About Poets & Writers

Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers.

Our mission? To foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.

Each year, tens of thousands of poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers benefit from P&W’s programs, which include its eponymous magazine; a dynamic, information-rich website; financial support for readings and other literary events; and sponsorship of several notable writing prizes and awards.


Poets & Writers Magazine is the leading publication of its kind. From its earliest days as a quarterly newsletter with a distribution of a few hundred copies, Poets & Writers Magazine has addressed issues of importance to creative writers, from finding an agent to promoting one’s book. The bimonthly magazine publishes essays on the literary life, profiles of contemporary authors, and the most comprehensive listing of literary grants and awards, deadlines, and prize winners available in print. Each issue reaches more than 100,000 writers.

Our website, pw.org, includes the Directory of Poets & Writers, which provides contact information, publication credits, and biographical information for more than 9,300 authors; databases of literary magazines and journals, small and independent presses, literary agents, MFA programs, writing contests, and literary places; a national literary events calendar; and select content from Poets & Writers Magazine.

The website, which attracts one million unique visitors per year, provides ready access to information about how to get published, as well as an active community of writers who share information, support, and advice with one another. In addition, P&W staff members respond directly to queries via e-mail, telephone, and letter, offering trustworthy answers to writers' questions on topics ranging from first book contents to applying for MFA programs.

Our Readings & Workshops program has paid writers fees for giving readings and leading workshops since 1970. Each year, we support more than 750 writers participating in over 2,000 literary events throughout New York State and California, as well as in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. We distribute more than $200,000 annually in the form of matching grants (restricted to the payment of writers’ fees) to a variety of organizations—from community centers to major art museums.

Poets & Writers has maintained a satellite office in California since 1989. In addition to overseeing the Readings & Workshops program in California, Houston, Seattle, and Tucson, this office convenes regional meetings in California that bring together writers and literary presenters.

Poets & Writers sponsors a select number of notable prizes for writers, including the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writer Award, and the Amy Award.

As a co-founder of The Literary Network, a coalition of nonprofit literary organizations, presses, and magazines, Poets & Writers continues to champion the cause of freedom of expression and advocates on behalf of writers for public funding of literature and the arts.

The Friends of Poets & Writers are a group of generous individuals who help make all of these programs possible.