Letras Boricuas

A Fellowship Aimed at Supporting Puerto Rican Writers Across Genres

Home to a rich literary tradition, Puerto Rico has produced some of today’s most celebrated writers, yet there are few dedicated platforms for the elevation and amplification of Puerto Rican literary voices, including funding to support artists in the field. The Letras Boricuas Fellowship aims to identify and connect writers from diverse backgrounds and identities who embody the vastness, diversity and complexity of Puerto Rican experiences.

Application

Become a Fellow

Now accepting applications from Puerto Rican writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and children’s literature, both in Puerto Rico and from across the diaspora in the United States.

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What is the Letras Boricuas Fellowship?

The Letras Boricuas Fellowship is an opportunity sponsored by The Mellon Foundation and The Flamboyan Foundation’s Arts Fund, which will provide forty writers —twenty selected in 2021 and twenty selected in 2022 — $25,000 each. Recipients will also participate in a gathering of all forty Fellows to be hosted in Puerto Rico, tentatively scheduled for April 2023.

While fellowship award funds are unrestricted, the hope is to help writers in Puerto Rico and across the diaspora, pursue their writing, amplify their work to a broader audience, and create work that celebrates Puerto Rican life and culture. It is also the aim that each Fellowship cohort will include writers of different genres and writers who live in Puerto Rico, as well Puerto Ricans who may live in the United States. Applications will be accepted in Spanish and/or English.

The Letras Boricuas Fellowship will have two cohorts. The first was announced in November 2021 with the fellowship running from January to December 2022. The second cohort will be announced in fall 2022 with the fellowship running from January to December 2023.

At a Glance

The first cohort of 20 writers was announced in November 2021. The second cohort of 20 writers will be announced in November 2022.

The fellowship will provide recipients with an unrestricted grant of $25,000 each.

In addition to providing unrestricted funds to support writers, the Letras Boricuas Fellowship will identify and connect writers from diverse backgrounds and identities who embody the vastness, diversity and complexity of Puerto Rican experiences.

Partners

The Letras Boricuas Fellowship is a collaboration between The Mellon Foundation and the Flamboyan Arts Fund

The Mellon Foundation

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The Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.

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Flamboyan Foundation

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Guided by the belief that all children deserve the opportunity to live a fulfilling life, the Flamboyan Foundation works to ensure every child in the US and Puerto Rico receives an outstanding education. In D.C., Flamboyan is accelerating student learning by helping educators and school systems transform their relationships with families. In Puerto Rico, Flamboyan is ensuring students are reading in Spanish on grade level by third grade while building a thriving philanthropic and nonprofit sector, which includes arts and cultural organizations.

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Flamboyan Arts Fund

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The Flamboyan Arts Fund is a partnership between Flamboyan Foundation, Lin-Manuel Miranda, his family, and the Broadway musical Hamilton to preserve, amplify, and sustain the arts in Puerto Rico. Since Hurricane Maria devastated the island last year, many artists and arts organizations like museums, theaters, arts education programs, and music venues are at risk of cutting back services or closing. The fund supports all facets of the arts community including music, theater, visual arts, dance, literature, and youth arts education to ensure that the arts and culture continue to flourish during the rebuilding of Puerto Rico.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you are eligible. We do not disqualify anyone based on other sources of funding.

No. The Letras Boricuas fellowship will only select a total of 40 writers, 20 the first year and 20 in the second year. Thus, not every applicant will be funded.

Once you have confirmed that you meet all eligibility requirements described in the pdf Letras Boricuas Fellowship Application and Eligibility Guidelines, you can apply here.

Applications will be screened by the Flamboyan Arts Fund for eligibility. Decisions regarding eligibility made by the Flamboyan Arts Fund are final. Eligible applications will be reviewed by a Nominations Committee that will forward semi-finalists to a Selections Committee that will recommend possible Fellowship recipients to the Flamboyan Arts Fund’s Board of Advisors for final approval. Members of the Nominations and Selections Committees are selected by The Flamboyan Arts Fund and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Nominations Committee members will serve anonymously. Selection Committee members will be named when the Fellowship recipients are announced.

