ART WORKS Guidelines: Literature

The National Endowment for the Arts seeks to sustain and nurture a multiplicity of American literary traditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Ensuring that literary presses and magazines, community-based centers, and national literary organizations complement the trade publishing sector in the shaping of contemporary literature.
  • Supporting organizations that nurture emerging and mid-career writers.
  • Supporting endeavors to provide America's readers with direct access to contemporary writers.
  • Supporting the use of new technology and innovative projects.

In addition to offering Art Works grant opportunities for organizations, the National Endowment for the Arts offers fellowships to published creative writers and translators in the areas of prose and poetry.

Deadlines

The National Endowment for the Arts supports two general project types under Art Works Literature:

  • Literary publishing projects (February Art Works Deadline)
  • Audience and professional development projects (July Art Works Deadline)

Apply under the project type and associated deadline that most closely corresponds to the primary focus of your proposed project. Generally, an organization is limited to one application per year in the Art Works category.

Literary Publishing Projects

Deadlines:

Step 1 - Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov February 16, 2017
Register/renew by at least January 25
Submit by at least February 7
Step 2 - Submit Materials to NEA-GO February 23, 2017 to March 2, 2017
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection November 2017
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2018

Literary publishing projects are those that support print and/or digital literary magazines and independent and university presses that primarily publish poetry, fiction, drama, and/or creative nonfiction by contemporary writers and translators.

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Publication and distribution of books and magazine issues.
  • Payments to writers (e.g., royalties, honoraria).
  • Marketing and promotion efforts to increase book sales or magazine circulation and expand readership.
  • Digitization of publishers' backlists and other endeavors to make work available in new and emerging markets.
  • Innovative experiments or technologies that deepen audiences' engagement with literature and/or provide writers with new platforms and tools to create work.
  • Collaboration within and/or across fields to advance literary publishing in the digital age and reach new audiences for literature.

NOTE: Literary publishing projects must focus primarily on contemporary literature and/or writers.

Audience and Professional Development Projects

Deadlines:

Step 1 - Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov July 13, 2017
Register/renew by at least June 21
Submit by at least July 4
Step 2 - Submit Materials to NEA’s new applicant portal July 20, 2017 to July 27, 2017
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection April 2018
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance June 1, 2018

Audience and professional development projects are those that support national and local activities designed to promote and develop audiences for literature. (Projects that are primarily focused on publishing and/or distributing books or journals should be submitted at the other Art Works deadline.)

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Residencies, readings, author tours, writing workshops, conferences, and literary festivals.
  • Podcasts, radio, video, and/or media endeavors that promote literature.
  • Innovative uses of technology, media, or new models to provide readers with access to writers and literature.
  • Efforts to maintain or augment America's literary infrastructure and provide services, advice, and technical support to writers, translators, and literary organizations.
  • Collaboration within and/or across fields to reach new audiences for literature.

If you are recommended for a grant, your project may be subject to the National Environmental Policy Act  (NEPA) and/or the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and the National Endowment for the Arts will conduct a review of your project to ensure that it is in compliance NEPA/NHPA.

Some of the common project types that garner a review are:

  • A project involving or occurring near a district, site, building, landscape, structure or object that is 50 years old and therefore eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor furnishings such as benches or market structures or art such as a sculpture or mural.
  • An arts festival in a park.
  • Design planning and services for projects that may involve a historic site, structure, or district.

This review and approval process may take up to several months to complete and may delay your project's start date and our ability to make a grant award/our ability to release grant funds.

To learn more about what questions you will need to answer for the review of a project impacted by the National Environmental Policy Act and/or the National Historic Preservation Act, see here.

Note: Federal regulations require that all NEA-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. Funded activities must be held in an accessible venue and program access and effective communication must be provided for participants and audience members with disabilities. If your project is recommended for funding, you will be asked to provide information describing how you will make your project physically and programmatically accessible to people with disabilities.