The Literary Arts Booth Emergency Fund for Writers

Like many of those in our communities, The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep impact on Oregon’s writers. Many are experiencing disruptions to their work, family lives and overall financial security. This was confirmed by a recent survey we conducted of Oregon Book Awards & Fellowship recipients and Writer of Color fellowship applicants. 86% of the respondents have either experienced or are anticipating an impact to their financial situation as a result of the pandemic.

In response to this need,  Literary Arts has allocated a significant amount from our Brian Booth Writers’ Fund to create the Booth Emergency Fund for Writers. This emergency fund is designed to provide meaningful financial relief to Oregon’s writers, including cartoonists, spoken word poets, and playwrights. 

Funds are designed but not limited to be used for the following:

  • Recouping financial losses due to cancelled events. This includes but is not limited to readings, panels, residencies and other writing-related opportunities.
  • Offsetting loss of income for teachers who could not teach during this time because of cancelled classes and/or school closures
  • Support for artists working full or part-time in the service industry or other professions who have lost income.

Awards of $1,000 each will be issued to 100 eligible writers after the first application period closes. Depending on funding, Literary Arts may open up a second round of applications later in June.

COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting communities of color. Literary Arts is prioritizing funding for writers identifying as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who meet the eligibility criteria.

Criteria for Eligibility:

Recipients of funding must be writers with an established practice that meet one or more of the following criteria:   

  • Oregon Book Awards winner and/or finalists (current and former)
  • Oregon Literary Fellowship recipients (current and former)
  • Book authors, including graphic novelists, with at least one title published since 2010 by an established publisher. Self -published titles can be used for eligibility.   
  • Dramatists whose full-length plays have been produced in mid-size or large theaters and/or published by established dramatic presses.
  • Essayists, including authors of long-form nonfiction, critics, short story writers, cartoonists and poets with at least 8 published pieces in the last 3 years in periodicals with a national or broad circulation. This  does not include copywriting, blogging, public relations, and writing for non-periodical websites and corporate clients.
  • Spoken word poets or writers in other genres, who perform, read, or tour regularly and have performed in a minimum of 12 different venues  since January 2019. These should be performances which the performer earned income, either directly through appearance fees or book sales, at the event.
  • Writers with an established practice that doesn’t fall into above guidelines (to be described by writer on application form)

Please note: while evidence of an established writing practice is used to determine eligibility, the primary criteria for determining funding is the applicant’s declaration of need and BIPOC writers.  

Staff, Literary Arts Board and their spouses, and members of the Oregon Book Awards and Fellowships Advisory Council are not eligible to apply.

Deadline to apply: Applications will be accepted on the Literary Arts website from April 29 to May 13. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm. on May 13...  Applicants will be informed of the status of their application by Friday, June 12th.  Applications will be evaluated by Literary Arts staff and members of the Oregon Book Awards and Fellowships Advisory Council.

To apply, please fill out the form below. After you submit the form, the page will reload and a confirmation will show at the bottom of this page. It will include a link to a short demographic survey. If you would like to have a printed version of the form sent to you, or if you have any other questions about your application, please email Susan Moore at

The application deadline has passed. We are no longer accepting applications.