FAQ #1 - The guidelines state that the grant is for writers whose work addresses contemporary visual art. What exactly do you mean by “contemporary visual art”?
We mean visual art made since World War II. We will also consider projects on postwar work in adjacent fields—architecture, design, film, theater/performance, sound, etc.—if they significantly engage the discourses and concerns of contemporary visual art.
FAQ #2 - Is this grant program designed primarily for established writers?
No. The grant is designed to support both emerging and established writers. As long as a writer meets the publishing requirements, he or she can and should apply. (Publishing requirements vary by project type.)
For publishing-related eligibility requirements please refer to the project-specific pages.
FAQ #3 - Can I apply if I’m not a U.S. citizen?
Due to legal constraints, we can only accept applications from U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the United States, and holders of O-1 visas. If your application advances to the panel stage, you will be required to submit proof of citizenship/residency status. If your project is a collaboration, only the primary applicant must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident of the United States, or holder of an O-1 visa, as long as he or she accepts all financial and legal responsibility for the grant. (For more information on collaborations, see FAQs #10 and #20.)
FAQ #4 - Can I apply if I’m a full-time student?
No. Full-time students in degree-granting programs (or their equivalents), including PhD candidates, are not eligible for this grant. We do make an exception for students who are simultaneously maintaining professional careers as arts writers; however, they may not apply for projects that directly relate to work being submitted to fulfill the requirements of an academic degree.
FAQ #5 - Are there age limits for eligibility?
Yes. You must be at least twenty-five years old to apply.
FAQ #6 - Can I reapply if I applied last year and was not awarded a grant? Can I reuse my 2012 application?
Yes, you can reapply, but you must fill out the 2013 online application form and resubmit your writing samples.
FAQ #7 - Can I reapply if I was awarded an Arts Writers Grant in a past cycle?
FAQ #8 - Can I apply for an Arts Writers Grant if I am also applying to—or am currently a grantee of—Creative Capital?
Yes. You can concurrently apply for and/or be a recipient of both the Arts Writers Grant and a grant from Creative Capital.
FAQ #9 - Do you fund projects in languages other than English?
No. All projects must be written in English.
FAQ #10 - Do you fund collaborations?
Yes. Projects involving collaboration between two writers or between a writer and a practitioner in another field are eligible for consideration, except in the short-form writing category. Only one application per collaboration will be accepted: collaborators must select one member to be the primary contact.
FAQ #11 - Do I need to have a confirmed publisher for my project?
No. A confirmed publisher is not a prerequisite for application. If you do not have a confirmed publisher, please let us know where you hope to publish this project and whether you have a relationship and/or have discussed the text with them.
FAQ #12 - Can I apply for work I’ve already completed and use the grant money to reimburse myself
No. Grant money can only be used to cover expenses incurred after you have been awarded the grant.
FAQ #13 - By when should a project be completed?
Ideally, projects should have a completion date of approximately six months to one year after the grant award date (longer if needed for book projects). By completion date, we are referring to the date the text is finished—not the date of publication.
Although completion dates will vary depending on the nature of the specific project, it is worth noting that various factors regarding timing may contribute to the success of an application. Projects slated for completion in the months immediately after the December announcement of awards do not allow for a high degree of engagement or assistance from the program, as funds cannot be retroactively applied to costs incurred prior to receiving the grant. Conversely, since the goal is to support the realization of new works of arts writing, projects slated for completion too long after the announcement of awards are also less appropriate for this program. Please note that the grant period for Short-Form Writing and Blog applicants is one year, beginning with the announcement of grants in December.
FAQ #14 - Do I have to use the online form to apply?
Yes. You must use the online form to apply for the Arts Writers Grant. If you send your application by mail or drop it off at our office, it will not be accepted.
FAQ #15 - Can I apply for more than one project at a time?
No. You may only apply for one project per grant cycle.
FAQ #16 - Can I change the project type for which I am applying after I have already selected one on the application form?
Yes, but you will need to email the technical manager (firstname.lastname@example.org); she will delete your existing account so that you can create a new one with a different project type.
FAQ #17 - I am trying to fill out the application form and am having a technical problem. What should I do?
- Review the application instructions page of the online application.
- Log out of your application, restart your brower, then log in again.
- Try opening the application in a different brower (e.g. Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.).
- Email our technical manager at: email@example.com
FAQ #18 - What do you mean by “professional name”?
A name you use professionally as an author that differs from your legal name.
FAQ #19 - Why am I required to give citizenship information?
Because, for legal reasons, we are only able to award grants to U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the United States, and people residing in the United States on an O-1 visa.
Note: Collaborations are not permitted in the Short-Form Writing category.
FAQ #20 - Do the same eligibility requirements regarding age, citizenship, and student status apply to both members of a collaboration?
Both collaborators must meet the requirements for age and student status. (See FAQs #4 and #5.) However, only the primary applicant must meet the citizenship requirement. (See FAQ #3.)
