These are expired guidelines, available for information purposes only. The application deadlines and process have changed. The new guidelines will be available in January. See here for more information.
Through its literature, a nation expresses its hopes and fears, and tells its stories to its citizens and to the world. The National Endowment for the Arts is committed to providing opportunities for Americans to make literature a more important part of their daily lives.
The Arts Endowment seeks to sustain and nurture a multiplicity of American literary traditions by:
- Ensuring that literary presses and magazines, community-based organizations, and national literary centers complement the trade publishing sector in the shaping of contemporary American letters.
- Supporting organizations that nurture emerging and mid-career writers and provide assistance to nascent literary organizations.
- Supporting endeavors to provide America's readers with direct access to contemporary writers.
- Supporting the use of new technology and innovative publishing projects
NOTE: Literary publishing projects must focus primarily on contemporary literature and/or writers.
In addition, the Arts Endowment offers fellowships to published creative writers and translators in the areas of prose and poetry.
Art Works applications will be accepted under two deadlines: March 7, 2013, and August 8, 2013. Apply under the deadline with the NEA outcome (in bold below) and project example that most closely corresponds to the primary focus of your proposed project. You will be asked to indicate the outcome that is most relevant to your project in your application and on the application form (you also will be able to select a secondary outcome).
March 7, 2013, Application Deadline
January 1, 2014, Earliest Beginning Date for Arts Endowment Period of Support
- Literary publishing projects that support print and online literary magazines and independent and university presses to publish, distribute, and promote poetry, fiction, drama, translation, and creative nonfiction by contemporary writers. Projects may include but are not limited to:
- Publication, production, promotion, and distribution of books and magazine issues.
- Payments to writers (e.g., royalties, honoraria).
- Efforts to increase book sales or magazine circulation and expand readership.
- Efforts to maintain the availability of contemporary works of literary merit.
- Digitization of publishers’ backlists and other endeavors to make work available in new and emerging markets.
- Online and electronic endeavors that provide readers with greater access to literature.
August 8, 2013, Application Deadline
June 1, 2014, Earliest Beginning Date for Arts Endowment Period of Support
- Opportunities for writers and translators to create and refine their work.
- Audience development projects that encourage national and regional activities that promote and develop audiences for literature. Projects may include but are not limited to:
- Residencies, readings, author tours, and literary festivals.
- Distribution of works of literary value.
- Innovative uses of technology, media, or new models to provide readers with access to writers and literature though creative platforms such as ebooks, mobile device apps, and web-born journals; Livestream readings; and social networking sites.
- Efforts to provide increased community access and exposure to the craft of writing.
- Projects that maintain America's literary infrastructure and provide assistance to writers, translators, and literary organizations. Projects may include but are not limited to:
- Services for writers.
- Technical support for literary organizations.
- Workshops, conferences, and publications that provide professional and artistic development, networks, and other services to writers and literary organizations.
- Mentorship opportunities for emerging writers and literary professionals.
- Education and related activities for youth, adults, intergenerational groups, and schools. (If your project is for youth, see "Choosing the Right Discipline for Youth Projects" to help you in your discipline selection.)
- Projects that provide a gathering place/venue for the arts to enrich community cultural life and foster community interaction. Projects may include but are not limited to:
- Literary arts festivals, performances, and other activities in public spaces that are intended to foster community interaction and/or enhance the unique characteristics of a community.
- The development of writer live/work spaces.
- The enhancement of public spaces through commissioning and/or installation of literary works.
- Community-based partnerships that integrate the literary arts with livability efforts.
(Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact staff if they are considering Livability as a primary outcome.)
We ask all applicants to define what they would like to achieve, how they will assess the degree to which it is achieved, and, upon completion of the project, what they have learned from their experiences. Such feedback need not entail large-scale or expensive evaluation efforts. You should do what is feasible and appropriate for your organization and project. When a grant is completed, you must submit a final report and answer questions on your achievements and how these were determined. Arts Education grantees will be required to describe the assessment methods used to assess learning, and they will be required to submit any tools used to assess learning with their Final Report. (Please note that assessment tools may be shared publicly. If your tools are proprietary and have copyrights or trademarks attached, you will be asked to note that in your application and Final Report.) Before applying, please review the reporting requirements for the outcome that will be selected for the proposed project: Creation, Engagement, Learning, or Livability.
Beyond the reporting requirements for all grantees, selected Art Works grantees will be asked to assist in the collection of additional information that can help the NEA determine the degree to which agency objectives were achieved. You may be contacted to provide evidence of project accomplishments including, but not limited to, work samples, community action plans, cultural asset studies, programs, reviews, relevant news clippings, and playbills. Please remember that you are required to maintain project documentation for three years following submission of your final reports.
This category uses the agency's traditional method of application review. Applications are submitted to the Literature staff and are reviewed by a diverse group of experts in the literature field.
Applications are reviewed on the basis of artistic excellence and artistic merit. For more detailed information on how artistic excellence and artistic merit will be evaluated, see the "Review Criteria." You can find additional information in the "Application Review" section of the "Frequently Asked Questions." See the "Application Calendar" for information on when we expect to announce grant awards and rejections.
Literature Specialist: Amy Stolls, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/682-5771