Application Instructions

For a complete application, follow Steps 1-3 below

Step 1: Fill out the Application for Federal Assistance SF 424 - Individual

NOTE: All asterisked (*) items and yellow fields on this form are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit the form. Do not type in all capital letters when completing the form. Enter information directly into the form. Do not copy from an old application package or another document and paste into the form.

1. Name of Federal Agency: Pre-populated.

2. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: Pre-populated.

3. Date Received: This will be filled automatically with the date that you submit your application; leave blank.

4. Funding Opportunity Number: Pre-populated.

5. Applicant Information:

a. Name and Contact Information:
Applicants using pen names must list their legal name here. All transactions with the Arts Endowment must be made using the legal name. Be sure to enter your e-mail address (you will be notified via e-mail). Contact information must be valid through December 2014. You must notify us of any changes.

b. Address:
Enter information for your permanent address. Information must be valid through December 2014.

Use Street 1 for your street address or post office box number, whichever is used for your U.S. Postal Service mailing address. Street 2 is not a required field and should be used only when a Suite or Room Number or other similar information is part of your address. Do not use Street 2 to provide a second address.

In the Zip/Postal Code box, enter the full 9-digit zip code (00000-0000) that was assigned by the U.S. Postal Service. If you do not know your full zip code, you may look it up at .

c. Citizenship Status: If you are a permanent resident of the United States, provide your Alien Registration Number.

d. Congressional District of Applicant: Enter the Congressional District that corresponds to your permanent address. Use the following format: 2 character State Abbreviation-3 character District Number. For example, if you live in the 5th Congressional District of California, enter "CA-005." If your state has a single At-Large Representative or your territory has a single Delegate, enter your 2 character state/territory abbreviation and "-000." If you are an American citizen or a permanent resident residing outside the United States, use "00-000" for your Congressional District. If you need help determining your district, please visit the House of Representatives website at and use the "Find Your Representative" tool.

6. Project Information: a. Project Title: Leave blank.

b. Project Description: In two or three sentences, briefly describe how you see your work being advanced by this fellowship. This may include writing, research, travel, etc. (Note: the NEA staff will see the project description, but the panelists will not. Our panelists will only review the manuscript submitted.)

c. Proposed Project Start Date/End Date: Enter your preferred beginning and ending dates. The start date should be the first day of the month, and the end date should be the last day of the month. The beginning date must fall between January 1, 2015, and January 1, 2016, and the period of support may extend up to two years from the start date. Your period of support must begin on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month.

7. Signature Block: By clicking the "I Agree" box, you are certifying that your application is true and correct to the best of your knowledge and that you are in compliance with relevant federal requirements that can be found in the Assurance of Compliance section of these guidelines. The "Signature" and "Date Signed" boxes will be populated by upon submission of the application.

Step 2: Complete and Attach Required Items to the Attachments Form

The "Attachments Form" is not a form in the conventional sense. Rather, it is a place to attach documents that you have completed and saved elsewhere on your computer.

  1. Attachment 1 (Literature Fellowships Application Supplemental Information) is a fillable form; you will find a link to it here. LINK This form can be filled in, saved to your computer, and attached without the need for special software or conversion to PDF.

    Please be sure you are using Adobe Reader (version 9 or higher) when filling out our PDF forms.

    Note to Mac users: Your computer may be set to open PDF files using Preview (you can tell which program is being used to view a PDF file by looking at the left-most item in the menu bar). Please verify that you are using Adobe Reader and not Preview. If you don’t have Adobe Reader installed, you can download it here:

  2. Attachments 2 - 4 are documents that you will develop in accordance with the instructions provided. These items must be submitted as PDF (portable document format) files.

    These non-form documents can be created using any word processing software. When you have completed the document, save it as a PDF on your computer before attaching. If you don't already have software to convert files to PDF, there are many low-cost and free software packages that can do this. To learn more, go to PDF Conversion Software.

    Please make sure to convert your documents into PDF format in line with the guidance above. Do not create PDFs of your electronic documents by scanning. In the past, some applicants have printed their electronic documents and then scanned them, saving the scan in PDF format. PDFs created this way are much larger, and of lower quality, than PDFs created by the methods we recommend. Do not embed non-printable media files (video and/or sound) in your PDF documents. Static images (e.g., pictures) are acceptable. Please do not enable any document security settings or password-protect any PDF file you submit to us.

    No attachment should be more than 2 MB.

  3. For non-form documents, label the first page clearly with the name of the item (e.g., Summary of Applicant Publications). Leave a margin of at least one inch at the top, bottom, and sides of all pages. Do not reduce type below 12 point font size. Do not type in all capital letters. Number pages sequentially. Excess pages will be removed and not be reviewed.

  4. Name your files as indicated below and attach them in the proper order. Limit file names to 50 or fewer characters and use only the following characters when naming your attachments: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), space, and period. If you do not follow this rule, your application may be rejected. Please note that you cannot change the name of a file on the Attachments Form. Therefore make certain that each file is named correctly before you attach it.

