CREATIVE WRITING FELLOWSHIPS: How to Prepare and Submit an Application

Application Deadline: March 11, 2020

We strongly recommend that you submit your application no later than March 2, 2020 to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems you might encounter. The Grants.gov system must receive your validated and accepted application no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on March 11, 2020. You take a significant risk by waiting until the day of the deadline to submit. Late applications will not be accepted.

These application guidelines provide all of the information that you need to submit an application. We urge you to read these instructions in their entirety before you begin the application process. Keep these instructions open in a window on your computer as they contain helpful links to information that you will need as you complete your application.

Electronic application through Grants.gov is MANDATORY.

If you are unable to submit your application electronically, you may request a waiver. A waiver will be granted for the following reasons only:

  • Internet access is not available within a 30-mile radius of your address.
  • Disability prevents you from submitting your application electronically.

Your waiver request must be in writing and must be received at the National Endowment for the Arts at least three weeks before the application deadline. Click here for more information on waivers.

Step 1: Register with Grants.gov

It is your responsibility to create and maintain a registration with Grants.gov. Registration with Grants.gov is a one-time process, which can take a day or more to complete. To allow time to resolve any issues that may arise, do not wait until the day of the application deadline to register. Failure to successfully register with Grants.gov will result in your inability to submit your application.

To register with Grants.gov, click: Register and click the red button that says “Get Registered Now” at the bottom of the screen. Next, fill out the contact information, choose a Username and Password, and then click “Continue” at the bottom of the screen. Grants.gov will email you a temporary code to verify your email address. Enter this code where instructed on the Registration page and select “Add Individual Applicant Profile” to apply for funding opportunities on your own behalf. See here for additional information on creating an individual profile.

If you have problems with registration contact Grants.gov at 1-800-518-4726, email support@grants.gov, or consult the information posted on the Grants.gov website at Support. The Grants.gov Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Maintain documentation (with dates) of your efforts to register before the deadline.

Step 2: Go to the Grant Opportunity Package

When you go to Grants.gov through the link above, the Grants.gov “View Grant Opportunity” screen will open. Choose “Apply.” On the next screen, choose “Apply” again. You will be prompted to enter your Grants.gov Username and Password.

You will apply using a Grants.gov Workspace. If you want to learn more about using Grants.gov’s Workspace, click here. Look for the “Application Filing Name” field above the “Create Workspace” button. Enter your legal name here, click the “Create Workspace” button, and follow the screens from there.

  1. Verify your software.

    You must have a version of Adobe Reader that is supported by Grants.gov installed on your computer. Incompatible versions of Adobe Reader or other Adobe products will lead to errors and prevent you from submitting your application. If more than one computer will be involved in the preparation of the application package, ensure that the same version of Adobe Reader is used on each computer.

    Go to "Adobe Software Compatibility" to see the compatible versions of Adobe Reader or to download and install Adobe Reader. See important information about versions of Adobe Reader DC here.

  2. Access the application package on Grants.gov by clicking on the link below.

    GO TO GRANT OPPORTUNITY PACKAGE

    [Funding Opportunity Number: 2020NEA03LFCW]

  3. After going to the grant opportunity package and creating a Workspace, you can access each mandatory form by clicking Download OR you can access the forms online by clicking Webform.

    The forms are:

    • Application for Federal Domestic Assistance - Individual Form

    • Attachments Form

  4. Complete the application based on the Application Instructions (Step 3).

Step 3: Follow the application instructions

A complete application consists of:

Applications that are determined to be incomplete will be rejected without panel review.

1: Fill out the Application for Federal Domestic 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 National Endowment for the Arts must be made using the legal name. Be sure to enter your email address (award notifications will be sent via email). Contact information must be valid through December 2020. You must notify us of any changes.

Due to restrictions from the Department of Homeland Security we are not able to send emails to alias addresses that forward to another email account. Do not enter this type of email address.

b. Address:
Enter information for your permanent address. Information must be valid through December 2020.

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: www.usps.com/zip4/ .

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 with your permanent address using 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, visit the House of Representatives website at www.house.gov and use the "Find Your Representative" tool.

6. Project Information:

a. Project Title: Enter a project title that matches what appears on the first page of your 7-10 page manuscript. This may be the title of your complete piece, your first piece if the manuscript includes multiple pieces, or what appears in the top right corner of your manuscript if the piece is an excerpt. Do not include your first or last name in your project title.

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. List the title(s) of the work(s) you are submitting. (Note: Our staff will see the project description, but the panelists will not. Our panelists will only review the submitted manuscripts.)

