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Creative Writing Fellowships

Fellowships to USA Published Writers for
Career Advancement in Creative Writing

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National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

Deadline Date:

03/07/18 11:59 PM ET - Literature Fellowships: Poetry


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Fellowships of up to $25,000 to USA individual writers demonstrating literary excellence in prose or poetry to dedicate time for writing, travel, research, and general career advancement. Applicants are advised to register in the online grants system and apply well in advance of the deadline. Applications are currently invited in the category of poetry.

The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships program offers grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Applications are reviewed through an anonymous process in which the only criteria for review are artistic excellence and artistic merit. To review the applications, the National Endowment for the Arts assembles a different advisory panel every year, each diverse with regard to geography, race and ethnicity, and artistic points of view.

The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose and poetry available in alternating years. For FY 2019, which is covered by these guidelines, fellowships in poetry are available. Fellowships in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) will be offered in FY 2020 and guidelines will be available in January 2019. You may apply only once each year.

Competition for fellowships is extremely rigorous. NEA typically receives more than 1,000 applications each year in this category and award fellowships to fewer than 5% of applicants. You should consider carefully whether your work will be competitive at the national level.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178745

Estimated Size of Grant:

Fellowships are for $25,000.

Term of Contract:

NEA support of a project may begin any time between January 1, 2019, and January 1, 2020, and extend for up to two years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant Eligibility:

Creative writers who meet the publication requirements that are listed below are eligible to apply. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

You may submit only one application for FY 2019 funding.

You are not eligible to apply if you have received two or more Fellowships (in poetry, prose, or translation) from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, you may not apply if you have received any National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship (in poetry or prose) or Translation Fellowship on or after October 1, 2009 (FY 2010).

Former grantees must have submitted acceptable Final Report packages by the due date(s) for all National Endowment for the Arts award(s) previously received.

You are eligible to apply in Poetry if, between January 1, 2011, and March 7, 2018, you have had published:
-A volume of 48 or more pages of poetry; or
-Twenty or more different poems or pages of poetry in five or more literary journals, anthologies, or publications which regularly include poetry as a portion of their format. Up to 16 poems may be in a single volume of poetry of fewer than 48 pages. This volume, however, may count as only one of the required five places of publication. For online publications, a page of poetry is considered to be twenty lines or less.

To qualify, work must have been first published with an eligible publisher between these dates, not only reprinted or reissued in another format during this period.

You may use digital, audio, or online publications to establish eligibility, provided that the publisher has a competitive selection process and stated editorial policy. If the online publication or website no longer exists, you must provide, upon request, sufficient evidence that your work once appeared online. If sufficient evidence cannot be provided, the online publication will not be eligible.

The following may not be used to establish eligibility:
-Pre-publication material, such as galleys, proofs, and advance reader's copies.
-Work that has appeared in a publication for which you are the editor, publisher, or staff.
-Collaborative work.
-Scholarly writing.
-Instructional writing.
-News Reporting.
-Book reviews.
-Editorials/letters to the editor.
-Student publications and publications that primarily print work by persons who are affiliated with a particular academic institution.
-Any publication by presses that: require individual writers to pay for part or all of the production costs; require writers to buy or sell copies of the publication; publish work without competitive selection or a stated editorial policy; or publish work without professional editing.

Not Funded:
-Individuals who previously have received two or more Literature Fellowships (in poetry or prose) or Translation Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.
-Individuals who have received any Literature Fellowship (in poetry or prose) or Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts on or after October 1, 2009.
-News reporting.
-Scholarly writing. (Writers who are engaged in scholarly work may wish to contact the National Endowment for the Humanities.)
-Work toward academic degrees.

Pre-Application Information:

You must submit your application electronically through, the federal government’s online application system. The system must receive your validated and accepted application no later than 11:59 PM, Eastern Time, on March 7, 2018.

It is your responsibility to create and maintain a registration with Registration is a one-time process, which can take a day or more to complete. Do not wait until the day of the application deadline to register to allow time to resolve any issues that may arise.

Submit your application no later than February 26, 2018 to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems that you might encounter. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in your inability to submit your application.

Key Dates:
-Application Deadline: March 7, 2018
-Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection: December 2018
-Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance: January 1, 2019

Application Calendar:

Applicant Eligibility:

How to Prepare and Submit an Application:

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Application Assistance:

Award Administration:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Phone: 202/682-5034
TTY: 202/682-5082

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