Written by NmaHassan Muhammad April 13th, 2023

8 Writing Opportunities/Fellowships This April 2023

These are opportunities with deadlines or awarded on a rolling basis. Most of them have restrictions around who can apply. Please read each entry carefully.

Larissa Marantz Need & Merit Scholarships

Ten (10) Larissa Marantz Need & Merit Scholarships are open to any writer or illustrator who identifies as BIPOC, LGBTQIA2, Jewish, Low-Income, having a Disability, is a Children’s Librarian or an Aussie.

The Children’s Book Academy’s Mastering Graphic Novels interactive e-course is specifically designed for writers and illustrators who are looking to master the art of graphic novels. You’ll learn everything you need to know to create dynamic and engaging graphic novels that will captivate young readers and bring your stories to life. And while the course focuses on Graphic Novels & Hybrid forms you’ll also learn to write and illustrate picture books, chapter books, middle grade & YA. The course will begin on May 29, 2023.

Deadline is April 15, 2023. More details here.

ALTA Fellowship 2023

Each year, a number of $1,000 fellowships are awarded to emerging translators to help them participate in the annual ALTA conference. For the ALTA Travel Fellowships, an emerging translator is someone who does not yet have a book-length work of translation published or under contract. ALTA considers chapbooks to be book-length publications for the Travel Fellowships. The ALTA Travel Fellowships are open to individual translators (not teams of co-translators) from all backgrounds. Applicants for the Jansen Fellowship (awarded to an emerging translator of color or a translator working from an underrepresented diaspora or stateless language) should apply using the online ALTA Travel Fellowship application, and check the Jansen Fellowship eligibility box in the application form.

At the conference, ALTA Fellows are invited to read their translated work at a keynote event, giving them an opportunity to present their translations to an audience of translators, authors, editors, and publishers from around the world. Applications include: a cover letter explaining your interest in sharing your work with the ALTA community; current CV / resumé; up to 10 pages of translated work (single-spaced for poetry or double-spaced for prose); and the corresponding original language text. Applications are accepted through the entry form online. Please note that translators currently participating in ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program are not eligible to apply for a Travel Fellowship. Previous years’ Fellows are welcome to apply for the Mentorship Program, however.

Deadline is April 17, 2023. More details here. Submission (and info on other ALTA awards) here.

Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant

The 2023 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant of $40,000 will be awarded to as many as ten (10) writers in the process of completing a book-length work of deeply researched and imaginatively composed nonfiction for a general readership. It’s intended for multiyear book projects requiring large amounts of deep and focused research, thinking, and writing at a crucial point mid-process, after significant work has been accomplished but when an extra infusion of support can make a difference in the ultimate shape and quality of the work.

Whiting welcomes applications for works of history, cultural or political reportage, biography, memoir, science, philosophy, criticism, food or travel writing, graphic nonfiction, and personal essays, among other categories. Again, the work should be intended for a general, not academic, adult reader. Self-help titles, historical fiction, textbooks, books primarily for a scholarly audience, and books for young readers are not eligible. Projects must be under contract with a publisher in Canada, the UK, or the US by April 25 to be eligible. Contracts with self-publishing companies are not eligible.

Submit up to 25,000 words of the book-in-progress; the original proposal to publishers that led to the contract; a signed contract; a statement of progress; a plan for the use of funds; a list of grants, fellowships, or other funding received for the book-in-progress; a résumé; and a letter of support from the book’s editor or publisher.

Deadline is April 25, 2023. More details here. Submission here.

WNDB Black Creatives Mentorship 

WNDB will offer eight mentorships in total to creators who identify as part of the African diaspora. The mentorships will be split among the following categories: 3 Picture Book (PB), 3 Middle Grade (MG), 2 Young Adult (YA). The winners will be matched with a mentor for five months and this mentorship period will focus on completing a full draft of their WIP, and building relationships and introductory access to the ins-and-out of US and UK publishing.

Deadline is April 27, 2023. More details here. Submission here.

The Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest 2022-2023

The Astra International Picture Book Writing Contest is open to writers for children, both published and unpublished. The award aims to encourage, discover and honor talented writers of texts for picture books from all over the world; to foster literary excellence in books for young children; and to promote international cooperation and understanding through picture books.

The winners will have the opportunity to sign publishing contracts with the sponsors to publish the manuscripts in different languages. Each winner will be required to agree that sponsors have a one-year priority option to publish winner’s manuscript to receive the cash prize. The option will begin as of the date each winner signs the declaration of compliance

Manuscript (fiction, nonfiction or poetry) must be text written for children age three (3) – eight (8). Illustrations are not accepted. Japanese manuscript must be no longer than 2,500 words and manuscript in other languages must be no longer than 1,000 words. Manuscript may be submitted in any of the following languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese or Chinese. There are two (2) Gold Prizes of $5,000 USD; eight (8) Honor Prizes of $1,000 USD; and one (1) KODANSHA Award of $3,000 USD. Please read the official rules before applying.

Deadline is April 30, 2023. More details here.

Paramount’s Writers Mentoring Program

Paramount’s Writers Mentoring Program is an eight-month program with a three-fold focus: it opens doors by providing opportunities for mentees to build and foster relationships with showrunners and network and studio executives; it supports emerging writers in their efforts to improve their craft by working with executive mentors; and it helps writers hone the essential interpersonal skills necessary to break in and succeed.

Each participant will have help in creating a rigorous career action plan and there will be on-going support in evaluating and achieving those goals. Another important benefit of the program is the development of a close-knit peer support group that will sustain participants through the program and beyond. Program elements such as mentoring, weekly workshops the mock writers room can be scheduled around participants’ existing work commitments.

The Paramount Writers Mentoring Program is not employment and there is no monetary compensation. It is, instead, a structured program of career development, support, and personal access to executives and the decision-making processes, with the goal of preparing aspiring writers for later employment opportunities in television. Aspiring diverse writers with a strong desire to write for Paramount television series are encouraged to apply. You must be 21 or older and able to work in the United States to be eligible.

Deadline is May 1, 2023. More details here. Submission here.

The Word Factory Apprentice Awards 2023/24

The Word Factory Apprentice Awards 2023/4  – a unique award programme offering one-on-one mentorship and creative development to emerging short story writers. On offer this year are two (2) nine-month long mentorships – one open to emerging short story writers in the north of England and another exciting new project supporting an emerging short story writer whose work makes a significant political impact, open to writers throughout the UK.

Entry for both Word Factory Apprenticeships is free. Applicants must be over 18 and serious about short story writing and becoming part of a dynamic writing community. In addition to their mentorship, winners will benefit from the advice and development programmes of the Word Factory, in association with Arts Council England, and all supporting partners: New Writing North, Writing Our Legacy, Galley Beggar Press and the Society of Authors. There will also be opportunities to read your work. In exchange, they expect dedication to the craft and ethos of the Word Factory. They are looking for writers who will contribute their time in helping us support other writers through events, social media and reviewing. If you experience any difficulty in applying, please contact the host via their email.

Deadline for one award is May 1, 2023, deadline for the other award is May 23rd. One has a 1000 pound stipend, the other does not. More details here.

Bio: NmaHassan Muhammad is a children’s author, short story writer and poet. He’s currently in submissions for the Wakini Kuria longlisted picture book story HAMOOD’S WISH TREE, which was inspired by the memory of a tree planting activity with his son Hamood. NmaHassan writes from Minna, Nigeria. Tweet him @NmahassanM


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