Welcome to the application for the 2021 cycle of the Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes for print and digital publications. Complete details on the program are available on our website here. Please thoroughly review the eligibility criteria and the application itself before beginning. Applicants must be based in the US; be a federally-recognized nonprofit classified as a public charity (or fiscally sponsored by one; note that public universities and nonprofit private universities are eligible fiscal sponsors); have an annual budget of no more than $500,000; have begun publishing in or prior to 2018; and publish regularly (for the 2021 cycle, this is defined as publishing in at least three years out of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020) to be considered eligible.

The selection process involves two rounds of review: a set of first-round readers will evaluate the shorter initial applications to identify the strongest applicants, who will then be invited to submit expanded final-round applications. Readers will consist of diverse experts in the field drawn from all over the country, who will serve anonymously to shield them from any external pressures. 

Applications must be submitted through this portal by 11:59pm ET on Monday, November 30, 2020. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.  Applicants will be notified of the results of this first round in spring 2021. Those advancing will be invited to submit expanded final-round applications. In recognition of the time and resources it takes to complete the final-round application, magazines selected as finalists will each receive a $250 honorarium. A public announcement of the winners will be made in summer 2021.  

This application is intended to invite you to showcase your sensibility and your passions, particularly in the essay questions. We encourage you not to use grant-application language, but to let the ethos of your publication shine through. The range of questions are posed to help reviewers form a rich picture of your organization and how it benefits writers and readers.  Since the prizes are designed to help magazines achieve their ambitions for the near- to medium-term in a robust and sustainable way, please give careful attention to the vision statement about your organization's future direction. Feel free to highlight challenges you want to address as well as successes to celebrate.

The reviewers will consider the following criteria in the first round: 

  • Publishing extraordinary writing with verve and flair
  • Supporting talented writers on the page and in the world
  • Vision for the future

The Foundation will host four online information sessions to answer questions and offer guidance on applying for these prizes. These sessions will take place on Tuesday, Sept 22, Wednesday, Sept 30, Thursday, Oct 8, and Monday, Nov 16, all at 2pm ET. Links to register for each session are on our website.

If, after reviewing the application and the guidelines on our website, you have additional questions, please contact us at litmags@whiting.org.