Amazon Literary Partnership announces 2020 grant recipients
Since 2009, Amazon Literary Partnership has provided more than $13 million to organizations across the country that empower writers to create, publish, learn, teach, experiment, and thrive. At Amazon, we believe in the power of words to transform lives and we are honored to be able to support the writing community during this critical time.
Following the donation of emergency relief funding to Artist Relief and PEN America’s Writers’ Emergency Fund, both of which are providing grants directly to writers impacted by COVID-19, the Amazon Literary Partnership is awarding more than $1 million in grant funding to 66 organizations across the country. From Alaska to Texas, New York to California, Amazon Literary Partnership strives to make a lasting impact on the literary community by supporting organizations that amplify and uplift overlooked and underrepresented writers, and connect writers with their readers. The full list is included below, but here are some highlights:
- In New York, Girls Write Now mentors underserved young women to find their voices through the power of writing and community and “empower girls to become the next generation of storytellers and leaders.”
- In Dallas, Deep Vellum Publishing champions the open exchange of ideas among cultures by connecting the world’s greatest contemporary writers with English-language readers to “illuminate both the diversity and the universality of the human experience.”
- In Pittsburgh, City of Asylum provides “sanctuary to endangered literary writers, so that the writers can continue to write and their voices are not silenced.”
This year’s grant recipients include new organizations like Deep Vellum Publishing, City of Asylum Pittsburgh, The Center for Africa, and LitNet as well as organizations that the Amazon Literary Partnership has supported over the years like Lambda Literary, National Writing Month, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, PEN America, and Poets & Writers.
“In times of danger and upheaval, writers help us make sense of what is happening, expand our capacity for empathy, and imagine the future. So we are especially grateful to have the renewed support of Amazon Literary Partnership this year,” said Elliot Figman, Executive Director, Poets & Writers. "The grant will help us continue United States of Writing, an initiative to deepen our support for writers nationwide. In a field that is woefully under-capitalized, Amazon's support for the literary community is critical.”
The Amazon Literary Partnership has also awarded $120,000 grants to the Academy of American Poets and the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses to establish a Poetry Fund and Literary Magazine Fund. As they did last year, these two funds will support more than two dozen non-profits.
“We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the Amazon Literary Partnership to support poetry organizations, especially as more and more people are turning to poetry for comfort and courage in this crisis,” said Jennifer Benka, Executive Director, the Academy of American Poets. “We appreciate that the Amazon Literary Partnership program was quick to respond in this time of great need.”
“Since its inception, CLMP has been dedicated to sustaining the health and extending the reach of the nation’s literary magazines. Often the first places writers find their readers, these publications are essential to the publishing ecosystem, providing fertile ground for diverse voices to thrive,” said Mary Gannon, Executive Director, Community of Literary Magazines and Presses. “CLMP is honored to lend its expertise to the Amazon Literary Partnership's ongoing financial support of these underserved and uniquely vulnerable publishers.”
“As a small organization hosting the world’s largest writing event, NaNoWriMo has depended on Amazon Literary Partnership's support for more than 10 years to help create a global neighborhood of writers focused on inclusivity, empowerment, and encouragement," said Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month. "We want everyone to embrace their creativity and make it a priority, and Amazon Literary Partnership has been instrumental in helping thousands of people believe in their story and give it voice."
“The pandemic’s impact on the LGBTQ literary community has been, and will continue to be, devastating. So many of us are struggling to get by, are grieving, have fallen ill, or have been lost,” said Sue Landers, Executive Director of Lambda Literary. “Generous support from the Amazon Literary Partnership will help ensure that Lambda Literary can continue to respond creatively and powerfully to LGBTQ writers' needs as we move through this historic time.”
Selected by a panel convened by the Academy of American Poets including Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tyehimba Jess, poet and publisher Parneshia Jones, and Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal
Alice James Books
Cave Canem Foundation
Copper Canyon Press
Furious Flower Poetry Center
O, Miami Poetry Festival
Poetry Society of America
The National Poetry Series
The Nuyorican Poets Cafe
University of Arizona Poetry Center/CantoMundo
Urban Word NYC
White Pine Press
Literary Magazine Fund
Selected by a panel convened by Community of Literary Magazines and Presses including Amanda Lee Koe, Carmen Giminez Smith, and Jeannie Vanasco
A Public Space Literary Projects
American Short Fiction
Poets & Writers
The Common Foundation
The Oxford American
The Paris Review
- 2020's grant recipients are based in 24 states and Washington D.C.
- Of this year's 66 grant recipients, 6 are receiving grants for the first time.
- Many of this year’s recipients work on behalf of overlooked or marginalized writers, such as Lambda Literary, the Africa Center, the Asian American Writers Workshop, the Feminist Press, and Black Mountain Institute's City of Asylum fellowship program, which hosts writers who have fled oppressive regimes around the world.
- Writers, publishers, and magazines supported by Amazon Literary Partnership grants have been recognized (as winners or finalists) by the National Book Awards, National Book Critics Circle Awards, National Magazine Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur “Genius” Grants, and other honors.
- In 2019, approximately 400,000 writers from more than 200 countries around the world signed up to write novels through National Novel Writing Month; which included nearly 100,000 kids and teens as part of the Young Writers Program.
Hero image by Black Mountain Institute. City of Asylum fellow, Ahmed Naji, at a writers in residence reading.