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Applying for an Oregon Literary Fellowship: Frequently Asked Questions

The deadline to apply for a 2022 Oregon Literary Fellowship is  September 17, 2021. We’ll be holding two online Zoom information sessions  August 18th and August 31st  to answer any questions you may have about applying. Register in advance for these Zoom meetings.

For the 2022 Oregon Literary Fellowships, Literary Arts will award thirteen fellowships: two Oregon Literary Career Fellowships of $10,000 each, and eleven fellowships of $3,500, for a total of $58,500. Of these, one Oregon Literary Career Fellowship and one Oregon Literary Fellowship will be awarded specifically to a BIPOC writer. 

Here are some frequently asked questions about applying for an Oregon Literary Fellowship, including many of the commonly asked questions about the most important aspect of your application, the writing sample.

Honestly, I felt a little silly applying for the fellowship year after year and not getting it. And then one day I got it, and I was so surprised. It was a great reminder to go ahead and try for those pies in the sky.

Amy Miller, 2021 Oregon Literary Fellowship Recipient


When is the deadline to apply for a 2022 Oregon Literary Fellowship?

Friday, September 17 by midnight. Applications can only be submitted online.

Where are the guidelines and application form?

They are on our web site at:  https://literary-arts.org/2022-oregon-literary-fellowship-guidelines/

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. If you move after applying, please inform Literary Arts as you would no longer be eligible if selected.

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. This means for the 2022 fellowships, the years that make a writer ineligible are 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017. 

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.

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.

If I’m applying for the Oregon Career Fellowship of $10,000, will I also be considered for a $3,500 Oregon Literary Fellowship?

All writers who submit additional materials and ask to be considered for the Oregon Literary Career Fellowship will automatically be considered for an Oregon Literary Fellowship of $3,500 as well.

Help your odds, of course, by submitting work you’re most excited about, and edit the bejeezus out of it, but most importantly, keep applying.

Taylor Koekkoek, 2020 Oregon literary fellowship recipient


Can you describe the judging process?

The judges are asked to judge the applications 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 ZOOM  or 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.

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 writing sample is usually the most important aspect of the writer’s application that is considered by the judges.

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 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 will be announced on our website and e-news by March 2022. The applicants are informed by email first.

The stories that comprised my sample were ones I’d written–revised, put aside, and then revised again–over a long stretch of time. Trust your instincts about your work.

Olufunke Grace Bankole, 2020 Oregon Literary Fellowship Recipient


Can the writing sample be from a published work?

Yes. You can submit published or unpublished work for your writing sample.  

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. We don’t currently have a mixed or hybrid genre category for fellowships.

Should my name be on my writing sample?

Yes your name should be on your writing sample. The writing sample and application is not judged anonymously.

What format should it be submitted in?

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.

May I include illustrations?

Illustrations do not need to be included, and will not be forwarded to the judges.

Can I include a title page and is that counted in the 25 page limit:

Yes. Also, one synopsis page is allowed but not required. Include it as the first page of your work sample. It is counted in the total pages allowed (25 in prose, 15 in poetry). If the work sample consists of multiple excerpts, use the synopsis page to give information for each. The synopsis page can also indicate whether the selections are from a larger series, additional description, or details about where the piece fits within a larger body of work.


Susan Moore (susan@literary-arts.org) and Jessica Meza-Torres (jessica@literary-arts.org) are  happy to answer any questions you might have. You can also bring your questions to our online Zoom information sessions  August 18th and August 31st  to have them answered in real time!

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