ACES: The Society for Editing and the Dow Jones News Fund are pleased to announce the next round of the Richard S. Holden Diversity Fellowship. The fellowship, launched in 2020, is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion by advancing early- and mid-career professionals in their work as editors, communicators 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 sponsoring organizations will award a maximum of five 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.

Major funding for the Holden Diversity Fellowship has been provided by the ACES Education Fund, the Dow Jones News Fund, the Scripps Howard Foundation and individuals who want to perpetuate the joyful ideals of Richard S. Holden.

The deadline to apply is Sunday, July 17, at 11:59 p.m. EDT


Fellowship Details


Are you an editor seeking to develop your skills, chart a new career path or otherwise advance your professional prospects? Do you lack training opportunities through your employer? Do you work as a freelancer or contractor, managing your career on your own?

And when we say “editor,” we mean someone who makes decisions that help a piece of writing fulfill its potential and provide an audience with clarity and meaning.

If you see yourself in those first two paragraphs, we encourage you to apply for the Richard S. Holden Diversity Fellowship.

Applicants for the Holden Diversity Fellowship must have at least three years of full-time professional editing experience. We define editing, broadly, as preparing written materials for dissemination. That could mean work in journalism, publishing, public relations, marketing, design or another communications industry, or a communications-focused role with editing responsibilities in another industry. Editing should be a significant part of an applicant’s duties, regardless of job title or industry.

Internships served after completion of a bachelor’s degree may count toward the three-year minimum requirement for professional experience. Undergraduate internships and participation in student media organizations do not. However, applicants are encouraged to list significant student experience that includes advocacy for diversity or roles in leadership.

Fellows will be awarded a two-year membership in ACES; current membership in ACES is not required.

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 listed below.

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


The application period is open until 11:59 p.m. EDT Sunday, July 17. Please watch for updates and reminders at the ACES website or follow @aceseditors on Twitter.

To apply, you must submit 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, equity and inclusion in your personal work and in the wider world of editing and communications. 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 Programming

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 are grateful for the essential financial support of the Scripps Howard Foundation and scores of donors to the Holden Fellowship. Individual donors are encouraged to contribute to funding the fellowship.

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