We strive to have accurate bios for everyone involved at the Loft. Unfortunately, managing 400+ bios each year takes a lot of time. We are going to now update existing bios twice a year. If you already have an existing bio on this page and would like to update either your photo or your bio, you must submit a new one through this system by the two deadlines. The two deadlines each year are March 1 and August 1. If you miss a deadline, you will need to wait until the next update period. We will make every effort to have all bios updated by the end of the month in March and August. 

You will need two things to complete this: 

1. A bio, written in third person. 
2. As high of a resolution photo as possible (ideally 300 dpi, but if large enough, we can work with 72 dpi). If you save a thumbnail from a website and send it to us, it will not work for print purposes. We can use an author photo or a book cover image, but the images are best if they are vertical or square rather than horizontal in perspective.

(Please note that there are changes to the grant and application)

The Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant provides financial support and professional assistance to support the artistic or career advancement of writers who show significant potential, have a professional practice, have some level of professional achievement yet are under-recognized. This is not a beginning writers’ grant.

Up to five winners will be selected to receive grants of $8,000. 


Writers who have published more than two books or who have professionally produced more than two CDs are not eligible to apply. Artists who have received national awards for their books, CDs, or performances are also ineligible.

Applicants must live in Minnesota at the time of application and have been residents of the state for at least one year prior to the application deadline. 

Applications are accepted from Minnesota poets, prose writers, children’s authors, and spoken word poetry artists. Applications are not accepted in the following genres: monologues, scripts, screenplays, journalism, academic, education, business, or self-help. 

Recipients of 2015 or 2016 Emerging Writers’ Grants are ineligible. Recipients of a Minnesota Emerging Writers’ grant prior to 2013 are eligible to apply, as long as they meet other eligibility requirements. Previous grant recipients must have completed and filed final reports in order to be eligible to apply again.

Students in K-12 educational programs are not eligible. In general, individuals enrolled in undergraduate or graduate courses for the purpose of earning a degree are not eligible. If artists enroll in a degree program while maintaining a current and active professional practice of creating and presenting work to the public, they are eligible to apply. 

Collaborative teams may apply in one application but each application can only be awarded one grant of $8,000, so an artistic partnership would win one $8000 grant and not $16,000. The program does not accept applications from organizations nor for the creation of an organization.

Members of the Loft staff and board are not eligible to apply. Loft teaching artists are contract employees, not staff, and are eligible to apply. Staff and board members of the Jerome Foundation are not eligible to apply.


The grant program is intended to assist emerging writers with support that helps them create or present their work. Work samples will be evaluated on artistic potential and quality. Narratives should demonstrate the writer’s commitment to craft, illuminate any barriers to creating and presenting work that these funds would help overcome, and describe the writer’s goals for the grant year.

Possible objectives include (but are not limited to):
  • completion or revision of a manuscript, CD or body of work
  • improved speaking. performance, or presentation skills
  • securing an agent
  • completion of research for a manuscript

Activities or expenses might include (but are not limited to):
  • taking time off work in order to focus on writing;
  • obtaining critical evaluation of manuscripts;
  • attending a writers’ conference;
  • meeting with editors, publishers, or agents;
  • travel for research, or other research related expenses
  • marketing for a first or soon-to-be-published work or performance;
  • consulting with mentors or colleagues on matters of artistic development;

Proposals may request funding for taking classes or conferences at the Loft or Beyond Baroque; renting a Loft writer’s studio; or working with a Loft or Beyond Baroque online mentor. 

Deadline: Friday, March 31, 11:59 p.m., 2017. All entries must be submitted online through the portal Submittable. We strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with Submittable and the online primers before the due date. Applicants must check their own submissions for completeness. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.

Winners will be announced in August 2017. Projects may not begin before September 1, 2017 and should conclude by August 31, 2018. 

Proposals will be judged on the quality of the work sample and the applicant’s potential to reach his/her objectives. 

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of teaching artists from Beyond Baroque. The review panel will consist of writers at varied levels of career development who have backgrounds in the eligible genres of children’s literature, creative prose, poetry, and spoken word poetry. 

