It isn't very often that a lucrative $25,000 no-strings-attached grant comes along for aspiring writers. It's even less likely that the foundation offering the grant would limit the applicant pool to residents of a particular state. But that's precisely what's happening in Rhode Island, and writers in the Ocean State can thank the Rhode Island Foundation's Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund.
The fund awards up to three $25,000 grants a year, rotating among composers, writers, and visual artists on a three-year cycle. They're currently looking for writers. And according to the foundation's press release, the grants are among the largest no-strings-attached grants available to writers in the United States.
As with most fellowships (arts-related or otherwise), the foundation aims to provide writers with much-needed time to concentrate on their creative processes, focus on personal or professional development, and expand their bodies of work. Over the years, the foundation has awarded 30 grants totaling $750,000.
According to the foundation, applicants will be judged on the quality of the work samples, artistic development, and the creative contribution to the field of writing, as well as the potential of the fellowship to advance the careers of emerging and mid-career writers. Applications will be accepted from writers creating new original work, including novels, short stories, plays and poetry.
We noted previously that the fellowship has "no strings attached." Call us cynical, but we've learned that "no strings attached" can sometimes mean, well, "strings attached." In the case of the fellowship, winners need to display some degree of artistic development, or, in the words of the foundation, "engage in activities that further their artistic growth." Examples include creating new work, training in technologies or techniques, purchasing equipment or materials, travel, research, and developing artistic endeavors.
Applicants must have been legal residents of Rhode Island for at least 12 months prior to the August 7 application deadline. Alas, high school students, undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in a degree-granting program and writers who have advanced levels of career achievement are not eligible.
The bad news? The deadline to apply is August 7th, just around the corner. The good news? We're talking writers, after all. They thrive when the heat is on!
For more information on how to apply, click here.