Intensely researched nonfiction books, written with an artful sensitivity to complexity and nuance, have always been important in shaping the way we understand the world; today they are essential. In recent years many extraordinary writers have contributed crucial works extending the form: Hope Jahren's Lab Girl, Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Gene, Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me, Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams, Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: A Lyric, and Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, to name just a few examples.
Such projects require a wealth of time and resources. The path to a groundbreaking book is long and intensive, and the research process is unpredictable - even a generous advance from a supportive publisher may run out just as a writer unearths an essential piece of the story she’s trying to tell, something transformative that leads to new questions.
Recognizing this challenge to the creation of such exemplary works of literature, the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant’s chief objective is to foster original, ambitious projects that bring writing to the highest possible standard. Knowing that writers of color often face additional structural hurdles to securing institutional resources to support such projects, we particularly encourage applications from these writers.
This grant is intended to support multi-year book projects requiring large amounts of deep and focused thinking, research, and writing at a crucial point mid-process—after significant work has been accomplished but when an extra infusion of support can make a difference in the ultimate shape and quality of the work.
Deadline: April 25, 2023