USW Project Grants Guidelines

Writers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) and reside in Detroit, Houston, or New Orleans may apply for grants.

The purpose of these grants is to support writers who are BIPOC in presenting virtual events that will engage communities in these cities as part of our ongoing initiative.

Please read all of the following carefully before applying. If you have any questions, please email the appropriate office: for Houston, for Detroit and New Orleans.


  • Application Deadline: April 2
  • Grantees Notified: April 15
  • Projects Take Place: April 19-June 30


To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color (BIPOC)
  • Be a resident of Detroit, Houston, or New Orleans, including surrounding metro areas of each city.
  • Be a published writer of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, or have performing credits as a spoken word artist. Publications can include literary magazines, anthologies, or self-published work.

We welcome applications from past recipients but priority will be given to writers who have not been previously funded.


  • Projects may include readings, workshops, or community conversations (such as panels, discussions, town halls, or Q&As) in the genres of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction.
  • Projects must take place between April 19 and June 30, 2021.
  • For the time being, we are only funding virtual projects occurring in real-time. We do not offer funding for previously recorded projects.
  • Virtual readings and community conversations should be live-streamed through an audio/video platform which is open to the public.
  • Virtual writing workshops should include real-time online instruction of workshop attendees by a live facilitator, and can be open or closed to the public, dependent on workshop needs.
  • We encourage recording virtual projects and archiving them through a publicly-accessible platform, such as YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Unfortunately, we do not have funding for playwrights, screenwriters, or authors of children’s literature.


  • Project grant amounts are determined by the number of sessions (reading, workshop, or community conversation).
  • We are offering grants of:
    • $250 for a one-session project
    • $500 for a two-session project
    • $750 for a three-session project
  • Project grants may be used to cover any costs associated with the project, including writers fees (for the applicant and/or other writers taking part in the project), marketing and publicity, project documentation, or other production costs required to make the project a success.
  • Grantees are paid as independent contractors and are not employees of Poets & Writers. (Note that grants generally are considered taxable income.)


Grantees are expected to:

  • List their events on our online Literary Events Calendar
  • Use the appropriate credit lines and logos in all publicity
  • Use the hashtag #LitFunding and tag the appropriate P&W Twitter handle @detroitpworg, @houstonpworg, or @nolapworg in all publicity
  • Submit a final report within 30 days of the project’s conclusion.