NEA Literature Fellowships

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Deadline: ~ March 1 (The next deadline[2010] is for poets)

Submission Method: Electronic

Current Fellows: Poetry; Prose

Recent Chicago Fellows: None in 2008 or 2009

Competition Level: 42 fellowships were awarded each year in 2008 and 2009; the number of applications submitted is not available

Eligibility: Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. You are not eligible to apply if you have received two or more Creative Writing or Translation Fellowships from the NEA. You may not apply in Prose if you have received any Arts Endowment Creative Writing or Translation Fellowship on or after October 1, 2000 (FY 2001). You may not apply in Poetry if you have received any Arts Endowment Creative Writing or Translation Fellowship on or after October 1, 2001 (FY 2002). You may not apply for a Creative Writing Fellowship and a Translation Project in the same year. News reporting and scholarly reporting are not supported.

This program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose available in FY 2010 and fellowships in poetry available in FY 2011.

You are eligible to apply in Fiction if, between January 1, 2002, and March 5, 2009, you have had published:

  • At least five different short stories, works of short fiction, or excerpts from novels in two or more literary journals, anthologies, or publications that regularly include fiction as a portion of their format; or
  • A volume of short fiction or a collection of short stories; or
  • A novel or novella.

You are eligible to apply in Creative Nonfiction if, between January 1, 2002, and March 5, 2009, you have had published:

  • At least five different creative essays (such as personal essays, memoirs, etc.) in two or more literary journals, anthologies, or publications; or
  • A volume of creative nonfiction.

You are eligible to apply in Poetry if, between January 1, 2003, and March 4, 2010, 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 that 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.

Applicants may use online publications to establish up to fifty percent of their eligibility, provided that such publications have competitive selection processes and stated editorial policies.

You must apply in a specific literary form (i.e., fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry). You must establish your eligibility in the form in which you apply. You must meet the eligibility requirements by the deadline date. No exceptions will be made to the eligibility requirements.

The following may not be used to establish eligibility:

  • Pre-publication material, such as galleys, proofs, and advance reader’s copies
  • Self-publication including work that has appeared in a publication for which you are the editor, publisher, or staff
  • Collaborative work
  • Scholarly writing
  • Instructional writing
  • Journalism
  • Book reviews
  • Editorials/letters to the editor
  • Interviews
  • Student publications and publications that primarily print work by persons who are affiliated with a particular academic institution
  • Vanity press publication

Fellowships for Creative Writers are for $25,000.

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