I should definitely have more faith in my colleagues.
Now that things are official, I can talk about it. After my email to the Victoria list, I got quite a bit of email from fellow Victorian scholars, and as of this morning, I had two official letters of affiliation: one from the University of Warwick in Coventry, and one from Birkbeck College at the University of London (whose English department is based out of one of Virginia Woolf's former homes). I also had some interest from the University of Buckingham, which was having problems figuring out visa logistics, though not an official letter. I'd also had suggestions from the rest of the list on how to find other affiliations. All because of the generous nature of my colleagues, both in the US and the UK.
I have been getting the following, though. "That's great! What does it mean?"
Basically, when you apply for a Fulbright scholarship, you need a letter of affiliation, which is a letter from a university or library in your host country that states they will support you academically. They'll give you help, access to libraries, etc. In some cases, people enroll in a foreign university and take classes.
You can put an application in without these affiliations, but if you want a really strong application, you need one (or two, which I just happen to have now!). It increases your chances of actually getting the grant.
So tomorrow and Thursday, I need to revise my documents a little bit to make sure that everything reflects my letters of affiliation now, and then it will get sent off to the State Department. It will be January before I hear whether or not I've made it on to the next step. Since the UK is so incredibly competitive, if I am to make it, I will need to go through a phone interview with the Fulbright Commission there before they would make a decision.
In the meantime, I continue on normally and put my focus on my preliminary exams in the spring. Ever onward I go.