FAQ #21 - Will my references be required to write letters of support on my behalf?
No. References will not be required to write a formal letter of recommendation. Please note that references will be contacted only if we feel the need for additional information about your work. If your reference is not contacted, this fact has no bearing on whether or not you will be awarded a grant.
FAQ #22 - Who makes the best reference for my grant application?
Typically, the best reference is someone who is familiar with your proposed project and can comment on the course of your career as a whole. If you are applying for an Article or Book grant and have a confirmed publisher, one of your references must be the publisher with whom you are working on the project.
FAQ #23 - What if my reference is a past juror or a juror for the current grant cycle? Will that affect my application?
If your reference was a juror in a previous year, that should not impact your application in any way. If your reference is a juror this year, he or she will be recused from voting on your proposed project. Again, it should not affect your application.
FAQ #24 - Will unsolicited reference letters be accepted toward my application?
No. Unsolicited reference letters will not be accepted.
Note: The following questions are not applicable to the Short-Form Writing category.
FAQ #25 - How detailed should my short project description be?
The short description should be a brief, one-to-two sentence overview.
FAQ #26 - What do you mean by “project completion date”?
This refers to the date by which you will have finished writing the text—not the date of publication. (For recommendations regarding the project completion date, see FAQ# 13.)
Note: Applicants to the Blog and Short-Form Writing categories do not have a budget section, as their grant amount is fixed.
FAQ #27 - Can I request money to cover living expenses in my budget?
The expenses section of your budget should include a “writer’s fee” for the period during which you will be working on your project. This money can be used toward living expenses, however you define them. If you will be taking time off from another form of income-producing employment (teaching, commercial writing, editing, etc.), we suggest you base your writer’s fee on the salary or freelance rate you will be forgoing in order to devote your time to your project.
FAQ #28 - If I am awarded a grant, will I have to pay taxes on the grant money?
Yes. Grantees must pay taxes on the money they receive from us. The IRS considers income from grants to be taxable.
FAQ #29 - Can I include the taxes I will have to pay on the grant as part of my budget?
Yes. If awarded a grant, you will have to pay approximately 25% of the grant amount to the IRS. This means that you will have to request approximately 25% more than the expenses associated with the production of your project in order to cover what you will owe in taxes. You may list this amount as a line item in your budget called “taxes.”
FAQ #30 - What else can I include under “expenses”?
Expenses related to the realization of your project can include:
- Research (including an assistant)
- Travel (airfare, car rental, ground transportation, lodging, meals, per diem)
- Image permissions and fees, reproduction and copying costs
- Fees for commissioned images
- Living expenses (see “writer’s fee” in FAQ #26 above)
- Childcare expenses
FAQ #31 - Can I request money to cover publishing costs for my project?
No. The grant is intended to cover costs associated with research and writing, not design and production. We do make an exception, however, for costs associated with obtaining images and reproduction rights, since adequate illustrations are essential to the success of a written argument on works of visual art.
FAQ #32 - What should I enter for the “income” section of the budget?
Money that will be used to cover costs related to your project (excluding the Arts Writers Grant) should be listed here. Examples of possible project income sources include:
- Additional grants
- Lecture payments
- Funding or in-kind payments from an employer
- Advance from a publisher
- Income from book sales
- Individual contributions
- Income from other sources, including teaching
Please indicate whether income sources are confirmed, pending, or in-kind contributions. Do not include the amount you are requesting from the Arts Writers Grant Program as income. We do not require a comprehensive list of your financial assets. Only list income specifically earmarked to fund the proposed project (including money that would be used to cover living expenses during the writing process).
FAQ #33 - Can I mail in or drop off my writing samples at your office?
No. We will not accept hard-copy versions of writing samples. You must submit them online as PDF files.
FAQ #34 - I want to submit a writing sample, but I don’t know how to generate a PDF.
Open your document in Microsoft Word, select “save as” and choose the PDF format.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help making a PDF.
FAQ #35 - Should I submit each writing sample as a separate PDF?
Yes, you must submit each writing sample as a separate PDF.
FAQ #36 - Can I scan an article in a magazine and submit it as a PDF for my writing sample?
Since PDF files created from scans of magazines and books can be difficult to read, we prefer PDFs created from computer files (for example, a Microsoft Word file). However, if you must use a scan from a magazine as your writing sample, please make sure that the text is legible when printed on an 8.5” x 11” piece of paper at 100%, and that the orientation of the document is portrait (not landscape).
FAQ #37 - I am applying for a collaborative project with a visual artist. Can he or she submit examples of artwork instead of a writing sample?
Yes. A visual artist collaborator can submit one PDF with up to fifteen images. The PDF file must be smaller than 5 MB. Email email@example.com with questions.
What should I do if I have a question that is not covered in your FAQs?
If neither the application form nor the FAQs contains the answer to your question, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical questions, email email@example.com. Please note that we only offer application support via email.