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Frequently Asked Questions: Applying for an Oregon Literary Fellowship


When is the deadline to apply for a 2019 Oregon Literary Fellowship?

Monday, July 9. 2018 at 5:00 p.m. You can hand-deliver your application to our office at 925 SW Washington. We are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (we are closed July 4th).Unfortunately we do not accept faxed or emailed applications. You can send your application through regular mail, priority mail, UPS, or Fed Ex.

Where are the guidelines and application form?

They are on our web site at: https://literary-arts.org/what-we-do/oba-home/fellowships/fellowships/

Do I have to be an Oregon resident to apply?

Yes, you must be a current, full-time Oregon resident, both at the time of application and of award.

I have only been an Oregon resident for 6 months, can I still apply?

You can apply for an Oregon Literary Fellowship if you’ve only been a resident for a few months. However you are not eligible to be considered for an Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship or the Swaills Fiction Fellowship, which are two specific fellowships, unless you meet the residency requirements listed on the addendums for these fellowships.

What is the application fee?

Literary Arts does not charge an application or reading fee for the Oregon Literary Fellowships program.

May I recreate the form on my computer?

Yes, as long as you don’t give yourself more room to answer the questions than is allowed for on the official form. The form is provided as a PDF file and also as a Microsoft Word file.

Do I have to type the application?

It’s okay to print if your handwriting is legible. The writing sample must be typed.

Why can’t I submit online?

Eventually we hope to make this an option. Right now we only accept submissions mailed to us or hand delivered to our offices at 925 SW Washington. Our office is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Can the writing sample be from a published work?

Yes. You can submit published or unpublished work for your writing sample. Work should be submitted in typewritten form.

Is it okay to send 25 pages of prose that are excerpts from a few different works, or does it need to be 25 pages of prose from one work?

Either is fine.

Some of my writing is prose and some of my writing is poetry. Can I submit both in one application?

You can only submit your application in one genre. If your application is a mixed genre, you will need to choose one genre to submit it in. Mixed genre applications are generally not recommended.

Is it okay to send a writing sample that is printed on both sides of the paper?

Yes, but please be aware that one page printed back to back counts as 2 pages.

Can my name be on my writing sample?

Yes your name should be on your writing sample. The writing sample is not judged anonymously. We hire out of state judges.

Can I hand write my writing sample?

Please submit your writing sample in typewritten, manuscript format. This means 12 point standard font, double-spaced, for fiction and nonfiction, with one inch margins on all sides. Poetry can be single spaced, 12 point standard font, one inch margins on all sides.

What does “collated” mean, as indicated on the application form?

One “set” would consist of your application form, any addendums, and your writing sample. For fiction,non-fiction and poetry, you would make an additional two copies of this set, and submit that as three complete collated sets with your application. For young readers and drama, only two sets are required.

May I include illustrations?

Since this is a literary award, illustrations do not need to be included, and will not be forwarded to the judges.

May I include resumes, letters of recommendation or other information about me?

Please follow the application guidelines closely, and only submit what’s required. Extra materials will not be forwarded to the judges.

What genres do you award fellowships in?

Literary Arts awards fellowships in poetry, fiction, literary nonfiction, drama, and young readers literature. Young readers literature includes writing for children and young adult literature. Drama includes screenplays and scripts for television.

Do you award fellowships for graphic literature?

We do not currently offer an Oregon Literary Fellowship for graphic literature.

I received an Oregon Literary Fellowship in the past. When can I re-apply?

According to the guidelines, a writer is not eligible if they received an Oregon Literary Fellowship in the last five years. Publishers are not eligible if they received a fellowship in the last two years. This means for the 2019 fellowships, the years that make a writer ineligible are 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014.

If I publish an online publication, am I eligible to apply for a publishing fellowship?

Yes. You can print a copy of a recent issue from the internet and submit two copies of that for the publication sample.

I have published books and do not consider myself an emerging writer. Am I eligible to apply?

Fellowships are granted to emerging and established writers. Being published doesn’t make a writer ineligible.

Are works of translation eligible?

The writers fellowships are for writing that originates with the writer submitting the application. Works of translation and adaptations of other authors’ works are not eligible.

Should I put my application in a stylish presentation folder?

Please follow the guidelines closely, and make collated copies of your entire application and bind them into packets with a staple or paper clip.

May I apply in two categories?

You may only submit one Oregon Literary Fellowships for Writers application. However, if you own a small press or magazine and are also a writer, you may submit an Oregon Literary Fellowships for Publishers application for your press and an Oregon Literary Fellowships for Writers application for yourself.

What are the judges looking for in an application?

This is a question without a definite answer. The judges for the Oregon Literary Fellowships change every year. Work that a judge does not select one year could be selected for a fellowship by another judge the following year.

The applications are not pre-screened by Literary Arts. We select out-of-state judges who are established in their genre to judge the applications, and we ask them to use literary merit as the sole criterion. We encourage applicants to follow the guidelines closely, and present their work in the most favorable manner possible. Writers often apply several times before being selected for a fellowship.

Who are this year’s judges?

The identity of the judges remains confidential until the recipients are announced.

When are the recipients announced?

The recipients are announced in early January, 2019. The applicants receive a letter and a press release is issued. The information is also posted on our website.

Who judges the Oregon Literary Fellowships?

The judges are selected from out of state. They often teach creative writing at the university level or are librarians (especially in the young readers’ literature category). They are anonymous to the public until the recipients are announced. Recent judges include Kate Daniels, Brian Evenson, Amy Leach, Larissa Szporluk, J. Robert Lennon, Joan Houlihan and Jason Cook.

Can you describe the judging process?

The judges are asked to judge the manuscripts based on literary merit. The judges for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction review all the applications in their respective genres. Then they review the top applicants selected by the other genres’ judges, and meet via conference call to discuss the recipients.

The young readers’ literature, drama and publishers’ fellowship judges consider their applications individually.

Will the judges provide feedback on my application if it’s not selected?

Due to the volume of applications received, unfortunately the judges are not able to provide individual feedback.


Who should I contact if I still have questions?

Susan Moore is happy to answer any questions you might have. You can call her at 503.227.2583, or email her at susan@literary-arts.org.

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