When you open the Attachments Form, you will find 15 attachment buttons. For this application, you will only use the first four attachment buttons. By clicking on a button, you will be able to choose the PDF file from your computer that you wish to attach. Please attach the proper file to the proper button as listed below.

The Attachments



To this button, attach the Literature Fellowships Application Supplemental Informationform. We collect this information to inform the agency about the composition of the application pool. This information is not provided to panelists, nor is it taken into consideration for the awarding of grants. The file name should be your last name followed by "SuppInfo" (e.g., JonesSuppInfo).

Under Category Under Which Support is Requested, check "Fellowships for Creative Writers." Then choose "Poetry."


To this button, attach one copy of your manuscript sample. The file name should be your last name followed by "Manuscript."  Submit a single attachment. Do not attach each poem as a separate PDF attachment.

Your manuscript sample must be a maximum of 10 typescript pages of:

  • Poetry, with no more than one poem per page


  • One long poem (or section of a long poem)

Please note that applicants may submit any combination of poems (e.g., two, five-page poems or ten, one-page poems), but the total pages cannot exceed 10 pages.

Your manuscript sample must be:

  1. From work that you have written in the time period that establishes your eligibility, and for which you have sole artistic responsibility. You may submit published work, unpublished work, or work in progress. Do not indicate whether or not the material has been published.

  2. In the literary genre in which you establish your eligibility (e.g., poetry).

  3. Completely free of your name, initials, address, or any other marks that could identify you.  If your name appears on your manuscript, your application will be deemed ineligible.

  4. Labeled to indicate title and genre of the sample. At the top of every page, include the page number in the upper right corner and state the title of the manuscript and the genre (e.g., poetry).  

  5. In typescript and clearly readable. Use a 12 point font and margins of at least one inch at the top, bottom, and sides of all pages. Do not submit more than the maximum number of pages that are allowed; excess pages will be removed and not reviewed.

Remember to save your manuscript as a PDF in line with the guidance above (Step 2: Complete and Attach Required Items to the Attachments Form). Do not create PDFs of your electronic documents by scanning.


To this button, attach one copy of an unnumbered cover page that lists your legal name and a current e-mail address and the title(s) of the work(s) you are submitting. The file name should be your last name followed by "CoverPg."  Save your document as a PDF. Your name, initials, address, or other identifying marks must not appear on any other page of the manuscript material that is submitted.

List only the specific published works that establish your eligibility, not everything you have published (e.g., no resumes). (See Eligibility for details.) We collect this information only to verify eligibility; it is not provided to our reviewers.

For each publication note:

  • Title, author.Publisher (including name of magazine or press with physical address, web address, and phone number). (If an online journal or magazine, physical address is not required.)
  • Publication date (month and year, or volume/issue).
  • ISBN or ISSN number, for a book in print.
  • Number of pages of your material. (If your work appears in an anthology, this refers to your work within the collection, not the full book.)
  • Page number or exact URL of the page that features your work if published online. If archived online, provide the exact URL of the archived piece.

Your Summary of Applicant Publications should be formatted as follows:

Title/Author:  City Poems / John Doe
Publisher: University Press, 1234 Main St., Springfield, IL,, 123-456-7891
Publication Date:  12/2010
ISBN or ISSN: 000-0-00-000000-0
# of pages: 80
URL:  n/a
Title/Author:  “Hidden Moon”/ Jane Doe
Publisher:  Violet Journal, 44 Spring St., Mesa, AZ,, 333-456-7891
Publication Date/ Volume-Issue: 10/2010/Vol. 32 Issue 4 (Fall)
ISBN or ISSN:  000-0-00-000000-0
# of pages: 5        
Page # or URL:
Title/Author: Contemporary Poetry ("Boy and a Pail," "Children Sit Down," "One, Two, Three")/ Marvin Doe, edited by M. Fed/Jill Deer
Publisher: Small Press, 6868 Elm St., Nashville, TN,, 123-456-9871
Publication Date: 06/2011
ISBN or ISSN: 000-0-00-000000-0
# of pages: 8

Upon request, you must provide proof of eligibility to the Arts Endowment in the form of one or more of the following ways:

  1. The title page or cover with your name and the title of the work.
  2. The copyright page with the publisher's information; publication date (month and year); ISBN or ISSN number, if a print publication; or exact URL that features your work, if publication is online only.
  3. The publication's stated selection criteria and editorial policy.

NOTE: When you check the Certification box on the SF 424-Individual form, you are certifying that all parts of your application, including your summary of the publications that establish your eligibility, are true and correct to the best of your knowledge.

Leave all remaining Attachment buttons blank.

Step 3: Submit Items in Steps 1-2 above electronically through 

Follow the detailed instructions underSubmit your electronic applicationabove.