In Burlington, Vermont, the Young Writers Project hosts award-winning poetry slams, called Muslim Girls Making Change, as part of its mission to mentor and publish “hidden teen voices that need to be heard.”
In Washington, D.C., the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation conducts workshops for midcareer African American writers and poet, to create “a nurturing space for black writers to find their voices.”
And in Oakland, California, Transit Books publishes award-winning books by little-known writers from around the world, with the goal of bridging cultural divides and to “amplify diverse voices.”
ALP is fundamental to the work of so many national literary organizations that salute, celebrate, and nurture both readers and writers, which is essential to developing a more diverse literary landscape, strengthening access to books and great writing, and deepening all of our understanding of the world through the lens of literary art.
Those three literary organizations are among 66 nonprofits across the country—community organizations working to champion the next generation of diverse authors and storytellers—that will receive grants this year from the Amazon Literary Partnership. For the past ten years, the Amazon Literary Partnership has provided hundreds of grants to more than 150 such organizations. Over the years, we have committed more than $12 million with the aim of empowering writers, helping them create, publish, learn, teach, experiment, and thrive. Every year we are humbled by the incredible work done by literary nonprofits, large and small.
“The National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35' does the crucial work of identifying and elevating major new talent, often introducing a diverse, engaging slate of writers for the first time to a wide audience. Without the generous, ongoing support of the Amazon Literary Partnership, 5 Under 35 simply wouldn’t be possible given the current funding landscape for the literary arts,” said Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation. “ALP is fundamental to the work of so many national literary organizations that salute, celebrate, and nurture both readers and writers, which is essential to developing a more diverse literary landscape, strengthening access to books and great writing, and deepening all of our understanding of the world through the lens of literary art.”
Today, in addition to announcing more than $1 million in grant funding to 66 nonprofits we have also awarded two $120,000 grants to the Academy of American Poets and the Community of Literary Presses and Magazines (CLMP)—both former Amazon Literary Partnership grant recipients—to create a new Poetry Fund and Literary Magazine Fund for poetry organizations and literary magazines. These two new funds will provide support to more than two dozen nonprofits. The full list is below.
At Amazon, we believe in the power of the written word to change lives and we are committed to helping writers connect with their readers. We also strive to support a diversity of voices by funding organizations that prioritize amplifying and uplifting overlooked and underrepresented writers.
Sue Landers, executive director of Lambda Literary, which supports gay and lesbian writers, said: “Amazon's investment in Lambda Literary's Emerging Writers Retreat ensures that the next generation of LGBTQ writers get the support they need and deserve to bring their vital stories into the world.”
“We are thrilled to be among the organizations to receive support from the Amazon Literary Partnership again this year,” said Karen M. Phillips, executive director of Words Without Borders. “This grant will help us to provide an English-language platform for vital and diverse writers from Oman, the Philippines, Cape Verde, Algeria and elsewhere, engaging readers in a global literary conversation.”
This year, the Amazon Literary Partnership also sponsored PEN America’s annual weeklong PEN World Voices Festival, which celebrates international literature and took place in New York last week, featuring more than 200 nonfiction and fiction writers, thinkers, and activists representing over 50 nationalities
The 2019 Amazon Literary Partnership grant recipients are:
Selected by a panel convened by the Amazon Literary Partnership and the Academy of American Poets that included Parneshia Jones, Adrian Matejka, and Arthur Sze.
Literary Magazine grants
Selected by a panel convened by the Amazon Literary Partnership and the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses that included Beena Kamlani, Deborah Paredez, and Hafizah Geter.
Fun facts about current and prior Amazon Literary Partnership grant recipients:
- 2019's grant recipients are based in 24 states and Washington D.C.
- Of this year's 66 grant recipients, 15 are receiving a grant for the first time.
- Many of this year’s recipients work on behalf of overlooked or marginalized writers, such as the Center for Black Literature, 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.
- Over the past five years, organizations supported by the Amazon Literary Partnership have assisted more than 100,000 writers per year, publishing 3,200 stories and more than 500 books, reaching more than 5 million readers, according to a survey of last year’s grant recipients.
- 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, MacArthur “Genius” Grants, and other honors.
- Amazon Literary Partnership’s support for the Academy of American Poets’ ‘Poem A Day’ series led to the publication of poems by more than 300 poets from diverse backgrounds last year, reaching half a million readers a day via email and online at Poets.org.
- Support for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2018 helped bring in-school and after-school writing classes to 10,000 schools, reaching 100,000 kids across the US.
Pictured, Lisa Lucas, executive director, National Book Foundation, speaking at the 2018 ‘5 Under 35’ awards