CREATIVE WRITING FELLOWSHIPS: How to Apply

Application Deadline:  March 13, 2024

We strongly recommend you submit your application no later than March 8, 2024, 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 13, 2024. 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 apply. Please read these instructions in their entirety before you begin the application process. We suggest you keep these instructions open while you complete your application as they contain links to information you will need.

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.

Contact the Literary Arts staff at 202-682-5034 or by email at litfellowships@arts.gov for more information on submitting a waiver request. Waiver requests must be in writing and must be received by the NEA at least three weeks before the application deadline, or no later than 5:30 p.m., Eastern Time, on February 21, 2024.

Individuals who need assistance accessing this document may contact the Office of Accessibility at accessibility@arts.gov or call 202-682-5532, or the Office of Civil Rights at civilrights@arts.gov or 202-682-5454.

To Apply:

Step 1: Register with Login.gov and Grants.gov 
Step 2: Go to the grant opportunity package
Step 3: Follow the application instructions
Step 4: Submit your electronic application

Step 1: Register with Login.gov and Grants.gov

Before applying to the NEA, you must register or renew your registration with Login.gov and Grants.gov. It is your responsibility to create and maintain these registrations. Registering and maintaining these accounts is always free.

Registration is a one-time process, which can take a day or more to complete. To allow time to resolve any issues that may arise, we strongly advise you not to wait until the day of the application deadline to register. You will not be able to submit your application if you fail to successfully register with Login.gov and Grants.gov.

Login.gov is a secure sign-in service used by the public to sign in to government sites like Grants.gov and will be used as your single sign-in for all NEA activities. You should use a unique-to-you email address when signing up for Login.gov (e.g., jane.doe@email.com). This account should be your personal account, and not one that is shared by multiple people or an account affiliated with a particular job (e.g., development@abc.org).

New Applicants:

  1. Register with Login.gov
    • Go to Create an account to set up your Login.gov account. This account will allow you to access many government websites, including Grants.gov.
  2. Register with Grants.gov
    • Go to 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.
    • Under the “How would you like to proceed?” heading, be sure to select the Add Individual Applicant Profile option, to apply for funding opportunities on your own behalf. See here for more information on adding a profile.
  3. Link your Login.gov and Grants.gov accounts
    • Click the “Login” button in Grants.gov. You will be prompted to link accounts. This is a one-time action.
    • After linking accounts, you will always use the Login.gov username and password to sign in to Grants.gov.

Returning Applicants

  1. If you have not already created a Login.gov account, go to create an account
  2. Link your Login.gov and Grants.gov accounts
    • Click the “Login” button in Grants.gov. You will be prompted to link accounts. This is a one-time action.
    • After linking accounts, you will always use the Login.gov username and password to sign in to Grants.gov.

The NEA does not have access to your Login.gov or Grants.gov accounts. If you have any questions about or need assistance with these sites, you must contact them directly:

  • Login.gov Help: Consult the information posted in their Help Center, or use their online form to submit a question.
  • Grants.gov Contact Center:  Call 800-518-4726, email support@grants.gov, or consult the information posted on the Grants.gov website at Support or Help. The Grants.gov Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Maintain documentation (e.g., screenshots with dates, emails with Grants.gov Support, etc.) of your efforts to register before the deadline.

Step 2: Go to the Grant Opportunity Package

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

GO TO GRANT OPPORTUNITY PACKAGE

Funding Opportunity Number: 2024NEA03LFCW

  1. Clicking the link above will take you directly to the pre-populated application package in Grants.gov.
  2. The Grants.gov “View Grant Opportunity” screen will open, click the red “Apply” button. If the “Apply” button is grey, or you get a “bad request” error, it’s likely that you are either not logged into grants.gov, or that your account does not have the right participant role. In order to create the Workspace application, you must have added an individual applicant profile to your Grants.gov account. See more information on adding an individual profile.
  3. You will be prompted to enter your Login.gov Username and Password.
  4. After logging in, to create a Workspace application:
    • Fill in the Application Filing Name field with your legal name, then
    • Click the Create Workspace button.
  5. After creating a workspace, you will be directed to the Manage Workspace page, where you can begin working on the application.
  6. You can access each required form online by clicking “Webform” OR you can download the forms to your computer by clicking “Download”.

    If you decide to download the forms, you will first need to verify your PDF software. To download the forms, you must have a version of Adobe Reader that is supported by Grants.gov installed on your computer. Go to "Adobe Software Tip Sheet" to see the compatible versions of Adobe Reader or to download and install Adobe Reader. See important information about versions of Adobe Reader DC.

     The required forms are:

    • Application for Federal Domestic Assistance - Individual Form
    • Attachments Form
  7. Complete the application based on the Application Instructions (Step 3).

Step 3: Follow the Application Instructions

Prepare your application materials for submission through Grants.gov. See detailed instructions.

Step 4: Submit Your 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 Workspace page. Click the “Sign and Submit” button under the Forms tab.
  3. Once you complete and submit your application, you will see a confirmation screen explaining that your submission is being processed. Take a screenshot of this confirmation screen and save it for your records. Save the Grants.gov Tracking Number shown on the application submission confirmation screen.
  4. Verify that your application was validated by the Grants.gov system. Go to Track My Application to confirm the validation and track the progress of your application submission through Grants.gov. Do not wait until the day of the deadline to verify your submission in case you encounter any difficulties. We will not accept late applications.

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

IMPORTANT: Your application will receive an automatic rejection if:

  • One or more required forms or attachments are missing.
  • Your writing sample does not meet the minimum page requirement of seven (7) pages.
  • Your name or other identifying information appears in your Writing Sample document.
  • Incorrect or insufficient publication information is provided in your Summary of Applicant Publications document.
  • You have already received two (2) or more NEA Fellowships (in poetry, prose, or translation.)
  • You have received any NEA Fellowship (in poetry, prose, or translation) on or after January 1, 2016 (FY 2016).
  • You have not submitted acceptable NEA Final Reports for previous NEA Fellowships by their due date(s).
  • You are not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
  • You have an exclusion record in SAM. Exclusions are also referred to as suspensions and debarments. The NEA cannot issue an award to individuals excluded from receiving federal financial assistance. See https://sam.gov/content/exclusions to search the SAM Exclusions database.

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 1-800-518-4726, 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.