Rhode Island Foundation Offers $25,000 Grants to Local Writers

MacColl Johnson Fellowships helps local writers reach the next level.
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Rhode Island writers have until August 9 to apply for $25,000 fellowships from the Rhode Island Foundation.

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Rhode Island writers have until August 9 to apply for $25,000 fellowships from the Rhode Island Foundation. The grants are considered to be among the largest no-strings-attached awards available to authors in the country.

The Foundation will award grants to as many as three emerging or mid-career writers through the Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund.  

“This support will permit local writers to spend more time focusing on their work rather than trying to make ends meet,” says Jenny Pereira, the Foundation’s vice president of grants and community investments. “These fellowships reflect the importance our donors placed on nurturing the presence of practicing artists in the community.”

Past recipients of writing fellowships include Sussy Santana, whose most recent poetry book is called Poemas Domésticos; Susannah Strong, who worked on a graphic novel and produced a body of shorter works; and Chrysanthemum Tran, who finished her first collection of poems and developed a poetry symposium. 

“Being selected was a vote of confidence in my work as an artist. It was very humbling to know that other people believe in and support your creativity,” Santana says. “It opened my eyes to what was possible if you keep working hard on your dreams, and if you stay true to who you are as an artist.”

Applicants must have been residents of Rhode Island for at least twelve months prior to the deadline of August 9. High school, college and graduate students, and those who have advanced levels of career achievement, are not eligible. 

The quality of the applicants’ work samples will be judged, as well as their artistic development, creative contribution to writing and the potential of the fellowship to advance their career. Recipients are then expected to devote time to their work and participate in activities to further develop their artistic growth.

Applications will also be accepted from authors creating new original work in any genre. 

A panel of out-of-state judges, who are acclaimed practicing writers and professional authors, will select the recipients. For more information about applying for a MacColl Johnson Fellowship, visit rifoundation.org.



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