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PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship ($5,000)

The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship of $5,000 is offered annually to an author of children's or young-adult fiction. The Fellowship has been developed to help writers whose work is of high literary caliber but who have not yet attracted a broad readership. The Fellowship is designed to assist a writer at a crucial moment in his or her career to complete a book-length work-in-progress. 

The Fellowship is made possible by a substantial contribution from PEN Member Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, the prolific author of more than 125 works of fiction, including the novels Alice in the Know, the 21st and most recent in the acclaimed "Alice" series, as well as Sang Spell and Shiloh, the first novel in a trilogy, which won the 1992 Newbery Medal.

On establishing the Fellowship Mrs. Naylor said: "We truly work 'blind,' with no assurance whatsoever that anyone will be interested in our final product. It takes enormous stamina and resolve and optimism to live with our characters for a year or more—and it's my hope that the Working Writer's Fellowship, modest as it is, will let the author know that an expert panel of PEN judges has faith in the writer, admires his work, and trusts that he will be able to bring to paper what he sees in his head."   
 

Past winners: Graham McNamee, Lori Aurelia Williams, Franny Billingsley, Deborah Wiles, Amanda Jenkins, Barbara Shoup, Diane Les Becquets, Theresa Nelson, Carol Lynch Williams, Pat Schmatz, Lucy Frank, Sarah Dooley, Amy Goldman Koss, and Linda Oatman High.

 

Eligibility and Nominations for the 2015 Awards

Deadline
Submissions are now open. Submissions for the 2015 Awards will be accepted between September 1, 2014 and October 31,2014. 

Who Is Eligible
  • A candidate is a writer of children or young-adult fiction in financial need.
  • Candidates must have published at least two novels for children or young adults which have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author.
  • The writer's books must be published by a U.S. publisher. 
 
Nominations
Writers must be nominated by an editor or fellow writer. The nominator should write a letter of support, describing in some detail how the candidate meets the criteria for the Fellowship. This Fellowship will be judged blindly - the adminstrators will be aware of the nominees' names, but the judges will not. The nominator should provide:
 
1) A list of the candidate's published work, accompanied by copies of reviews, where possible. 
2) Three copies of the outline of the current novel in progress, three copies of 50–75 pages of the text. Picture books are not eligible. The writers' name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript, in order to ensure anonymity for the judging process.
3) On a separate piece of paper, a brief description of the candidate's recent earnings and a statement about why monetary support will make a particular difference in the applicant's writing life at this time. If the candidate is married or living with a domestic partner, please include a brief description of total family income and expenses.
 
Send nominations between September 1, 2014 and October 31, 2014 to:
 
PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship 
PEN American Center 
588 Broadway, Suite 303 
New York, NY 10012
 
For any questions, please email awards@pen.org