Eligible applications will be reviewed based on literary merit, the latter of which may include work samples that display some or all of the following characteristics: originality, imagination, creativity, a strong point of view, a unique voice, facility with language, technical skill, and craft, memorability. Financial status will not be taken into consideration.

No. While all dates are subject to change, the application will be open during the dates specified in the guidelines for each cycle.

All non-funded applications from the first cycle of 2021 have been removed from our system so that writers can reapply during this second cycle 2022.

All applicants will be notified of the Fellowship results through Submittable by November 2022.

If you are selected for funding, we will follow up with the information required to disburse the grant and for the public announcement.

All applicants will be notified through their Submittable account. A message will be sent to the email address associated with this account. In addition, applicants may log into their accounts to check on the status. You can also contact us for questions you may have during the application process. All inquiries should be addressed to letrasboricuas@flamboyanartsfund.org.

Yes, the Flamboyan Arts Fund will respond to all applicants, whether they are selected for funding or not. 

Yes. The application is only online through Submittable. However, if an applicant does not have the equipment or connection necessary to apply online, Flamboyan Arts Fund staff can assist them in the process. You can email us at letrasboricuas@flamboyanartsfund.org.

Yes, simply choose the option to save. We highly recommend that you draft your responses in a separate word processing program and paste it into the application. Please save a copy of your application in the event that you choose to re-apply the following year.

We will accept applications in either language, and choice of language will not have any bearing on the final selection.

No. We cannot respond to any additional materials sent to us outside of the Submittable system. Only responses included in the application will be considered. Please make sure your application is complete before you submit it.

Once you submit an application during a cycle, you will not be able to re-submit. However, if your application was not selected in the first cycle, you may reapply in this second cycle.

Yes. Please email us at letrasboricuas@flamboyanartsfund.org so we can offer you a support option. If you already started the application process, be aware that communications regarding the status of the application will be sent to the email address associated with the Submittable account.

Yes. You will need to reapply.

We are committed to equity and inclusion and view data as an essential tool to be accountable for this commitment. This information is being collected for internal tracking purposes. As an applicant, your data will be viewed by Flamboyan Arts Fund staff and the committee members who will be engaged during the review process.

Submittable, the application platform, operates with above-industry-standard security certificates and features for data collection and storage.

Yes. Fellows selected in the 2022 cycle will be announced in November 2022. The information will be shared in a public announcement and on the Flamboyan Foundation’s website. Selection Committee members will also be named when the Fellowship recipients are announced.

 

If the work sample that you are going to upload to your application plans to combine text and illustration and is addressed to first readers (children from Kindergarten to Third grade), please apply under the Children’s Literature genre.

If the work sample that you are going to upload to your application is primarily text addressed to intermediate readers (children from Forth grade to Six grade) or young adults, please apply under Fiction genre.

No. There will be no reporting necessary. The fellowship award funds are unrestricted, and therefore may be used as writers see fit.

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Applicant Support

We will be offering virtual live support to those that require technical assistance in completing the application. Please review the guidelines and the application form to have your questions and specific problems identified for the appointment. Register in one of the 15 minutes sessions available during the following dates and times:

 

  • Wednesday May 25, 2022, 9:30 am to 12:45 pm / 4:00 pm to 5:45 pm – Register here
  • Thursday May 26, 2022, 7:30 am to 9:45 am / 1:00 pm to 3:45 pm  – Register here

People that require in person special assistance, please write to letrasboricuas@flamboyanartsfund.org so we can arrange an appointment.

 

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022, 4 pm ET – Q&A session for the Letras Boricuas 2022 Fellowship. Register here 

Questions? We will offer email support during the whole application period (May 4 to June 7, from 8 am to 5 pm EST). Please address your questions to letrasboricuas@flamboyanartsfund.org