Creative writers who meet the requirements listed below are eligible to apply. See "How to Prepare and Submit an Application" for the documentation that is required to demonstrate eligibility. Ineligible applications will be rejected without panel review. You may submit only one application for FY 2021 funding. You may not apply for both a Literature Fellowship under this deadline and a Translation Project under the January 15, 2020 deadline.

You are eligible to apply in Poetry if you:

  • Are a Citizen or Permanent Resident of the United States.
  • Have not received two or more Fellowships (in poetry, prose, or translation) from the National Endowment for the Arts. If you have received any award from the National Endowment for the Arts, you must have submitted acceptable Final Reports to the Arts Endowment by their due date(s).
  • Have not received any National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship (in poetry or prose) or Translation Fellowship on or after January 1, 2012 (FY 2012).
  • Have had published, between January 1, 2013, and March 11, 2020:
    • A Volume of 48 or more pages of poetry; or
    • 20 or more individual poems or pages of poetry that appear in at least five literary journals, anthologies, or publications which regularly include poetry as a portion of their format. Up to 16 pages of poetry may be from a single volume of poetry that is fewer than 48 pages (e.g. a chapbook). This volume may count as only one of the required five places of publication. For online publications, a page of poetry is considered to be 20 lines or less.

To qualify, work must have been published for the first time with an eligible publisher between these dates, not only reprinted or reissued in another format during this period.

You may use digital, audio, or online publications to establish eligibility, provided that the publisher has a competitive selection process and stated editorial policy. If the online publication or website no longer exists, you must provide, upon request, sufficient evidence that your work once appeared online. If sufficient evidence cannot be provided, the online publication will not be eligible.

The following may not be used to establish eligibility:

  • Pre-publication material, such as galleys, proofs, and advance reader's copies.
  • Work that has appeared in a publication for which you are the editor, publisher, or staff.
  • Collaborative work.
  • Scholarly writing.
  • Instructional writing.
  • News Reporting.
  • Book reviews.
  • Editorials/letters to the editor.
  • Interviews.
  • Student-led publications and publications that primarily print work by persons who are affiliated with a particular academic institution.
  • Any publication by presses that: do not have a stated marketing and distribution policy; publish work without competitive selection or a stated editorial policy; or publish work without professional editing.

Your application will not be eligible if incorrect or insufficient publication information is provided in Attachment 3. See "How to Prepare and Submit an Application."