Ends on August 15, 2019

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 their career to complete a book-length work-in-progress.


Deadline: Submissions will be accepted from April 1, 2019 through August 15, 2019.


Who Is Eligible:

 A candidate is a writer of children’s or young adult fiction.

  • 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 significant sales.
  • The writer’s previously published book(s) must be published by a U.S. trade publisher. Self-published works are ineligible.
  • The submitted work must be a novel-in-progress.
  • Judges will be looking for candidates whose work has not yet attracted a broad readership.
  • Please note: Graphic novels and picture books are not eligible for the fellowship. 


How to Apply or Nominate:

Please note that the application process in now entirely online; hard copy applications will not be accepted. Writers may apply themselves or nominate a fellow writer. 

To apply, please submit the following materials:

  • Cover letter: A 1-2 page letter including a brief (1-3 sentence) summary of the project, a description of how the candidate meets the criteria for the fellowship, and a list of the candidate's published novel(s) for children and/or young adults.
  • One professional review: Copies of or links to 1-3 reviews of the candidate's novel(s) from professional publications.
  • Letter of recommendation: A 1-2 page letter of support from an editor or fellow writer.
  • Project outline: A brief (2-4 page) outline of the novel-in-progress being submitted. The candidate's name should not appear anywhere on the outline to ensure anonymity, as the outline and manuscript (and only the outline and manuscript) will be given to the judges for consideration.
  • Manuscript sample: 50–75 pages of the text. The candidate's name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript sample, in order to ensure anonymity for the judging process. The outline and manuscript sample (and only the outline and manuscript sample) will be given to the judges for consideration. Please note that graphic novels and picture books are not eligible for this fellowship.
  • Letter of Utility: A brief description (1-2 pages) of how the funds will be used to complete the project. What will the candidate be able to accomplish with this funding that they could not do otherwise? Book sales, earnings, or other relevant information may be included here.