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Irene Yamamoto Arts Writers Fellowship—Criteria

Open Call for Emerging Arts Writers

The Daniel K. Inouye National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (Democracy Center) invites you to apply to the 2024 Irene Yamamoto Arts Writers Fellowship. Please see below for information about eligibility and requirements.


Submission period: February 1 – March 17, 2024

Virtual Information Session: February 12 • 10 a.m. PST (WATCH NOW)

Fellowship starts: June 2024




Eligible applicants must:

  • Reside in or be a citizen of the US
  • Be at least 18 years of age 
  • Identify as a member of a community with ancestry in one of the original peoples of Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, or Pacific Islands
  • Have less than 2 years of publication experience, which may include a blog or self-publishing 
  • Have demonstrated a commitment to writing about theater, dance, or performance art

Immediate relatives of a JANM or Democracy Center employee, or of a review panelist or funder, are not eligible.

All eligible applications will be reviewed by a panel of professional writers and editors who cover the performing arts.

Application Process

Applicants are required to submit through our online portal. Applications should be prepared to submit the following: 

  • Name, contact information, website, pronouns, race/ethnicity
  • Cover letter: Applicants must submit a cover letter (Word or PDF) introducing themselves, their work, why they are applying for the fellowship, and how they would spend the money (1000 words or less)
  • Resume or CV (Word/PDF) that includes all relevant published works
  • Short biography summarizing your background and writing interests (500 words or less)
  • Anything else you would like the panel to know
  • Writing samples


Writing Samples

In order to ensure full consideration of your application, please make sure your writing samples fall into one of these categories:

  • Theater: a work of criticism or review of a dramatic presentation of a play, musical, or opera that takes place in front of a live audience. 

  • Dance: a work of criticism or review of a performance of rhythmic or choreographed movement, usually set to music, that takes place in front of a live audience.

  • Performance art: a work of criticism or review of a live, time-based presentation that takes place in front of an audience. Performance art is typically hybrid and experimental in nature and may encompass many different activities and media. For the purposes of this award, it does not include live performances of popular or classical music, stand-up or improvisational comedy, nor pre-recorded film or video screenings that do not incorporate some other performative element.

Please upload between one (1) and three (3) writing samples in a Word or PDF format. The written sample(s) should include information about where and when the piece was published or appeared. All writing samples together should not exceed 3,000 words.

Please do not submit links to websites where the sample was published as they do not substitute for the actual written piece. Please do not submit works whose final, published form is an interview.

Application Timeline

February 1 Application opens
February 12 • 10 a.m. PST Virtual information session for potential applicants (Watch now)
March 17 Applications close at 11:59 p.m. MDT
  • March 17, 10:59 p.m. PDT
  • March 18, 12:59 a.m. CDT
  • March 18, 1:59 a.m. EDT
June 10 Awardees notified



Please email with any questions you may have about submitting your application.


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