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, 2021, and January 1, 2022, and the period of performance may extend up to two years from the start date. See the “Need Help” section for more information.

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 Grants.gov upon submission of the application.

NOTE: By clicking the “I Agree” box located here, you are certifying compliance with the federal requirements described in the Assurance of Compliance.

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. Attachments 1 and 2 are documents that you will develop in accordance with the instructions provided. These items must be submitted as PDF 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.

    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. 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.

  2. Label the first page of each document 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 reviewed.

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

The Attachments

ATTACHMENT 1: MANUSCRIPT SAMPLE

To this button, attach one copy of your manuscript sample. The file name should be your last name followed by "Manuscript" (for example: Doe_Manuscript).

Your manuscript sample must be a minimum of 7 to a maximum of 10 typescript pages of poetry.

Applicants may submit one or more poems as their manuscript, but the total cannot exceed 10 pages. If submitting multiple poems, combine them all into one PDF.

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. Completely free of your first name, last name, initials, address, or any other marks that could identify you.  If your first or last name appears in your manuscript or in your header, your application will be deemed ineligible. (For example, if your name is John Doe, neither John nor Doe may appear anywhere in your manuscript.)

  3. Labeled to indicate title 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.

  4. 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. Click here for an example of how to format.

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.

ATTACHMENT 2: SUMMARY OF APPLICANT PUBLICATIONS

To this button, attach a Summary of Applicant Publications to establish your eligibility (document must be no more than 2 MB). The file name should be your last name followed by "SummaryPubs" (for example: Doe_SummaryPubs).

At the top of this page, list your legal name, your pen name (if applicable), and your email address. 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, and web address).
  • 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(s) or exact URL to 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:

Book
Title/Author: A Walk in the City/ John Doe
Publisher: University Press, 1234 Main St., Springfield, IL, www.up.edu
Publication Date:  12/2009
ISBN or ISSN: 000-0-00-000000-0
# of pages: 230
URL: n/a

Journal/Magazine
Title/Author:  “Hidden Moon”/ Jane Doe
Publisher:  Violet Journal, 44 Spring St., Mesa, AZ, www.violetjournal.org
Publication Date/ Volume-Issue: 10/2009/Vol. 32 Issue 4 (Fall)
ISBN or ISSN:  000-0-00-000000-0
# of pages: 5
Page # or URL:  www.violetjournal.org/32-52/doe

Anthology
Title of Your Work/Author: “Hidden Moon”/ Jane Doe
Anthology Title/Editor: Time Spent (Poems About Grantwriting), edited by M. Fed/Jill Deer
Publisher: Small Press, 6868 Elm St., Nashville, TN, www.smallpress.org, 123-456-7890
Publication Date: 06/2010,
ISBN or ISSN: 000-0-00-000000-0
# of pages: 14

Upon request, you must provide proof of eligibility to the National Endowment for the Arts 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 Application for Federal Domestic Assistance - 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 4: Submit Your Electronic Application to Grants.gov

Electronically submit the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance – Individual Form and required attachments through Grants.gov.

  1. Check the size of your electronic application. The total size should not exceed 10 MB.

  2. To begin the submission process, log on to Grants.gov and go to the Forms tab on the Manage My Workspace page. Click the “Sign and Submit” button, under the Forms tab. Be certain that you are satisfied with your application before you click this button. No revisions to your application are possible through Grants.gov once it is submitted.

    If you have difficulty submitting, go to Adobe Reader Error Messages or Applicant Resources for several tools and documents to help you.

  3. Once you complete and submit your application, you will see a confirmation screen explaining that your submission is being processed. Retain the Grants.gov Tracking Number that you receive in the application submission confirmation screen.

  4. To ensure that your application was validated and accepted by the Grants.gov system, go to Track My Application to track the validation and progress of your application submission through Grants.gov. After we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, you will be asked to log in to Grants.gov to receive your Agency Tracking Number (this will be the National Endowment for the Arts-assigned application number).

    NOTE: Acceptance and validation by Grants.gov does not guarantee that the applicant has uploaded the proper attachments. Before submitting your application, double check that you have attached everything correctly.

Additional Help

For additional help on how to use Grants.gov, see the Grants.gov website at Support. You also can send email to the Grants.gov Contact Center at support@grants.gov or call them at 800-518-4726 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For specific help on how to complete your application, review the instructions in these guidelines.  For help on all other issues, email LitFellowships@arts.gov.