Grants and Awards

The Loft offers a broad range of award opportunities for writers at various stages of their artistic development. Grants and awards allow participants to focus on their craft over the course of a year; to hone their skills working with nationally acclaimed authors; and to embark on projects of their own design to further their artistic careers. Major programs are listed below, but unique, one-time programs are frequently announced for specific communities of writers.

Why we value grants and awards, and work to fund them: The Loft believes that literature is essential, that it creates understanding, empathy, inspiration, and delight as it helps us navigate our complex realities. We believe dialogue among readers and writers enriches our lives, our society, and our world. It is for this reason that the Loft continues to work with funders to award individual writers across multiple genres who demonstrate promise towards that ideal.

All Loft awards now require use of the online submission portal Submittable. If this is your first time using Submittable, download and read the handy PDF guide below.

Submittable Guide

McKnight Artist Fellowships


The deadline for entry is Friday, November 24, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. (CST).

The McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers awards $25,000 annually to five accomplished Minnesota writers. Learn more about winners, judges, and guidelines.

The Loft administers the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers, which provide Minnesota writers of demonstrated ability with an opportunity to work on their writing for a concentrated period of time. Five $25,000 fellowships are awarded. One award in Children’s Literature alternates annually between writers for children under the age of eight and writers for older readers. Four fellowships alternate annually between writers of poetry/spoken word poetry and writers of creative prose. The awards this year are in Poetry, Spoken Word, and Children Younger Than Eight.

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This program is made possible by the generous support of the McKnight Foundation.

Spoken Word Immersion Grant


The Loft Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship for artists of color and Indigenous artists, provides writers financial support and professional assistance to develop and implement community learning and enrichment plans.  

Winners will be selected to receive grants of $8,000 to underwrite projects of their own design. At least one winner will be a Minnesota resident. Four winners total will be selected.

The fellowship is now open for applications.

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Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose


The Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose is now closed. The deadline for entry was April 28, 2017.

2017–2018 Mentor Series

The Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose offers twelve emerging Minnesota writers the opportunity to work intensively with six nationally acclaimed writers of prose and poetry. Selected participants work throughout the year with the six mentors, and all participants and mentors give public readings at the Loft. The mentors for the upcoming season will be poets Jennifer Kwon Dobbs and Chris Abani, nonfiction writers Diane Wilson and Richard Blanco, and fiction writers Lesley Nneka Arimah and Vu Tran. Please read the full guidelines before beginning your application.

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The Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose is funded by the Jerome Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and by the generous support of Loft members.

Minnesota Emerging Writers' Grant


The Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant provides writers with financial support and professional assistance to develop and implement multifaceted plans for their artistic endeavors.

Up to five winners will be selected to receive grants of $8,000 to underwrite projects of their own design. Please read the guidelines closely before applying.

Deadline to apply was March 31, 2017 at 11:59 p.m.

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