Call to all different women writers! LitUp – a writer grant from Reese’s Book Club – accepts toll-free applications from unpublished, underrepresented women writers. Reese’s Book Club partnered with We Need Diverse Books to create this scholarship to help various emerging writers so that “more diverse stories are seen, heard and read by all”. LitUp has partnered with Hello Sunshine and Madcap Retreats to offer five writers:

  • A retreat for all costs that will take place in early 2022
  • Three months of mentoring with a published author
  • Marketing support from Reese’s Book Club

This is a fantastic opportunity for new writers!

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To qualify, writers must identify as women of diverse backgrounds and be un-agented and unpublished. Authors are considered published when they have published a book, including books they have published. Published essays, short stories, poems, etc. will not make an applicant ineligible. The unpublished provision only applies to book-length works (in other words, if you have published a short story in an anthology you can still apply, but if you have published your own collection of short stories you are not eligible). Applicants must also be a US citizen, live in the US, and be at least 18 years of age.

LitUp uses the definition of diversity in We Need Diverse Book as follows:

“We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native Americans, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities *, and ethnic, cultural and religious minorities.

* We sign a comprehensive definition of disability, which includes physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental illnesses (this may include addiction). In addition, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which is a disability caused by barriers in the social environment due to lack of equal access, stereotypes and other forms of marginalization. “

Applicants must also have a completed manuscript of youth or adult literature that focuses on a female figure. Non-fiction and children’s books are not accepted. They accept genre fiction. In addition to the manuscript, applicants are required to submit a 750 word abstract and answer a series of short questions about their work and literary influences.

Applications are due by May 31st. The five winners will be notified by the end of this year or early 2022. A team from Reese’s Book Club and We Need Diverse Books will evaluate the manuscripts. The final round of evaluation could also include a video interview.

As the New York Times reported last year, publishing is incredibly white. While I couldn’t find statistics on the number of LGBTQ + and disabled authors (this would be difficult to calculate for many reasons), they too are vastly underrepresented. Even when underrepresented writers are picked up by a publisher, they struggle for the same marketing as books by white, cishet, non-disabled writers. Scholarships like LitUp are designed to help these underrepresented writers tell, read, and share their stories.

Apply here by May 31st for the LitUp Writer’s Fellowship. And good luck! I can’t wait to read the winning novels.