Grants

GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS Guidelines: Literary Arts

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 Grants for Arts Projects 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.

While we welcome applications for a variety of artistically excellent projects, we encourage projects that address any of the following activities below:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and/or 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.
  • In the spirit of White House Executive Orders that encourage federal agencies to engage with typically underserved constituencies, the National Endowment for the Arts encourages applications from:
    • Historically Black Colleges and Universities,
    • Tribal Colleges and Universities,
    • American Indian and Alaska Native tribes,
    • African American Serving Institutions,
    • Hispanic Serving Institutions,
    • Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and
    • Organizations that support the independence and lifelong inclusion of people with disabilities.

Cost share/matching grants generally will range from $10,000 to $100,000.

If your project is developed and managed by local government, see the Local Arts Agencies description to help you in your discipline selection.

Deadlines

The National Endowment for the Arts supports two general project types under Grants for Arts Projects Literary Arts:

  • Literary publishing projects (February Grants for Arts Projects Deadline)
  • Audience and professional development projects (July Grants for Arts Projects 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 Grants for Arts Projects category.

Literary Publishing Projects

Deadlines:


Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov February 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal February 18-25, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection November 2020
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance January 1, 2021

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least January 22, 2020 and submit to Grants.gov by at least February 4, 2020.

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.
  • 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 9, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Prepare application material so that it’s ready to upload when the Applicant Portal opens
Part 2 - Submit to Applicant Portal July 14-21, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection April 2021
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance June 1, 2021

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, finalize your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least June 17, 2020 and submit to Grants.gov by at least June 30, 2020.

These projects focus on local and/or national activities designed to promote and develop practitioners of, and audiences for, the literary arts. (Projects that are primarily focused on publishing and/or distributing books or journals should be submitted at the other Grants for Arts Projects 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 the literary arts.
  • Innovative uses of technology, media, or new models to provide readers with access to writers and the literary arts.
  • 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 Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act Review

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

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 potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (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 outdoor arts festival.
  • 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. Thorough and complete information for all project activities and locations will expedite the review. The Arts Endowment cannot release an award and/or grant funds until the NHPA/NEPA review is complete.

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

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all National Endowment for the Arts-funded projects be accessible to people with disabilities. Funded activities must be held in a physically 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 detailed information describing how you will make your project physically and programmatically accessible to people with disabilities.