Ultiworld’s FWD Program Is Taking Applications For 2021!

Our paid summer program for female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming creators returns for the USAU club season.

After a hiatus in 2020, Ultiworld is pleased to announce the return of the FWD Program (formerly Female Writers Development Program) for the 2021 USA Ultimate club season. FWD is our summer/fall crash course that puts female, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming1 creators side-by-side with current members of the Ultiworld staff through the course of a full season. FWD participants will participate in our club coverage, write short-form pieces for the site, exchange ideas and expertise with the reporting and broadcasting teams, and have at least one major feature published during the program.

FWD participants will work hands-on with Ultiworld editors and contribute to the site regularly throughout the program, working to report out team and tournament coverage and assisting editors with news coverage. Along with typical weekly assignments, FWD participants will be guided by editors and staff through the process of finding a story, shaping an angle, and producing a feature in their own words.

In addition to written coverage, interested participants will also have the opportunity to work with Ultiworld’s experienced broadcasters and creators on projects in other formats, such as podcasts, video, or game commentary. We hope to provide flexible opportunities for participants to share their voices and hone their practices in the modern media environment.

FWD 2021 is co-directed by Associate Editor Mags Colvett and Executive Editor Steve Sullivan. To learn more about FWD, read a Q&A with 2019’s participants or Kelsey Hayden’s feature project from the program. To learn more about Ultiworld, see our About page, Pitch Guidelines, or Equity Statement.

Format for 2021

FWD 2021 will run from July through the USA Ultimate Club Championships, currently scheduled for October 21 through 24. Due to the unusual format of this year’s regular season, it’s likely our coverage will center less on major Triple Crown Tour events and more on regionally diffuse competition and evolving storylines in the sport; accordingly, participants should be ready to approach the season with curiosity and willingness to shape their own stories.

General Ultiworld Club Coverage Schedule

JulyAugustSeptemberOctober
Division Primers

Club Rosters

Tournament coverage

Club Updates

Power Rankings
Tournament coverage

Club Updates

Power Rankings
Features

Series Coverage

Club Updates

Power Rankings
Nationals Preview

Nationals Recap

Club Awards

The program includes a stipend for all participants. Workload will amount to approximately five hours per week and shouldn’t preclude from other summer work or internships (or from competing with your own team during the club season). Travel for tournament coverage may be included, but is not required for 2021.

Who You Are

  • You’re a female, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming storyteller with a passion for journalism, communications, or a related field, and are interested in pursuing that passion either in the workforce or as a part-time craft.
  • You’re excited to work in an environment where people embrace challenges and work together to create media that reflects and serves our community.
  • You’re 18 years of age or older.

How To Apply

Tell us a good ultimate story: the final breathless point of a win or loss, a meaningful relationship that grew through the sport, or even how you to learned to throw a flick. No subject is too small or too niche if it can be told well. Applicants are encouraged to use their favorite medium to apply, and may submit their story in any of the following ways:

  • Written work (850 words maximum)
  • Audio piece (3 minutes maximum)
  • Video (3 minutes maximum)
  • Other (Do you have an idea for an innovative new way to tell a story? We’re all ears!)

Submit your application via email by Monday, June 21 with “FWD 2021 Application” in the subject line. Make sure your email includes a short paragraph about yourself, where you’re located, and your favorite news medium.

Send applications or questions to steve@ultiworld.com.


  1. The FWD Program is designed to provide practice and mentorship for creators of all marginalized genders as one part of a larger equity picture that includes many axes of identity and experience. We welcome applicants of any gender identity outside the already-well-represented cisgender male paradigm who believe they would benefit from the program. 

  1. Mags Colvett
    Mags Colvett

    Mags Colvett is Ultiworld's Associate Editor, the holder of a creative writing MFA from Ohio State University and a literature MA from the University of Georgia, and a proud career B-teamer. They live in Queens and tweet at @magscolvett.

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