Readings & Workshops FAQ


  • How do I apply for funding?

    Go to the Application Guidelines and follow the instructions to reach our online application. 

  • 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.


  • 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 have received R&W funding in the past. Can I assume that my applications will automatically be funded?

    No, past funding does not guarantee future funding.


  • 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 the application is approved for funding, a check made payable to the writer will be sent to the sponsoring organization; the organization will give the check to the writer at the time of the event.

  • 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 writers as you’d like, but please keep in mind that Poets & Writers provides a maximum of $1,500 per organization annually in New York State and California, and $500 in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. (This is due to the limited funds we have available in each jurisdiction.) 

  • 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?

    No. But note that in California we fund no more than 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 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.

  • What should be included in a writer’s bio to demonstrate his or her eligibility?

    We fund emerging as well as established writers. Please list publication credits, which may include books (including chapbooks and self-published work), as well anthologized work. 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?

    In order to lawfully pay a writer the grant money awarded, we must have his or her Social Security number. (If we pay more than $600 to an individual writer during the course of a year, we must by law report those payments to the IRS; the writer will receive a 1099.) 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?

    Yes, our application requires that you include the writer’s Social Security number and address.

  • 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 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. We cannot accept applications from writers, nor can we fund the project director, a board member, or any paid employee of the organization applying. However, writers can encourage organizations to apply on their behalf.

  • 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 R&W program considered employees of Poets & Writers?

    No, writers are paid as independent contractors and are not employees of Poets & Writers.

  • 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.


  • In which cities does Poets & Writers offer R&W funding?

    We fund readings and workshops taking place in any city in New York State or California, and in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.

  • 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 writer(s) will be?

    No. Please wait until you have the writer(s) booked 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 events at colleges and universities (except colleges that are part of the State Univeristy of New York (SUNY)), if the event is open to the general public. We also fund events at high schools, if they are held after school. We do not fund events during the school day or for elementary school students.

  • 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, but please notify us as soon as possible prior to the event.

  • 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.


  • How will I know if my application has been approved?

    We typically review applications within four weeks of receiving them. You will receive an e-mail indicating that your application has been approved, declined, or is still pending—usually because we need more information. If you have not heard from us one month after submitting your application, please call to check on the status of 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?

    If your grant has been approved, you will receive the check for the writer approximately three to six days before the event. As the sponsoring organization, you are responsible for giving the check to the writer.

  • What if we do not receive the check prior to the event?

    Please notify us as soon as possible. We will stop 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 Poets & Writers office.


  • What qualifies as an acceptable publicity sample?

    Posters, flyers, postcards, press releases, and newspaper clippings are all acceptable. We accept printouts of e-mail messages, web pages, and social media posts 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.

  • Does Poets & Writers publicize my event?

    Poets & Writers publishes a free online Literary Events Calendar. We encourage you to post your R&W-funded event, and all of your literary events!

  • How should I acknowledge Poets & Writers' support?

    Sponsors of events supported by Readings & Workshops are required to credit Poets & Writers and our funders on all publicity materials—print and online—for the event. Find information about the correct credit line and logos for your event here.


  • If I'm hosting an event with multiple writers, how many Sponsor's Reports and publicity samples do I need to submit?

    If multiple writers have been funded as part of one large program, you will need to fill out a separate online report for each writer, but may upload publicity files to just one of the reports.

  • When are reports due?

    Reports should be submitted within two weeks following the event. The timeliness with which you return reports will be taken into consideration when we review future applications from your organization.

  • What are you looking for in reports?

    A detailed report with a good description of the event and its impact on your community will help Poets & Writers to raise more funds for the R&W program. A few extra minutes devoted to your report may have a direct impact on the funds we will be able to distribute next year. Sponsors are asked to attach examples of marketing and publicity materials such as flyers, programs, or press releases. Be sure these acknowledge Poets & Writers and our funders correctly! (More information about logos and credit lines here.)