June is Fellowship Deadline Month

Friday, June 26 is the deadline for submitting applications for the Oregon Literary Fellowships.

Oregon Literary Fellowships are merit-based awards, rather than project based. That means the judges are instructed to award the fellowships based on the literary merit of the work submitted, rather than a description of how the author intends to use the funds.

Here are some common questions about the application process, and some answers.

What is the application fee?
Literary Arts does not charge an application fee for the Oregon Literary Fellowships program.

What genres do you award fellowships in?
Literary Arts awards fellowships in poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, drama, and young readers literature. Young readers literature includes writing for children and young adult literature. We also award fellowships to independent publishers.

I received an Oregon Literary Fellowship in the past. When can I re-apply?
According to the guidelines, a writer is not eligible if they received an Oregon Literary Fellowship in the last five years. Publishers are not eligibile if they received a fellowship in the last two years. This means that in 2009, the years that make a writer ineligible are 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

If I publish an online publication, am I eligible to apply for a publishing fellowship?
Yes. You can print a copy of a recent issue from the internet and submit two copies of that for the publication sample.

I have published books and do not consider myself an emerging writer. Am I eligible to apply?
Fellowships are granted to emerging and established writers. Being published doesn’t make a writer ineligible. The award is given based on the literary merit of the writing sample.

Are works of translation eligible?
The writers fellowships are for writing that originates with the writer submitting the application. Works of translation are not eligible.

When is the deadline?
The deadline is Friday, June 26, 2009. Please note that this is not a postmark deadline. Applications must be received in the Literary Arts office by 5:00 p.m. You may hand-deliver the application if you’d like. The Literary Arts address is 224 NW 13th Ave., Suite 306, in Portland between NW Davis and Everett streets.

May I recreate the form on my computer?
Yes, as long as you don’t give yourself more room to answer the questions than is allowed for on the official form.

Do I have to type the application?
It’s okay to print if your handwriting is legible. The writing sample must be typed.

May I send more than 25 pages of prose?
No.

May I include illustrations?
Since this is a literary award, illustrations do not need to be included, and will not be forwarded to the judges.

May I include resumes or other information about me?
Please follow the application guidelines closely, and only submit what’s required. Extra materials will not be forwarded to the judges.

May I send photocopies of my published pieces from magazines or my book, instead of a manuscript?
Please submit your writing sample in typewritten, manuscript form.

May I apply in two categories?
You may only submit one Oregon Literary Fellowships for Writers application. However, if you own a small press or magazine and are also a writer, you may submit an Oregon Literary Fellowships for Publishers application for your press and an Oregon Literary Fellowships for Writers application for yourself.

What are the judges looking for in an application?
This is a question without a definite answer. The judges for the Oregon Literary Fellowships change every year. Work that a judge does not select one year could be selected for a fellowship by another judge the following year. We encourage applicants to follow the guidelines closely, and present their work in the most favorable manner possible. Writers often apply several times before being selected for a fellowship.

Who are this year’s judges?
The identity of the judges remains confidential until the recipients are announced. The judges are selected from out of state. They often teach creative writing at the university level or work in publishing. They are anonymous to the public until the recipients are announced.

Who should I contact if I still have questions?
Susan Denning is happy to answer any questions you might have. You can call her at 503.227.2583, or email her at susan@literary-arts.org.

Here are some resources for information about other grants and fellowships for writers:

RACC's listing of grants, fellowships and residencies

Poets & Writers Grants & Awards Writing Contests Database

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