Welcome to the application for the 2023 cycle of the Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes. Please thoroughly review these guidelines, the eligibility criteria, and the application itself before beginning. You can find more details on the program on our website

The Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes empower outstanding nonprofit publications to develop and implement ideas that will have a transformative impact on their crucial work as champions of writers. Beginning in 2023, the prizes are shifting to a triennial model: the Foundation will give more, larger prizes each cycle (up to eight from $10-20k vs five from $3-20k) but will hold application cycles less often (every three years). This change builds on what we have learned from the first five years of the program about the value of the cohort model as a peer-learning tool and enables us to expand the professional development opportunities we offer winners as they pursue ambitious goals.

Prize-winning magazines will be invited to work with the Foundation over the course of three years and will receive outright grants of $10,000 - $20,000 in the first year followed by matching grants in the second and third years. The matching grants are intended as a fundraising tool to help magazines find new donors and bring existing donors deeper into the fold. Matching grants will be up to the same amount as the outright grant in the first year, and the Foundation will match donations from individuals (rather than grants from other organizations or other kinds of revenue).

In addition to receiving funds, prize-winning magazines will form a learning cohort that will meet periodically throughout the three-year period (approximately once per month) for shared and 1:1 professional development opportunities, including consultations with marketing and fundraising experts and peer working groups. Note that most professional development opportunities will take place remotely on weekdays during traditional business hours.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be based in the US
  • Have published at least annually for at least the last three years (i.e., at least once in 2020, 2021, and 2022)
  • Be a federally-recognized nonprofit classified as a public charity (or be part of a larger organization with that status or be fiscally sponsored by a public charity; note that public universities and nonprofit private universities are eligible parent organizations)
  • Be prepared to participate in a learning cohort that comes together for short remote meetings approximately once per month during traditional business hours over the course of the three-year prize period
  • Publish writing for adult readers (magazines written for children or young adult audiences are not eligible)

Note that in previous cycles, magazines needed to have an annual budget of no more than $500,000 to be considered eligible. This criterion is not applicable for the 2023 cycle. Magazines of all budget sizes that meet the eligibility requirements above are encouraged to apply.

The selection process involves two rounds of review. Initial applications must be submitted through Submittable by 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, December 1, 2022. No late or incomplete applications will be accepted.

Applicants will be notified of the results of this first round in spring 2023. 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 fall 2023.

This application is intended to invite you to showcase both how you will use the grant and professional development to enhance your work as well as your editorial sensibility and passions. We encourage you not to use grant-application language, but to let the ethos of your publication shine through. A range of questions is posed to help reviewers form a rich picture of your organization and how it benefits writers and readers. The application will auto-save as you work, and you can return to your draft any time prior to the December 1 deadline.

Reviewers 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. In the first round reviewers will consider the following criteria:

  • Publishing extraordinary writing with verve and flair
  • Supporting talented writers on the page and in the world
  • Vision for sustainability and proposed use of funds
  • Ability to take advantage of opportunities provided by the prize (preference will be given to magazines with staff who are able to participate in learning opportunities)

The Foundation held two online information sessions to answer questions and offer guidance on applying for these prizes. These sessions took place on Thursday, October 6 and Tuesday, November 15 at 2PM ET. Click the dates to watch recordings.

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

The Whiting Foundation