Attention Feminist Writers! Check Out the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund

Barbara Deming (1917-1984) was a feminist, lesbian, poet, writer and nonviolent activist in the civil rights, anti-war and women’s movements. She founded the aptly named Money for Women Fund in 1975 to give financial and moral support to creative women in the arts.

The fund issues awards of up to $1,500 twice a year to feminist poets, fiction/nonfiction writers, visual artists, and mixed genre (illustration and text) artists whose work focuses in some way on women. In fact, according to the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund's website, its Money for Women Fund is the oldest "ongoing feminist granting agency" in the U.S. 

The Bearsville, New York-based fund is currently accepting applications for the next round of funding. Check out the full RFP here. In the meantime, here are some things you need to know.

  • The fund is interested in projects which are in progress.   
  • Application deadline for fiction, mixed genre, and visual art is December 31st.
  • Deadline for nonfiction and poetry is June 30th.
  • The fund does not award Theater, playscripts, videos, work which is or will be self-published.
  • Individuals who previously applied for a grant must wait two years before reapplying.

The fund notes that while other grant sources have come and gone, its fund is going strong in its third decade, still embracing feminism and still taking risks. To see what they mean, let's take a quick look at a few of 2015's grant winners.

Poetry awards went to Brooklyn's Nina Puro, whose manuscript, The Winter Palace, examined girlhood, diaspora, and service-industry jobs in what she calls "late capitalism," and Ansley Moon, also from Brooklyn, whose Girl Country looked at the plight of women in India. As for nonfiction, Santa Rosa, California's Blaire Briody took home a nonfiction award for The New Wild West, which looked at the recent oil boom in North Dakota, while Patricia Spears Jones—also from Brooklyn!—penned a memoir entitled Black Girl in Bohemia and Beyond.

In similar news, we encourage you to also check out the New York City-based Rona Jaffe Foundation, who supports women writers in early stages of their careers. The foundation recently announced the six winners of the 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards. You can check them out here.