The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships program offers $25,000 grants in poetry to published creative writers that enable the recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement.
Applications are reviewed through an anonymous process in which the criteria for review are the artistic excellence and artistic merit of the submitted writing sample. Through this program, the NEA seeks to sustain and nurture a diverse range of creative writers at various stages of their careers and to continue to expand the portfolio of American art.
The NEA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and fostering mutual support for the diverse beliefs and values of all individuals and groups.
The program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose and poetry available in alternating years. For FY 2023, which is covered by these guidelines, fellowships in poetry are available. Fellowships in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) will be offered in FY 2024 and guidelines will be available in January 2023. Writers may apply only once each year.
Competition for fellowships is extremely rigorous. Typically NEA receives more than 1,600 applications each year in this category and award fellowships to fewer than 3% of applicants.