Thank you for your interest in the Readings/Workshops program (R/W), which
supports writers who give readings and workshops at community
venues in New York State and California, and Atlanta, Chicago,
Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington,
Please see our guidelines for
instructions regarding the application process. If you cannot find the information
you are looking for in this FAQ, or if you have additional questions, please
call or e-mail the appropriate office.
For events taking place in New York State, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, or Washington, D.C.:
Poets & Writers
90 Broad St., Suite 2100
New York, NY 10004
Fax: (212) 226-3963
Phone: (212) 226-3586
For events taking place in California, Houston, Seattle, or Tucson:
Poets & Writers
2035 Westwood Blvd., Suite 211
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Fax: (310) 481-7193
Phone: (310) 481-7195
How do I apply for funding?
Please use the guidelines and application that are available online. You may also contact our New York City or Los Angeles offices to request that an application be mailed to you. Completed applications must be mailed or faxed to the office appropriate for your location.
When is the application deadline?
Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications must be received eight weeks prior to the event, but we encourage you to send them in earlier. (Our fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. All applications for the next fiscal year received before May 1 will be held and processed shortly before July 1.) You may apply for a series of events all at once or separately throughout the year.
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Does my organization have to have nonprofit status to apply for R/W funding?
No. Nonprofit status is not required.
Can I charge admission to an event if I'm receiving R/W funding?
Yes. However, we prefer to support free or low-cost events in the interest of making literature available to the widest possible audience.
Why do you need my home phone number?
It's helpful to have more than one way to contact you if more information is needed.
I'm a P&W member and have received funding from you in the past. Can I assume that my applications will automatically be funded?
P&W is not a membership organization. Past funding does not guarantee future funding.
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Does R/W funding go to the organization or to the writer?
R/W funding supports writers' fees only. Funding applications, however, must be submitted by the organization sponsoring the event. If your event is funded through the R/W program, you will receive a check made payable to the writer you are hosting.
How much can I apply for per writer?
You may apply for $50 to $350 per writer for readings or literary performances. For workshops, you may apply for $100 to $200 per session. (NOTE: In California, we generally grant no more than $500 total for a workshop series.)
How many writers can I apply for?
You may apply for as many as you’d like, but please keep in mind that P&W provides a maximum of $1,500 per organization annually in New York State and California, and $500 in the cities in which we fund events.
Can I apply for more than one writer for a single event?
Yes, but you must submit a separate application for each writer.
Does the writer have to live in the city or state where the event takes place?
There are no restrictions on the writer's residency, except in California, where we only fund two out-of-state writers per organization per year (due to restrictions from our funders).
What is the Directory of Writers, and how can I find out if a writer I'm applying for is listed?
Poets & Writers' Directory of Writers is an online database that lists names, addresses, and publication credits for over 8,500 contemporary authors. Visit www.pw.org/directory to find out if the writer you're applying for is listed.
What if the writer is not listed in the Directory?
Writers do not have to be listed to receive funding. However, if they are not in the Directory, we will need a bio or a list of their publication credits.
Why do you need to see a list of publication credits?
Though we fund emerging as well as established writers, we only support writers who have published at least one piece. The work may have appeared in any type of publication (please list the title of the work and the publication or publisher). For performance-based writers, please list featured performance credits (date and venue) or include a published review of the presentation.
Why do you need a writer's Social Security number?
If we pay more than $600 to a writer during the course of a year, we must by law report those payments to the IRS, and we need the writer's Social Security number to do so. Residents of countries outside of the United States are exempt from this requirement.
Do I have to have a writer's Social Security number and address before I can send in my application?
If the only information you're missing is a writer's Social Security number and/or address, please send the application. Eventually, we will need this information in order to confirm the grant, but don't hold your applications if you're able to provide all the other information requested.
Can you recommend writers?
We are happy to make suggestions, but please keep in mind that we are not a booking agency and that you must contact the writer yourself.
I am a writer. Can you recommend venues where I can give a reading or workshop?
We do not maintain a formal list of venues, but we are happy to make suggestions if you are interested in giving a reading or workshop in a particular area or with a particular type of organization. You must then contact the organization yourself.
I am a writer. Can I apply for funding for my own reading?
No. P&W cannot accept applications from individual writers, nor can we fund the project director or any paid employees of the organization applying. However, please feel free to initiate readings or workshops on your behalf at other organizations that may want to host your event.
