GRANTS FOR ARTS PROJECTS: Literary Arts

The NEA seeks to sustain and nurture a multiplicity of American literary endeavors, including, but not limited to:

  • Ensuring that literary presses and magazines, community-based activities, and national literary organizations complement the trade publishing sector in the shaping of contemporary literature.
  • Supporting organizations that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the literary arts and cultivate writers at all stages of their careers, including emerging writers.
  • Supporting efforts to provide America's readers with direct access to contemporary writers.
  • Supporting innovation and the use of new technology.

In addition to offering grant opportunities for organizations, the NEA offers a separate fellowships program to published creative writers and translators in the areas of prose and poetry.

We welcome applications for a variety of arts projects that address the review criteria of Artistic Excellence and Artistic Merit. Specific project types and deadlines are outlined below.

The NEA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual respect for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups.

Projects may focus on reaching a particular constituency; however, they may not be exclusionary under national civil rights laws and policies prohibiting discrimination. This extends to hiring practices and audience engagement.

Applicants may request cost share/matching grants ranging 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 NEA supports two general project types under Grants for Arts Projects/Literary Arts:

  • February Grants for Arts Projects Deadline: Literary publishing projects
  • July Grants for Arts Projects Deadline: Audience and professional development projects

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.

For Literary Arts projects with a distinct media arts component: Your organization may be eligible to submit a second application under the July deadline for Media Arts.

February Grants for Arts Projects Deadline: Literary Publishing Projects

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. (Note that proposed book titles should already be selected and must be described in the application. Exceptions are made for titles that will be selected through a contest.)
  • Publication and distribution of magazine issues.
  • Payments to writers.
  • Marketing and promotion efforts to increase book sales or magazine circulation and expand readership.
  • Efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the literary publishing field.
  • 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.

Deadlines:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

February 10, 2022 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 15-22, 2022 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

November 2022

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

January 1, 2023

July Grants for Arts Projects Deadline: Audience and Professional Development Projects

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.
  • Efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the literary arts.
  • Collaboration within and/or across fields to reach new audiences and encourage dialogue.

Deadlines:

Part 1 - Submit to Grants.gov

July 7, 2022 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 12-19, 2022 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection

April 2023

Earliest Start Date for Proposed Project

June 1, 2023

For information on how to apply, see “How to Apply” on the left.

Accessibility

Federal regulations require that all NEA-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.

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

Recommended projects may be subject to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and/or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance review.

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

  • A project involving or occurring near or at a historic place, such as a property that is 50 years old or older, or a place listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The commissioning and installation of temporary or permanent outdoor installations, including sculptures, statuary, banners, mixed media, painting or murals, as well as small structures such as benches, bus shelters, and produce stands.
  • An outdoor arts festival.
  • Permanent wayfinding signs and other similar artistic directional installations.
  • Maintenance or rehabilitation of landscapes and gardens.
  • In-kind replacement or repairs at a facility that is older than 50 years of age.
  • Design services and planning for projects that may affect historic properties.

See more information about NHPA/NEPA review under Award Administration.