Readings & Workshops FAQ


  • How do I apply for funding?

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

  • Who can apply?

    The application must be completed by an organization sponsoring or hosting a reading or workshop. If you are the writer, you cannot apply for yourself, but can encourage the event organizer or host to apply.

  • When is the application deadline?

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and must be submitted at least six weeks prior to the event.

  • When is the best time to submit an application?

    We review and approve grants on a rolling basis, until available funds run out. So it is best to submit early! Our fiscal year starts July 1 and ends June 30.

  • Can I apply for a series of events?

    Yes, you can apply for a whole series of events (with a separate application for each writer) or for specific events within a series.

  • Do R&W mini-grants go to the organization or to the writer?

    R&W mini-grants support writers fees only and are paid directly to the writer. Funding applications, however, must be submitted by the organization sponsoring the event.


  • Does my organization have to have nonprofit status to apply for R&W funding?

    No, nonprofit status is not required. For profit businesses (such as a café) and informal organizations (such as a book club) are welcome to apply.

  • 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.

  • My organization has 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.

  • My organization’s application was approved. How will funds be disbursed?

    A check will be sent directly to the writer approximately two to four weeks after the event.

  • What if the writer lives outside the United States?

    International writers presenting programming for audiences in one of the geographical areas listed above are eligible for funding. The writer will be paid via PayPal.


  • How much can an organization apply for per writer?

    In California, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C., mini-grants for readings or spoken word performances range from $50 to $350. Grants for workshops range from $100 to $200 per session. (Note: In California, we generally grant no more than $500 total for a workshop series.) In New York, mini-grants for readings or spoken word performances range from $150 to $450. Grants for workshops range from $200 to $300 per session. 

  • Can organizations apply for more than one writer for a single event?

    Yes, submit a separate application for each writer.

  • How many writers can an organization apply for?

    Organizations may apply for multiple writers; however, we typically grant no more than a combined annual total of $3000 to any single organization in New York State, and $500 in California, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C. (These caps fluctuate depending on the availability of funds in each jurisdiction and the number of applications we receive.)

  • Does the writer have to live in the city or state where the event takes place?

    No, writers can be from anywhere.

  • What should be included in a writer’s bio to demonstrate their eligibility?

    To be eligible, writers must have at least one publication credit or, in the case of spoken word artists, a performance credit. Please clearly 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.

  • What types of writers do you fund?

    We fund emerging and established poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. We do not fund journalists, screenwriters, playwrights, writers of children’s literature, or historical nonfiction. If you are not sure whether the writer is eligible, contact us.

  • Why is the writer asked to provide a Social Security number?

    When a grant is awarded, we ask the writer to provide us with their Social Security number. Grant funds are considered taxable income. In order to lawfully issue a grant, we must have this information. (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.) International writers do not have to provide a Social Security number. In this instance, the writer may fill out the Social Security number field with zeroes.

  • I am a writer. Can I apply for funding for my own reading?

    No, the application must come from an organization and the event organizer cannot be the same person as the writer. The writer cannot be a board member or a paid employee of the organization applying. However, writers can encourage organizations to apply on their behalf.

  • I am a writer. What information should I share with an organization I’d like to apply on my behalf?

    Writers should share our contact information (see above) with the organization, as well as a link to our Application Guidelines page, and let them know we are available to answer any questions they might have about our easy application process.

  • 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 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 who receive R&W grants 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 locations 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.

  • 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 will be?

    No, please wait until you have the writer 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 (13 and up), 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 sponsored by colleges and universities (except colleges that are part of the State University of New York (SUNY), if the event is open to the general public. We also fund events for teens in middle or high school, if the events are held after school hours. We do not fund events for elementary school students.

  • Does the event need to be open to the public?

    Generally, yes, supported events must be open to the public. However, we do also support events at venues closed to the public such as correctional facilities, hospitals, and senior centers.

  • If the writer I've applied for cancels, may I replace them with another writer?

    If the change is able to take place prior to the event, in most cases, yes, we are able to consider a replacement writer. Event organizers should provide the appropriate office with the new writer’s bio for eligibility, contact information, and Social Security number.

  • Is a private residence an acceptable venue for an event if the public is welcome?

    No, we do not support events that take place in private residences.


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

    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 or e-mail to check on the status of your application.

  • Is my organization required to make a 1:1 match?

    Organizations are encouraged to match P&W’s payment to the writer. However, if your organization is not able to match or add to the request, we will still consider the application.

  • Can my portion of the writer’s fee be in-kind (i.e. can I provide travel, lodging, etc. in lieu of cash)?

    We do not consider 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.

  • What if the event is cancelled?

    Event organizers should notify us as soon as possible.

  • What if the writer has already received the check for a canceled event?

    The writer should mail the check back to us at the following address:
    Attn: Readings & Workshops, 90 Broad Street, Suite 2100, NY, NY 10004. 


  • How should I acknowledge Poets & Writers' support?

    Organizations with events supported by Readings & Workshops are required to credit Poets & Writers and our funders on all publicity materials—print and online—for the event. Please see your grant approval e-mail for the correct credit line for your event; logos can be downloaded here.

  • How can Poets & Writers help me publicize my event?

    We encourage you to post all of your literary events on our free online Literary Events Calendar. From time to time, we publicize events listed on our calendar in our e-newsletters, on our website, and in other communications. Please also add our e-mail to your promotional mailings: for events taking place in New York State, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, or Washington, D.C.,; for events taking place in California, Houston, Seattle, or Tucson,

  • How do I connect with Poets & Writers on social media?

    Be sure to tag us on Twitter and Instagram @poetswritersinc and Facebook @PoetsAndWriters; and when possible, use the hashtag #litfunding, so we can share and retweet your R&W-supported events.

  • 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.


  • Who is required to submit a report?

    Both the event organizer and the writer are required to submit a report.

  • Where do I submit my report?

    Both the event organizer and the writer can submit reports online using our grant management system at Event organizers should use their existing e-mail and password. Writers will receive an e-mail with log-in instructions. 

  • What are you looking for in reports?

    We are looking for a detailed description of the event and its impact on your community. A good report 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. In addition, sponsors should submit examples of marketing and publicity materials such as flyers, programs, or press releases with their reports.

  • 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 event, you will need to submit a separate report for each writer, but may upload publicity files to just one of the reports.

  • What qualifies as an acceptable publicity sample?

    Posters, flyers, postcards, press releases, and newspaper clippings are all acceptable. We accept print-outs 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. All publicity materials should contain the appropriate credit lines and logos.

  • When are reports due?

    Reports should be submitted within thirty days of completion of the event. Timely completion of reports keeps your organization in good standing for potential future funding.