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The Book category supports books at all stages of their development from research through the completion of writing. The category funds a broad spectrum of books on contemporary visual art, from general-audience criticism to academic scholarship. Book grants are $50,000.

Eligibility Requirements

Book grant applicants must

  • have been writing professionally about contemporary visual art on a regular basis for at least three years; OR
  • have previously published a book on contemporary visual art or a related subject; OR
  • have completed a PhD dissertation on contemporary visual art or a related subject (Note: book project applications based on your PhD dissertation or MA thesis are not eligible).

Please refer to the guidelines for general eligibility requirements.

Writing Sample Submissions

The total of all three writing samples combined should not exceed 15,000 words.

Book FAQs

What kind of books are funded? The Book category supports a broad range of books on contemporary visual art, from general-audience criticism to academic scholarship. Projects on work in adjacent fields—architecture, dance, film, media, music, performance, sound, etc.—will only be considered if they directly and significantly engage the discourses and concerns of contemporary visual art. Writers working on experimental or non-traditional arts writing are also invited to apply.

Can I include an unpublished chapter from my book project as a writing sample? Yes. You may submit an unpublished chapter or an excerpt from your manuscript as a writing sample.

Can I apply for a book project to support an edited collection, such as an anthology or a multi-authored catalog? No. The book grant does not support edited collections. Anthologies, essay collections, and edited volumes with texts by multiple authors will not be considered.

Can I apply for a book grant to support a project that collects previously written material? No. The Arts Writers Grant is intended to support new writing, therefore project proposals to collect previously written materials are not eligible for funding.

Can I apply for a book that I have already written and want to get published? No. The goal of the program is to support writing during the grant period, so books slated for completion early in the grant period are ineligible.

Do I have to include a Table of Contents to apply for a book grant? Yes. The Table of Contents field is helpful for the evaluators to get a better sense of your book proposal. We recommend outlining your book project with a chapter breakdown, or, if your book follows a more experimental or non-traditional form, use this field to articulate how the book will be structured.

What do you mean by “writing professionally”? By “writing professionally,” we mean that you are writing for publications including but not limited to newspapers, magazines, catalogues, or books, in print or online. Social media posts do not count as professional writing.