PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Local writers who dream of having more time to spend on their craft have until Aug. 8 to 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.
As many as three budding writers will win the grants through Foundation’s Robert 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.
“This 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,” said Jenny Pereira, the Foundation’s vice president of grant programs.
Previous recipients of writing fellowships include Marie Myung-Ok Lee, a former visiting lecturer at Brown University who has been published in The Atlantic, The NewYork Times and The Paris Review; and Sussy Santana, whose most recent book of poetry is “Poemas Domésticos.”
According to Santana, her fellowship gave her more than just the resources to devote more time to writing.
“Being selected was a vote of confidence in my work as an artist. It was very humbling to know that other people believe in and support your creativity. 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,” said Santana.
Applicants 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.