Application Guidelines

Thank you for your interest. We are no longer accepting applications for our 2021 Individual Award Program. The deadline to apply was February 26 at 5pm ET.


Awards

This year, we will make awards of $5,000 each to twenty artists and writers with children. Additionally, we will name twenty finalists.

Our awards offer unrestricted cash, and recipients can use the funds as they see fit.

Our selection process is focused almost entirely on the strength of the submitted portfolio.

Changes for 2021

In order to simplify the process for our applicants, we no longer request a biography or statement of future plans. The only essay response in the application is the artist statement. This aligns with our goal of keeping our review process focused on the portfolio.

Eligibility

To be eligible, the applicant must have at least one child under the age of 18. Parents of older children with a disability or special needs may also be eligible.

Who Should Apply

Artists and writers with at least one child under the age of 18 and a strong portfolio of polished work are welcome to apply.

We are inspired by anyone who is making creative work while raising a family. Given the intense demand for these awards (we typically receive 2,000-3,000 applications), and the fact that the awards are based on demonstrated excellence in your discipline, we don’t recommend that artists or writers who are beginning their creative careers apply to this program.

While we don’t require that applicants have published or exhibited their work, the rigor and critique involved in that process can certainly benefit the portfolio. Portfolios of writing or artwork created in a more personal vein for sharing with friends and family are not suitable.

We invite you to view our list of previous awardees and follow the links to their work to get a feel for their level of craft.

Racial Equity

As of Fall 2016, we make half our awards to applicants of color. You can read more about this decision on our website.

Disciplines

Writers may apply in one of the following categories:
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Early and Middle Grade Readers
  • Fiction
  • Graphic Novel/Graphic Memoir
  • Illustrated Children's Books
  • Illustrated Children's Books (Text Only)
  • Poetry
  • Young Adult Fiction

Visual artists may apply in one of the following categories:

  • Book Arts
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Fiber Arts and Textiles
  • Illustration
  • Installation
  • Jewelry
  • Mixed Media
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Wearable Textiles

We do not accept writing or visual arts portfolios of:

  • academic writing
  • blog posts
  • cookbooks
  • film/video/tv
  • motivational writing
  • music/composition
  • newspaper articles
  • performing arts
  • plays/screenplays
  • reviews (of art exhibitions, films, books, etc.)
  • self-help books
  • travel and/or other kinds of guidebooks
Please see our FAQ for more information about disciplines.

Criteria

We are looking for excellent work. The portfolio is the primary factor we consider in evaluating each application.


The application consists of 3 parts: personal information, artist statement, and portfolio. You may download a PDF copy of our application in case it's helpful to prepare your submission offline, but please note that our application must be completed online through this website.

Personal Information

We need your contact information so we can keep you posted on the status of your application. This will be kept separate from your artist statement and portfolio; our jurors will not see it.

Artist Statement

Please give us a concise statement of your work and goals as an artist. This should not be a CV or list of accomplishments, but a description of what compels and informs your work.

Please do not exceed 500 words.

Please do not use your name anywhere in this statement.

Portfolio

All submitted work must have been created since becoming a parent, and within the last 5 years.

Please view our portfolio requirements page for specific details about portfolio requirements for all disciplines.

Application Fee

Our application fee is $20. 100% of this fee goes to our jurors, who are all parent artists and writers themselves. This fee ensures that at least two jurors will review each application and be compensated for their work.

Our fee is a modest one, but we’re aware that you may be applying for many opportunities and these costs can add up. Please contact us if you need assistance with the fee, or if you would like to contribute to a fund to cover other applicants’ fees. Due to the volume of applications, we cannot accommodate requests for assistance within 48 hours of our deadline.