Beyond Baroque is one of the United States' leading independent Literary Arts Centers and public spaces dedicated to expanding the public's knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction. Founded in 1968, Beyond Baroque is based out of the original City Hall building in Venice, California. The Center offers a diverse variety of literary and arts programming including readings, workshops, new music and education. The building also houses a bookstore with the largest collection of new poetry books and CDs for sale and an archive that houses over 40,000 books, including small press and limited-edition publications, chronicling the history of poetry movements in Los Angeles and beyond. Through the years, Beyond Baroque has played muse to the Venice Beats, the burgeoning Punk movement and visiting scholars. Many of the city's leading literary talents, including Dennis Cooper, Wanda Coleman, Tom Waits, Exene Cervenkova and Amy Gerstler, are alumni of the Wednesday night poetry workshop. Many of the world’s most well known independent artists, including Patti Smith, Michael McClure, Dana Gioia, and Viggo Mortensen have performed on its stage.

Beyond Baroque's mission is to advance the public awareness of and involvement in the literary arts; to provide a challenging program of events which promotes new work and diversity; to foster a place in the community for the exchange of challenging ideas and the nurturing of new work; to support writers through readings, workshops, books sales, publication, access to archived material and performance space; to encourage collaboration and cross-fertilization between writers and artists in multiple disciplines with the goal of producing mixed media art; to use the literary arts as a foundation for increasing education and literacy in our community.


Informational Sessions
The Loft’s Program Director will give an overview of the program and what makes a successful proposal as well as answer any questions you may have about applying for the grant. Some sessions may include current winners talking about their experiences with the grant program. All info sessions are free but attendees must pre-register by emailing bphi@loft.org. Please specify which date you are registering for:

Twin Cities
Tuesday, February 21, 6–7:30 p.m., Open Book, Performance Hall, 1011 Washington Ave. S.

Saturday, February 25, 1:30 p.m., Fireside Room, Historic Fitger’s Complex, 600 E Superior Street, Duluth, MN

Due to the unique nature of this application, one-on-one consultations may also be scheduled in one of three ways: in person, by phone or by email. Generally meetings can be scheduled Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 am to 4 pm but you must reserve and confirm a consultation at least a week in advance, and are first come first serve, and all meetings are ultimately subject to the Program Director’s schedule. Consultations are not available the week of March 27-March 31, the deadline week.

Please send an email to Bao Phi, program director at bphi@loft.org to schedule a consultation, or with any other questions you have about the program.

At their request, applicants will be provided with feedback on their proposal via email after the announcement of winners. 

All submissions are handled through the Loft’s submission portal (Submittable). Once your application is ready, you will need to create a Submittable account to submit if you do not already have one. Please familiarize yourself with Submittable before the due date. Please prepare the following files to attach to your proposal. Each file must be prepared as an individual file. 

The following document types are accepted: PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, ODT, JPG, GIF, MP3, WAV, XLS, and MOV files. Please complete the Submittable form and then ensure that your attached files include: 

  1. Complete the form in Submittable. Please use an actual email address that you check, as this will be the primary way we will communicate with you. This form includes a one paragraph biography that should be written in third person.
  2. Prepare a narrative proposal to attach, no more than five pages in length, single spaced, 12 point font. Briefly answer these questions: 
    1. What is your objective? What do you want to accomplish during the grant year? What will have changed in your artistic life or career if you succeed?
    2. What activities do you propose in order to meet the objective?
    3. What barriers keep you from those activities or stand in the way of meeting your objective now?
    4. How will this grant help you overcome those barriers?
  3. Prepare a one page CV/resume to attach. This should detail your efforts as a writer (publication credits, readings you’ve done, workshops you’ve conducted, residencies you’ve attended, etc) and not a resume/CV you would send for a job interview  
  4. Prepare a writing sample to attach that consists of: 
    1. Prose: 20-30 double-spaced pages 
    2. Poetry: 15-20 single-spaced pages of poetry
    3. If you want to submit prose and poetry, submit half the maximum page amount for each genre. 
    4. Spoken word artists may submit links to audio and video of their performances and/or upload video and audio, but must also submit the required pages of written text (may be a transcription). 
    5. Writers of picture books may submit up to 25 pages of text and art.
    6. You may submit a synopsis as part of the page count.  
  5. You may also include no more than five pages of optional supporting materials. Supporting materials may be anything that relates to your project, such as a letter from a writer who has agreed to work with you on your manuscript.

We cannot apply, type up, or upload your application for you. We cannot help you edit or append your submission once submitted. If you want to update it prior to the deadline, you will need to withdraw your application through your Submittable account and then resubmit. 

Failure to submit your work according to these guidelines will disqualify your proposal. If you have never used Submittable before, please consider giving yourself a little time before the deadline in case you run into technical problems. We’re here to help (although please note we cannot help during the deadline week), but we cannot extend deadlines due to technical issues. 


The Minnesota Emerging Writers' Grant is supported by a grant from the Jerome Foundation and by Loft members.