AWP Receives a $40,000 Art Works Grant from the NEA to Support Services to American Writers

June 12, 2020

AWP has been awarded a $40,000 grant to support its upcoming 2021 Conference & Bookfair, featuring as keynote speaker US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. This grant was part of the NEA’s second round of Art Works funding, providing $84 million for 1,144 new awards to organizations in all 50 states.

The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement, lifelong learning, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

"These awards demonstrate the continued creativity and excellence of arts projects across America and the nimbleness of our nation’s arts organizations in the face of a national crisis that shuttered their doors for months," said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “By funding arts projects in every U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia, the National Endowment for the Arts again celebrates the opportunity to make the arts available to every corner of the country and to see how the arts can heal and unite us.”

AWP Executive Director Cynthia Sherman added, “This funding helps AWP convene and build community in the literary arts at a very challenging time for all of us.  We look forward to bringing writers together at our annual conference & bookfair to reflect and exchange work and ideas. Together we will work on building diversity and excellence across the literary arts sector, and find creative, innovative, ways to share our voices and art in the virtual space.”

The mission of AWP is to foster literary achievement, to promote the art of writing as essential to a good education, and to serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing, while actively working to champion diversity and excellence in the field of creative writing. Founded in 1967, AWP supports nearly 50,000 writers, over 550 college and university creative writing programs, and 150 writers’ conferences and centers.

For more information on this project, and other projects included in the NEA grant announcement, please visit


You can view the full press release in our press room.

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