Applications for 2020 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Literature
The Vilcek Foundation will award three prizes of $50,000 each to foreign-born writers who have demonstrated outstanding achievement early in their careers. Eligible genres include fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Applicants must meet all of the criteria listed below:
- Applicant must have been born outside the United States;
- Applicant must not be more than 38 years old as of December 31, 2019 (born on or after January 1, 1981);
- Applicant must: be a naturalized citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States; be a holder of an H1B or O-1 visa and have been living and working in the United States for at least 5 years; or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA);
- Applicant must not be enrolled as a full-time student;
- Applicant must have published at least one full-length book (not self-published);
- Applicant must intend to pursue a professional career in the United States;
- Applicant must not be a past winner of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise.
You will be required to:
- Provide personal information
- Upload a PDF of your CV
- Upload a PDF of proof of your immigration status
- Provide a PDF portfolio containing no more than twenty (20) pages of writing samples
- Upload a PDF of five (5) press clippings about your work
- Complete three short essay questions (1,000 words total)
- Provide contact information for two professional references
- Submit a completed application by 5:00pm EDT, June 10, 2019
A panel of distinguished members of the literary community will evaluate the applications based on their excellence, innovation, and impact. The submitted work samples should illustrate the applicant’s technical excellence as a writer, while also demonstrating a larger purpose or vision to their work.
The prizewinners selected by the jury will be the candidates whose work best exemplifies the characteristics outlined above. Recommendations of the jury will be submitted to the Vilcek Foundation’s Board of Directors for final approval. The winners of the Creative Promise Prize in Literature will be notified in fall 2019 and will be invited to attend the Vilcek Foundation’s annual awards ceremony in New York City, in the spring of 2020. Travel expenses and accommodations will be covered by the foundation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What genres will be considered?
The only book I published is self-published. Am I eligible to apply?
No, you must have published a full-length book with a publisher to be eligible.
My publications are online-based. Am I eligible?
I am currently here on an O-1/student/other visa; am I eligible?
You are eligible if you currently hold a valid O-1 or H1B visa and have been residing in the United States for at least five years. Any other visa status is not eligible.
I am currently in the process of applying for a green card; am I eligible?
I am currently applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status; am I eligible?
I am over the age limit but not by much; can you make an exception?
Regretfully, we are not able to consider candidates who fall outside of our age limit.
I was born in Puerto Rico, Guam, or another U.S. territory; am I eligible?
Regretfully, we do not accept applications from individuals born in U.S. territories.
I was born outside of America, but to American citizens; am I eligible?
Regretfully, we do not accept applications from citizens who were born overseas but are American by birth.
Can the winners use the prize money to support a specific project, personal expenses, etc.?
Each winner will receive an unrestricted cash prize, which can be used however he or she likes; there is no obligation to use the money in any particular way.