Grants

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.

We encourage applications for artistically excellent projects that address any of the activities below:

  • Honor the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States (aka the Women’s Suffrage Centennial).
  • Engage with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Hispanic or Latino organizations; and the Native American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian arts.
  • Celebrate America’s creativity and cultural heritage.
  • Invite a dialogue that fosters a mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all persons and groups.
  • Enrich our humanity by broadening our understanding of ourselves as individuals and as a society.

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:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 14, 2019

Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal

February 19-26, 2019

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2019

Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance

January 1, 2020

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, we strongly recommend that you register/renew your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least January 23, 2019 and submit to Grants.gov by at least February 5, 2019.

These projects focus on print and/or digital literary magazines and independent and university presses that 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.
  • Creation and presentation of work that honors the 2020 centennial of women’s voting rights in the United States.
  • Payments to writers.
  • 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.
  • Technologies and/or experiments that strive to 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, reach new audiences, and encourage dialogue.

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

Audience and Professional Development Projects

Deadlines:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 11, 2019

Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal

July 16-23, 2019

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2020

Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance

June 1, 2020

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, we strongly recommend that you register/renew your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least June 19, 2019 and submit to Grants.gov by at least July 2, 2019.

These projects focus on local and/or national activities designed to promote and develop practitioners of, and 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 and encourage dialogue.

For information on how to apply, see the “To Apply” box on the right.

National Environmental Policy Act and/or the National Historic Preservation Act Review

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 NHPA 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 (please note that in some instances, buildings or structures may be included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places that are less than 50 years old).
  • 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. If you are recommended for an award which may have historic preservation or environmental concerns (NHPA/NEPA), you will be notified and asked to provide additional information. Your thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The NEA cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the historic preservation and/or environmental review is complete.

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.