The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship is a $5,000 award offered annually to an author of children's or young-adult fiction. It has been developed to help writers whose work is of high literary caliber and is designed to assist a writer at a crucial moment in his or her career to complete a book-length work-in-progress.

Deadline: Submissions will be accepted from Thursday, June 1, 2017 through Friday, September 15, 2017.

Who Is Eligible:

  • A candidate is a writer of children's or young adult fiction in financial need.
  • Candidates must have published one or more novels for children or young adults that have been warmly received by literary critics, but have not generated sufficient income to support the author.
  • The writer's previous book(s) must be published by a U.S. trade publisher (not self-published).
  • The submitted work must be fiction and a work-in-progress (not published). Graphic novels and picture books are not accepted.
  • Judges will be looking for candidates whose work has not yet attracted a broad readership. 
How to Apply or Nominate:
Please note that the application process is now entirely online. Hard copy applications will no longer be accepted. Writers may nominate themselves or a fellow writer. To submit, please complete the electronic application below which will require the following materials:

1) Cover letter: A 1-2 page letter describing in some detail how the candidate meets the criteria for the Fellowship, including a list of their previously published novel(s) for children or young adults.
2) Three professional reviews: Copies of or links to at least three reviews of their novel(s) from professional publications.
3) Letter of recommendation: A 1-2 page letter of support written by an editor or fellow writer.
4) Project outline: A brief (2-4 page) outline of the current novel in progress. The writers' name should not appear anywhere on the outline in order to ensure anonymity for the judging process.
5) Manuscript sample: 50–75 pages of the work-in-progress. Graphic novels and picture books are not eligible. The writers' name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript in order to ensure anonymity for the judging process.
6) Financial statement: A brief description (roughly 1 page in length) of the candidate's recent earnings and a statement about why monetary support will make a particular difference in the applicant's writing life at this time. If the candidate is married or living with a domestic partner, please include a brief description of total family income and expense. Please note that these details will be viewed only by PEN's awards administrator. This statement will not be shared with the judges and will be kept confidential.