John Lewis Writing Grants

John Lewis and His Legacy

Georgia Writers Association's John Lewis Writing Grants are inspired by the late civil rights icon and his more than three decades of service as Georgia’s 5th District representative. The John Lewis Writing Grants will be awarded annually in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The purpose of the grants is to elevate, encourage, and inspire the voices of Black writers in Georgia.

Lewis' work includes Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement (1998), the March series, and Run: Book One. Lewis received the Georgia Author of the Year Award for Memoir in 2017 for March: Book Three.

(Photo: Library of Congress)

Complete Guidelines

Applicants must be 18 years of age and emerging writers who are Black or African-American residents of Georgia for at least one year, or full-time students at a Georgia college or university at the time of application and on the date of the award, and have published no more than one traditionally published book. Writers who are eligible may apply annually but may only win a grant once. There is no submission fee to enter. Applicants are ineligible if they are of relations to any of the Georgia Writers Association staff or board of directors. 

Writers may apply in only one genre and must submit the following:

  • A completed grant application
  • An essay of at least 500 words as a concise description of your work and goals as a writer. Please tell us what inspires or challenges your writing career.
  • No more than a ten-page writing sample of unpublished work (prior to submission) in the genre in which you are applying–fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.
    If submitting poetry, one poem per page please.

Submissions will be accepted from August 1-October 1, 2021 through Google Forms (link below)

Winners will be announced at the 12th Annual Red Clay Writers (Virtual) Conference (November 13-14, 2021).

The Grants

Submissions will be reviewed anonymously; the winner in each genre will receive:

  • A grant of $500
  • A scholarship to the next annual Red Clay Writers Conference
  • Invitation to present a writing project in a future GWA virtual program
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