Founded in 1922, PEN America champions the freedom to write, in the United States and globally, and recognizes the power of the word to transform the world.
To that end, the organization is inviting applications to its Writers’ Emergency Fund. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic. PEN America is expanding the fund as part of its efforts to support the literary community at a time when the health and livelihoods of so many are at risk. Through the fund, grants of between $500 and $1,000 will be awarded in support of writers demonstrating an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The fund is intended to assist fiction and nonfiction authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, and journalists.
PEN America will utilize the following guidelines in evaluating professional credentials: the publication of one or more books or multiple essays, short stories, or poems in literary anthologies or literary journals (either online or in print) during the last two years; the publication of a full-length play, performed in a theater of more than two hundred and fifty seats by a professional theater company; employment as a full-time professional journalist, columnist, or critic or a record of consistent publication on a freelance basis in a range of outlets during the last two years; and/or a contract for a forthcoming book, collection of essays, short story collection, poetry chapbook, or articles for which the name of the publisher can be provided. Productions in academic settings qualify if the applicant is not a student at the time of the production.
To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be based in the United States, be a professional writer, and be able to demonstrate that a small, one-time grant will be meaningful in helping them to address an emergency situation.
See the PEN America website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.