The Literary Arts Emergency Fund is a historic collaboration between the Academy of American Poets, Community of Literary Magazine and Presses (CLMP), and the National Book Foundation to support and advocate for the nonprofit literary arts field.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation, over two cycles, the fund distributed an unprecedented $7,830,000 to 376 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers in 43 states across the U.S., as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, which were disastrously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September 2020, regrants were made to 282 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers. In April 2021, regrants were made to 313 nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers.

As part of the 2021 funding cycle, data was collected from applicants, which was analyzed by an external firm, which will result in the first-of-its kind report on the nonprofit literary arts field. 


The Literary Arts Emergency Fund awarded one-time, unrestricted emergency grants from $5,000 to $50,000.

Grant amounts were determined by the following factors: financial need and projected loss due to COVID-19; budget size; diversity, equity, and inclusion as it relates to an organization’s staff and board; poets and writers contracted with; audiences served; geographic location; and an organization’s ability to continue offering programming.

Eligible applicants included:

  • Literary arts organizations and publishers* AND
  • Incorporated nonprofits with 501(c)3 status OR a fiscal agent AND
  • Based in the United States, U.S. territories, or Tribal lands

*Because financial losses experienced by nonprofit literary arts organizations and publishers were substantial and emergency relief was limited, libraries, museums, book arts organizations, humanities councils, centers for the book, residencies, playwriting organizations, author’s homes, and organizations devoted to championing the legacy of an individual writer were ineligible.

  • Organizations that promote poets and/or poetry;
  • Publishers (literary magazines and presses);
  • Literary or writers’ centers, book festivals, Writers in the Schools programs, literary presenting organizations, and other literary organizations.

Decisions about the eligibility of applications as determined by the three managing organizations were final.

Applications were be reviewed by independent panelists who were named on the three managing organizations’ websites. Panel ratings formed the basis for funding. Award decisions were approved and finalized by members of the Board of Directors of the three managing organizations. 

Funding through the Literary Arts Emergency Fund has closed.

All applicant organizations from the most recent round were notified whether or not they received funding via Submittable on Monday, April 11, 2022. (For archival purposes, a walk-through of the 2022 application can be found here.) 


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are organizations and publishers who previously received grant funding from the Literary...

Literary Arts Emergency Fund