18 Writing Grants and Fellowships with Cash Prizes Up to $80,000

Written by S. Kalekar

The following is a list of writing grants and fellowships that offer cash awards to writers. The awards range from a few hundred dollars to $80,000. This list includes a wide variety of grants and fellowships – regional grants for artists working in communities, funds for poets to travel outside the US,  funds helping writers in times of crisis, fellowships for translation, prestigious fellowships in the foremost universities in the US for established writers, and more. None of have an application fee.

Many of the opportunities here are limited by geographic region, however, many are not. Read the list to find one that may be right for you.


Arizona Commission on the Arts’ Artist Research and Development Grants

Artist Research and Development Grants (ARDG) are designed to support individual artists from all disciplines, including literary arts. The grant aims to aid in the development of artistic work, support the advancement of artistic research and recognize the contributions individual artists make to Arizona’s communities.

Non-fiction writers who apply are also eligible for the $1,000 Bill Desmond Writing Award. This can be offered independent of, or in addition to, the ARDG award.

Value: $3,000-$5,000
Deadline: 25 August, 2016
Open for: Arizona residents
Details here: http://azarts.gov/grant/artist-research-and-development/

Kentucky Foundation for Women’s Artist Enrichment Grant

This is for feminist arts organizations and artists, including literary, whose work reflects feminism and social change. Funding is provided for several activities; artistic development, for residencies, or building a body of work.

Value: $1,000-$7,500
Deadline: September 2, 2016
Open for: Kentucky-based artists and organizations
Details here: http://www.kfw.org/grants/artist-enrichment/

PEN America’s Writers’ Emergency Fund and Fund for Writers and Editors with HIV/AIDS

The PEN Emergency Fund is for acute emergencies, like short-term medical or housing situations that writers are unable to resolve independently. Writers do not have to be PEN American Centre members to apply.

The Emergency Fund also administers the Fund for Writers and Editors with HIV/AIDS; grants up to $2,000 are made given to professional writers and editors who face serious financial difficulties due to HIV or AIDS-related illness.

Value: up to $2,000
Deadline: September 15, 2016
Open for: Permanent US residents and/or citizens
Details here: https://pen.org/writers-emergency-fund

Delaware Division of the Arts’ Artist Opportunity Grants

These are in two categories: professional and artistic development –   for things like studying with a significant master for a limited time, residencies, or exchange programs; and presentation opportunities – including funding for performance, publication, or renting equipment.

Value: up to $750
Deadline: Quarterly deadlines; the next one is October 1, 2016, for activities occurring between November 15 and February 15
Open for: Delaware residents for at least one year at the time of application
Details here: http://www.artsdel.org/grants/
And here: http://www.artsdel.org/grants/IndivArtistOpportunity.pdf

Canada Council for the Arts’ Grants for Professional Writers

This is for emerging, mid-career and established Canadian writers. The program covers “subsistence, project and travel expenses.” It allows authors time to “write new literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, children’s and young adults’ literature, graphic novels, exploratory writing and literary non-fiction.”

Value: $3,000-$12,000 for emerging, and $3,000-$25,000 for both mid-career and established writers
Open for: Canadian citizens or those with permanent residence status
Deadline: October 1, 2016
Details here: http://canadacouncil.ca/writing-and-publishing/find-a-grant/grants/grants-for-professional-writers-creative-writing#eligibility

Wheaton Cultural Project Grants

This is open for arts organizations, scholars and artists, and includes spoken word performances, writing of literary works, and “publications, readings and compilations of original poetry, fiction, nonfiction, creative nonfiction, screenplays and play scripts.” Proposals by African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) artists, arts organizations and communities are encouraged. Evaluation is based on project quality, project impact, community benefit, and administrative capacity. First-time applicants must attend a free application webinar or workshop.

Value: $1,000-$10,000
Deadline: October 4, 2016
Open for: Montgomery County based artists, who must apply with an organizational partner. Activities/cultural projects proposed to take place between January 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 in Wheaton, MD.

Details here: http://www.creativemoco.com/grants/guidelines

The Haven Foundation’s Grants

Founded by Stephen King, the “Haven Foundation gives financial assistance to provide temporary support needed to safeguard and sustain the careers of established freelance artists, writers and other members of the arts and art production communities who have suffered disabilities or experienced a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or personal catastrophe.” Grants are made for one year and may be renewed for four more years.

Value: Unspecified
Deadline: 5 November, 2016; no electronic submissions
Open for: Legal US residents
Details here: http://www.thehavenfdn.org/

American Society of Journalists and Authors’ Writers Emergency Assistance Fund

The fund “helps established freelance writers who, because of advanced age, illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work.” A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant, but must establish a record of past professional freelance nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years.

Value: Unspecified
Deadline: Rolling; their website says to allow 10 days for a decision
Open for: Writers “do not have to live in the United States but must submit books or articles written in English.”
Details here: http://asja.org/For-Writers/WEAF


Radcliffe Institute Fellowships, Harvard University

These fellowships are also for those in the creative arts – writers of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry can apply, as can playwrights/screenwriters and journalists, and are artists who have shown “both exceptional promise and demonstrated accomplishments.” Fellows are given access to libraries at Harvard and office space at the Radcliffe Institute.