If I'm hosting a writer who reads with a dancer or musician, can I apply for funding for all of the artists?
No. We're happy to fund a writer who incorporates performances by other artists in his or her presentation, but we can pay only the writer, not the other artists.
Do you fund writers who also sing, dance, or incorporate other art forms into their presentations?
Yes, if original poetry, fiction and/or creative nonfiction is the primary focus of the piece.
Are writers who are funded through the Readings/Workshops program considered employees of P&W?
No, writers are paid as freelance consultants and as such are not employees of P&W.
Can I apply for R/W funds for a translator?
Yes, as long as the translator is reading from his or her own translations and/or conducting a translation workshop in the categories of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction.
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In which cities does P&W offer funding for Readings/Workshops?
Poets & Writers funds writers’ fees for reading or workshops in New York State, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, or Washington, D.C., through our New York City office, and California, Houston, Seattle, or Tucson through our Los Angeles office.
Can I apply for an event that has already happened?
No. We do not offer retroactive funding. Please submit your application at least eight weeks before the event.
Can I apply for funding for an event if I have confirmed the date and venue, but I'm not yet sure who the writers will be?
No. Please wait until you have the writer(s) booked and an exact date confirmed before applying.
Can I apply for R/W funds for a children's program?
No. We do not fund programs that are exclusively for young children. We do fund programs for teenagers, families, and/or intergenerational audiences.
Can I apply for R/W funds for an event that's taking place at a school?
We fund many events at colleges and universities. Events may take place at high schools as long as they are held after school.
Does the event need to be open to the public?
All events must be open to the public unless they take place at venues that serve special populations, such as prisons, hospitals, and senior centers.
If the writer I've applied for cancels, may I replace him or her with another writer?
Yes. You may replace him or her with another writer if you notify us as soon as possible prior to the event, and send us a bio for the new writer.
Is a private residence an acceptable venue for an event if the public is welcome?
No. A private residence is not acceptable, but we do fund events at a variety of venues, such as community centers, parks, stores, cafes, businesses, schools, and libraries.
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How will I know if my application has been approved?
We review applications within two to three weeks of receiving them. If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation form for each writer, which you should review for accuracy. You will receive a letter of explanation if the grant has not been approved, or a phone call or e-mail requesting more information if the grant is still pending. If you have not heard from our office a month after submitting your application, please call to confirm that we have received it. (This is especially recommended if you have faxed us your application.)
What if my organization isn't able to make a 1:1 match?
Our goal is to have the organizations we work with match our portion of the writer's fee. However, we assess the needs and the capabilities of each organization and evaluate applications accordingly.
Can my match be in kind (i.e. can I provide travel, lodging, etc. in lieu of cash)?
No. We do not accept in-kind contributions as matching fees. However, you can provide in-kind contributions in addition to a cash match. Also, writers may use the cash match for expenses such as travel and lodging if they choose.
When will I receive the writer's check and the required reporting materials?
If your grant has been approved, you will receive the check for the writer along with evaluation forms for you and for the writer approximately three to six days before the event. As the sponsoring organization, you are responsible for giving the check and Writer's Report form to the writer.
What if we do not receive the checks and reporting materials prior to the event?
Please notify us as soon as possible. We will put a stop on the check and issue a new check, which may take a week or two to process. Please make sure to provide us with a reliable address (some project directors prefer to give us their home addresses). If the original check arrives after the new check is issued, please return it to the appropriate P&W office.
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What qualifies as an acceptable publicity sample?
Posters, flyers, postcards, press releases, and newspaper clippings are all acceptable. We accept printouts of e-mails as well, but please keep in mind that online publicity should meet the same textual and graphic standards as any other type of publicity.
If I'm hosting an event on a college or university campus, does on-campus publicity fulfill the requirement?
Please include both on- and off-campus publicity. We need to see that the larger community is welcome at and informed about the event.
Can I use your mailing list to do outreach for my event?
A list of Poets & Writers Magazine subscribers in your area is available for rental. Please contact us for more information.
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If I'm hosting an event with multiple writers, how many Sponsor's Reports and publicity samples do I need to submit?
If the publicity is the same for each writer, you need only send two copies. If multiple writers have been funded as part of one large program, you may submit a single narrative addressing the questions on the back of the Sponsor's Report forms, but please fill out the front of each form. The timeliness with which you return reports will be taken into consideration when we review future applications from your organization.
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