Donald Quist Headshot

Kimbilio is proud to announce the establishment of two endowments to support writers at future Kimbilio retreats.  The Figueroa Sisters Fellowship will pay retreat expenses for a selected woman writers 50 years of age and older.  The Tiffany Austin Fellowship will be offered to a writer of Caribbean descent. 

The Figueroa Sisters Fellowship has been established and seeded with funds by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa. She writes:  As a Kimbilio alumna, I am pleased to offer a fellowship, named after three Afro-Puerto Rican women who were, in their very quiet, very private way, role models for me and other women in our family. My mother Carmen, and her sisters, Betty and Cani, were my first storytellers and, unbeknownst to them, started me on my long journey to being a published writer. I can almost hear them cheering as they stand at my back, delighting in the narratives, many based on their own stories, that I now share with my readers. I am equally sure, that they rejoice in knowing that this modest fellowship will help propel another woman in her journey on the road to becoming a storyteller in her own right. Women of color, 50 years and over, are encouraged to apply. We need to tell our own, authentic stories, in our own authentic voices.

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa is a novelist , author of Daughters of the Stone (Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, 2019) and A Woman of Endurance (Amistad, 2022)

The Tiffany Austin Fellowship honors the teacher, writer, activist, and Kimbilio Fellow, who passed away in 2018.  Dr. Austin taught at Florida Memorial University, Mississippi Valley State University, and most recently at the University of The Bahamas. She was also a widely published poet, with her chapbook Étude appearing in 2013. Of this volume, her mentor Sterling Plumpp noted, “Austin’s genius is her unusual gift for metaphor and allusion.” Others recognized Tiffany’s genius too, with her poems appearing in such prestigious outlets as CallalooObsidian IIIAfrican American Review, Coloring Book: An Anthology of Poetry and Fiction by Multicultural Writers, Warplandpluck!The Journal of Affrilachian Arts and CultureValley VoicesAuburn AvenueTriQuarterlySycorax’s Daughters, and Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters.  Before her passing, Dr. Austin organized a panel of Kimbilio Fellows of Caribbean descent for a writing conference at the University of the Bahamas.  The Tiffany Austin Fellowship intends to preserve Dr. Austin’s vision of supporting diaspora writing from a region that she loved.  It was established and seeded by an anonymous donor.

Each fellowship is awarded annually to a writer who has been selected to be a Kimbilio Fellow and who plans on attending the summer retreat. The selection process for these and other fellowships will be announced at the time of the application process.

Kimbilio welcomes your support of these Fellowships.  If you would like to donate or to establish additional Fellowships, please email