Amazon Literary Partnership announces 2021 literary grants

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Since 2009, Amazon Literary Partnership (ALP) has provided more than $14 million to local, regional, and national organizations across the country that empower writers to create, publish, learn, teach, experiment, and thrive. At Amazon, we believe in the power of words to transform lives, and we are honored to support these vital organizations that support writers.

From Alaska to Texas and New York to California, Amazon Literary Partnership strives to make a lasting impact on the literary community. We support organizations that amplify and uplift often overlooked and underrepresented writers, and connect writers with their readers. This year, we awarded 80 grants totaling more than $1 million. The full list of 2021 grantees is included below, but here are some highlights:

  • In Los Angeles, WriteGirl promotes creativity and self-expression to empower underserved girls within a community of women writers. The organization and its writers envision “a world where all teens live, write, and speak boldly as they become inspiring, transformative leaders, driven to effect positive change in their communities.” In January 2021, WriteGirl alumna and Harvard graduate Amanda Gorman recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration of President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Amanda, who is 22, is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history and will publish three books of poetry this year.

    An image of a young woman writing at her desk. She is wearing glasses and a white t-shirt.

    Photo by WriteGirl

  • In Washington, D.C., the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s mission is to discover, mentor, and honor Black writers: “We also know that the continuity of Black literature depends on a society that values Black narratives. We work to build a supportive literary community through author talks and literary salons.” Audrey Hipkins, Hurston/Wright Foundation Board Chair, added “The Hurston/Wright Foundation is honored to be recognized for championing Black writers and their work. Amazon’s increased support comes at a crucial period of growth in our organization’s 30-year history. We are excited to be able to expand and strengthen our programming so we can nurture the next generation of Black writers. We are grateful for this continued partnership and the opportunities made possible by Amazon’s investment in our work.”
  • In New York, the House of Speakeasy Bookmobile served 2,500 families with 7,000 books in 2020: “By serving a diverse array of marginalized communities, from the Bronx to East Harlem to Brooklyn, we helped build home libraries for thousands of New Yorkers traditionally underserved by the literary arts.”  

Photo by House of Speakeasy

Families visited the bookmobile to pick up new books for readers of all ages.

Photo by House of Speakeasy

This year’s first-time grant recipients include the Center for Black Literature, Empowering Latino Futures, Heyday, and Turtle Point Press. Amazon Literary Partnership has repeatedly supported other 2021 grantees over the years, including the Academy of American Poets, Asian-American Writers’ Workshop, Community of Literary Magazines and Presses, Lambda Literary, National Writing Month, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, PEN America’s World Voices Festival, Poets & Writers, and WriteGirl.

  • “Lambda Literary’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices ensures the next great chapter in LGBTQ literature gets written by giving emerging queer writers the support and space they deserve,” said Sue Landers, executive director of Lambda Literary. “This past year has indelibly transformed our lives and it is in this spirit of change and growth that we are thrilled to be able to offer our retreat once again, thanks to the support of the Amazon Literary Partnership.”
  • “Even as the world inches toward recovery, the systemic inequities laid bare by the pandemic demand a reimagination of what we consider a future rooted in economic, racial, and social justice,” said Jafreen Uddin, executive director, Asian American Writers Workshop. “Writers and storytellers have been and will continue to be the emissaries of our times, providing society with the words that put shape to our lived experiences. Our work at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop centers the safeguarding and cultivation of our community’s imaginations, and we are incredibly grateful to the Amazon Literary Partnership for their continued support that makes this critically necessary work possible.”

Photo by Asian American Writers Workshop/Lizar_tistry

An illustration summarizing the lecture the Asian American Writers Workshop held with Tamara Nopper on Black and Asian solidarity in response to the recent rise in anti-Asian violence. View the full illustration here.

Photo by Asian American Writers Workshop/Audrey Deng

An illustration in response to a reading Asian American Writers Workshop held featuring more than 40 Asian poets and writers called Women Warriors. View the full illustration here.

  • “This has been a year in which we need our stories more than ever to bring us together, guide us, and show us the light, so we’re so thankful Amazon Literary Partnership has generously helped us bring so many stories come to life this year,” said Grant Faulkner, executive director, National Novel Writing Month. This grant helps create a global neighborhood of writers to embrace their creativity and build a literary community that protects and fortifies us against any crisis. Amazon Literary Partnership has been instrumental in helping thousands of people believe in their story and give it voice.”
  • “We are grateful for renewed support from the Amazon Literary Partnership for WriteGirl creative writing and mentoring programs to help us empower more underserved voices in Los Angeles,” said Keren Taylor, executive director, WriteGirl. “At a time when teen girls are struggling with many challenges in education and in their personal lives, it is more important than ever to provide teen girls with caring mentors and a supportive community to help them express their creative ideas and develop their individual voices. Whether it’s online writing workshops with 200 women and girls, or one-on-one video mentoring sessions, we look forward to all the ways this support will help us as we inspire teens to share their voices with the world!”