For fiction and nonfiction, applicants must have had either: one or more published books, contract for the publication of a book-length work, or at least three shorter works published, preferably in the print medium. Poets must have had at least 20 poems published in the last five years or a published book of poetry, and must be in the process of completing a manuscript. Journalists must have worked in the genre for five years, and playwrights/screenwriters must have produced a significant body of independent work.

Value: up to $75,000 for one year with additional funds for project expenses, and some relocation funds where relevant
Deadline: September 15, 2016
Open for: Applicants worldwide
Details here: https://radcliffe.onlineapplicationportal.com/misc/guidelines/arts.aspx

The Hodder Fellowship, Princeton University

This one-year, non-teaching fellowship is open for emerging artists in all disciplines, including writers, “of exceptional promise” who are selected “for promise rather than performance” to undertake new work at Princeton. No teaching duties are attached. Most successful applicants have had a first book published. The fellowship is designed to give applicants space to pursue significant new work.

Value: $80,000
Deadline: September 19, 2016
Open for: Applicants worldwide
Details here: http://arts.princeton.edu/fellowships/hodder-fellowship/

Princeton Arts Fellowship, Princeton University

This two-year fellowship is open for entries for early-career artists, including poets, novelists and playwrights, whose “achievements show extraordinary promise in any area of artistic practice and teaching.” Fellows also have teaching duties, but could be asked to take on an artistic project with students in lieu of a class.

Applicants can apply for this fellowship twice in a lifetime.

Value: $80,000/year
Deadline: September 19, 2016
Open for: Applicants worldwide
Details here: http://arts.princeton.edu/fellowships/princeton-arts-fellowship/

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation’s US and Canadian Competition

These midcareer fellowships are made out to professionals, including those in the literary arts, for 6-12 months, to provide them with blocks of time to pursue their creative endeavours. No special conditions are attached to these fellowships; the fellows may use funds as they see fit, for their work.

Value: Amounts vary
Open for: Citizens and permanent residents of the US or Canada
Deadline: Application deadline September 19, 2016; work samples to be sent by November 15
Details here: http://www.gf.org/applicants/us-canada/

American Academy in Berlin’s Fellowships
These are fellowships for emerging and established scholars, writers and professionals for independent study in Berlin. Fellows are typically awarded for a semester or, in some cases, for the entire academic year. Writers need to have published at least one book. Candidates need not be working on German topics.

Value: $5,000/month stipend, round-trip airfare, Academy accommodation, partial board
Deadline: September 30, 2016
Open for: Candidates based permanently in the US; US citizenship isn’t required
Details here: http://www.americanacademy.de/home/fellows/applications

New York Public Library: Cullman Center Fellowships

These fellowships – for “outstanding scholars and writers” – are now open. They are awarded to those whose work will benefit from access to the research collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (formerly the Humanities and Social Sciences Library). Fellows are required to work at the Cullman Center, on the project for which they applied, for the duration of the fellowship term.

Value: $70,000
Deadline: September 30, 2016
Open for: Applicants worldwide
Details here: https://www.nypl.org/help/about-nypl/fellowships-institutes/center-for-scholars-and-writers

The New York Public Library also offers fellowships for short-term research, valued at $1,000/week for two to four weeks; details for the 2017/18 fellowships will be available on their website in October.


Virginia Commission for the Arts’ Artist Fellowship: Poetry

These are fellowships to “support activities that will advance the art form or the careers of these artists.” Disciplines are supported on a rotating basis and for 2016-17, it is poetry.

Value: $3,000
Deadline: October 1, 2016
Open for: legal residents of Virginia

Details here: http://www.arts.virginia.gov/grants_fellowship.html#review

Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship

This is for any “poet of American birth who is able and willing to spend one year outside the continent of North America. There is no age requirement, and there is no requirement that applicants be enrolled in a university or other education program. While many recent winners have been published poets, there is no requirement that applicants have previously published their work.”

Value: Unspecified, but their website puts the 2016-17 scholarship at approximately $54,000
Deadline: October 15, 2016
Open for: Any poet of American birth
Details here: http://www.amylowell.org/

Washington College’s Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship

This is for published writers and established scholars “supports outstanding writing on American history and culture by both scholars and nonacademic authors.”

“Applicants should have a significant book-length project currently in progress. The project should address the history and/or legacy – broadly defined – of the American Revolution and the nation’s founding ideas. It might focus on the founding era itself, or on the myriad ways the questions that preoccupied the nation’s founders have shaped America’s later history. Work that contributes to ongoing national conversations about America’s past and present, with the potential to reach a wide public, is particularly sought. 

The fellowship offers health benefits, faculty privileges, a book allowance and residency in Chesterton, Md.

Value: $45,000
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Details here:  https://www.washcoll.edu/centers/starr/fellowships/patrick-henry-writing-fellowship/

National Endowment for the Arts’ Translation Project Fellowship

“Through fellowships to published translators, the Arts Endowment supports projects for the translation of specific works of prosepoetry, or drama from other languages into English. We encourage translations of writers and of work that are not well represented in English translation. All proposed projects must be for creative translations of literary material into English.” The review criteria is artistic excellence and artistic merit, both of the translation sample provided and of the proposed project.

Value: $12,500 or $25,000; award amounts are determined by the NEA

Deadline: December 6, 2016
Open for: Published translators who are citizens or permanent residents of the US
Details here: https://www.arts.gov/grants-individuals/translation-projects




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