES Education Fund and the Dow Jones News Fund have agreed to underwrite the initial cohort of Holden Fellows while developing a longer-term funding plan. Individual donors are encouraged to contribute.

Please direct inquiries to We welcome your questions and your suggestions as we further develop this pilot program.