An image of a woman on a video call holding up a hand-drawn sign to her camera that says

The Amazon Literary Partnership has also awarded $140,000 grants to two organizations—the Academy of American Poets and the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses—to establish a Poetry Fund and Literary Magazine Fund, respectively. As they did last year, the two funds will support more than two dozen nonprofits.

  • “We’re extremely grateful to work with the Amazon Literary Partnership to support poetry organizations and publishers whose work will be critical to our processing all we’ve been through in the pandemic and also in envisioning new ways forward,” said Jennifer Benka, president and executive director, Academy of American Poets. “We appreciate the Amazon Literary Partnership program’s belief that the work of poets and writers from diverse communities is central to that.” 
  • “Literary magazines are essential to the publishing ecosystem, providing fertile ground for diverse voices to thrive,” said CLMP executive director Mary Gannon. “CLMP is extremely grateful to the Amazon Literary Partnership for their ongoing financial support of these underserved and uniquely vulnerable publishers, especially during this critical time.

Information to apply for 2022 Amazon Literary Partnership grants will be available later in the year.

2021 Amazon Literary Partnership grants

  • 826 Valencia (CA)
  • 826DC (DC)
  • 826NYC (NY)
  • A Public Space Literary Projects, Inc (NY)
  • Academy of American Poets (NY)
  • Archipelago Books (NY)
  • Art Omi: Writers (NY)
  • Asian American Writers’ Workshop (NY)
  • ASJA Writers Emergency Assistance Fund (NY)
  • Aspen Words (CO)
  • Association of Writers & Writing Programs (MD)
  • Bay Area Book Festival (CA)
  • Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute (NV)
  • Brooklyn Book Festival (NY)
  • Center for Black Literature (NY)
  • Center for the Art of Translation (CA)
  • Centrum (WA)
  • Chatos Inhumanos (NY)
  • Chicago Humanities Festival (IL)
  • CityLit Project (MD)
  • Clarion West (WA)
  • Coffee House Press (MN)
  • Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (NY)
  • Community Word Project (NY)
  • Creative Writing Program, University of Washington (WA)
  • Damascus Outreach Association (NC)
  • Decatur Book Festival (GA)
  • Deep Vellum Publishing (TX)
  • DSTL Arts (CA)
  • Empowering Latino Futures (CA)
  • Girls Write Now (NY)
  • Graywolf Press (MN)
  • Hedgebrook (WA)
  • Heyday (CA)
  • House of SpeakEasy (NY)
  • Hub City Press (SC)
  • Hugo House (WA)
  • Humanities Washington (WA)
  • Indiana Writers Center (IN)
  • Kundiman (NY)
  • Lambda Literary (NY)
  • Lighthouse Writers Workshop (CO)
  • LitNet (NY)
  • Litquake Foundation (CA)
  • The Loft Literary Center (MN)
  • MacDowell (NH)
  • Milkweed Editions (MN)
  • Narrative 4 (NY)
  • National Book Foundation (NY)
  • National Novel Writing Month (CA)
  • PEN America (NY)
  • Poets & Writers, Inc. (NY)
  • Restless Books (NY)
  • Roots. Wounds. Words. (NY)
  • Seattle Arts & Lectures (WA)
  • Seattle City of Literature (WA)
  • Shout Mouse Press (DC)
  • Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) (NM)
  • The American Literary Translators Association (AZ)
  • The Cabin (ID)
  • The Corporation of Yaddo (NY)
  • The Feminist Press (NY)
  • The Inner Loop (DC)
  • The Center for Fiction (NY)
  • The Moth (NY)
  • The Africa Center (NY)
  • The Telling Room (ME)
  • The Tenth Academy (NY)
  • The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (AR)
  • Torrey House Press (UT)
  • Town Hall Seattle (WA)
  • Transit Books (CA)
  • Turtle Point Press (NY)
  • Ucross Foundation (WY)
  • Washington Center for the Book (WA)
  • Words Without Borders (NY)
  • WriteGirl (CA)   
  • Writers in the Schools (TX)
  • Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation (DC)

2021 Poetry Fund grant recipients

2021 Literary Magazine Fund Grant Recipients

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