PROVIDENCE, R.I. \u2014\u00a0Local\u00a0writers who dream of having more time to spend on their craft have until\u00a0Aug. 8\u00a0to apply for $25,000 fellowships from the Rhode Island Foundation. The grants are considered to be among the largest no-strings-attached awards available to writers in the United States.\r\nAs many as three\u00a0budding\u00a0writers will win the grants through Foundation\u2019s\u00a0Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund. The awards are intended to free aspiring writers to concentrate time on the creative process, focus on personal or professional development, expand their body of work and explore new directions.\r\n\u201cThis assistance will permit local writers to spend more time thinking about their work instead of trying to make ends meet. This fellowship reflects the importance that our donors placed on the presence of practicing artists in the community,\u201d said Jenny Pereira, the Foundation\u2019s vice president of grant programs.\r\nPrevious recipients of writing fellowships include Marie Myung-Ok Lee, a former visiting lecturer at Brown University who\u00a0has been published in The Atlantic, The NewYork Times and The Paris Review; and Sussy Santana,\u00a0whose most recent book of poetry is \u201cPoemas Dom\u00e9sticos.\u201d\r\nAccording to\u00a0Santana,\u00a0her\u00a0fellowship gave\u00a0her\u00a0more than just the resources to devote more time to writing.\r\n\u201cBeing selected was a vote of confidence in my work as an artist.\u00a0It was very humbling to know that other people believe in and support your creativity.\u00a0 It opened my eyes to what was possible if you keep working hard on your dreams, and if you stay true to who you are as an artist,\u201d said Santana.\r\nApplicants will be judged on the quality of their work samples, artistic development and the creative contribution to literary arts, as well as the potential of the fellowship to advance the career of emerging-to-mid-career artists. Applications will be accepted from writers creating new original work in any genre, including poetry.