Literary New York State (LitNYS)

News & Events


Sunday, 9/18 – Tuesday 9/20   We can’t wait to see you in-person
at Beekman Arms & Delamater Inn, 6387 Mill St., Rhinebeck NY 12572

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LitNYS, a coalition of New York State literary arts nonprofit organizations, is pleased to announce a total of $80,000 in Advancement Regrant awards to 14 literary arts organizations throughout New York State. 

New York’s community of literary arts nonprofit publishers, presenters, and service organizations

include some of the best and the great majority of literary organizations nationwide. They nurture and promote contemporary writers and writing and serve as distinguishing assets in their communities. Launched in 2013, the Advancement Program helps these vital organizations sustain themselves institutionally while building and enriching relationships with audiences. 

LitNYS has awarded seventy-eight (78) capacity building regrants of $2,500-$10,000 to date, distributing $410,000 statewide. LitNYS Advancement Regrants afford access to tools and resources these organizations need to flourish, so they may provide writers and communities with opportunities to create, publish, learn, teach, experiment, and thrive through the literary arts. 

Organizations are empowered to define their own priorities through thoughtful program development and capacity building opportunities, enabling them to improve operations and financial viability; extend program reach; build solid foundations upon which to pursue their artistic visions; and institute planning, development and communication strategies that contribute to near- and long-term stability and sustainability. 

Individual application request amounts were based on an organization’s annual operating budget, and awards made were based on project merit, score, and measures of inclusion such as geographic diversity, communities served, and organization type. Assessing applications, panelists considered artistic quality, managerial competence, and demonstrated need. 

Girls Write Now, New York, NY: $10,000

To support the recruitment of 35 additional mentorship pairs to participate in the Publishing 360 Program.

Brooklyn Book Festival, Inc., Brooklyn, NY: $7,500

To upgrade its website;  establish Virtual Festival Day as a permanent feature of the Book Festival; and to develop a growing “library” of archived videos.

The Feminist Press, New York, NY: $7,500

To relaunch the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize for debut work by women and nonbinary writers of color in 2022.

Herstory Writers Workshop, Centereach, NY: $7,500

To establish an ongoing training program and curriculum resource for high school and middle school teachers based on Brave Journeys/Pasos Valientes, an anthology of student writing by immigrant children who crossed the border by themselves.

Lambda Literary, New York, NY: $7,500

To revamp and relaunch The Lambda Literary Review, a free, online publication.

Urban Word NYC, New York, NY: $7,500

To develop a Mentor Training Professional Development Module for a trauma-informed pedagogy through poetry workshops.

Restless Books, Inc., Brooklyn, NY: $6,500

To overhaul its technological infrastructure via the purchase of new desktop computers, laptops for staff members, and video recording equipment to aid in digital marketing and development efforts.

Writers & Books, Rochester, NY: $6,500

For capacity building in financial management and fundraising.

Poetry Society of New York, New York, NY: $5,000

To support its BIPOC Advisory Committee.

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, Huntington Station, NY: $4,500

For pre-production script development of “The Whitman Project,” a 6-person play using Walt Whitman’s words to stimulate informative public-facing discussions on issues of DEAI.

Bright Hill Press, Inc., Treadwell NY: $2,500

For website redesign to enhance accessibility, efficiency and meet technological needs.

The Flow Chart Foundation, Hudson, NY: $2,500

To purchase museum display cases for its exhibit space. and showcase cross-genre literary work.

Pen Parentis New York, NY: $2,500

To hire a Strategic Planner.

Yara Arts Group, New York, NY: $2,500

To create Poetry in Performance videos featuring poetry by Ukrainian women translated into English.

PDF Full Press Release


As NYS-based Literary organizations, we have collectively embraced the goal of proactively positioning New York State’s non-profit literary arts organizations as a priority for public, private & philanthropic investment and engagement. We know that historically Literature has been the least funded arts discipline and we are committed to working for advancement. Our ultimate goal is long- term: increased funding; increased visibility; parity with other arts disciplines; and increased capacity to support the work of writers and bring the best literary arts programs and services possible to all of our communities.

Each year, LitNYS provides essential support to more than 50 NYS literary presenters–strengthening their capacity to foster, promote, and present literature. This support includes technical assistance, networking, information sharing, regrants, mentoring and hosting the annual FACING PAGES Statewide Literary Arts Convening. LitNYS is committed to strengthening New York State’s literary arts field by building the individual capacity of its presenters and working collectively to elevate visibility of and support for the field of Literature as a whole.

About Us

LitNYS is a statewide initiative administered by Just Buffalo Literary Center which supports NY state nonprofit literary arts organizations through peer-mentoring, advancement regrants, an annual statewide literary arts convening and other resources needed to self-sustain and thrive. Debora Ott is LitNYS founding director and lead consultant. The project is supported with lead funding from New York State Council on the Arts.


Debora Ott
LitNYS Founding Director
Laurie Dean Torrell
LitNYS Project Administrator