March 4, 2019

Call for applications: 2020 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Literature

The Vilcek Foundation

Courtesy of The Vilcek Foundation. 

Three 50,000 USD prizes to be awarded to immigrant writers in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry

The Vilcek Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2020 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Literature. Awarded annually, the prizes were established to honor emerging to mid-career immigrant professionals who have demonstrated significant accomplishments early in their careers. Three winners will each receive an unrestricted 50,000 USD cash prize.

“We rely upon writers to interpret the world for us, and this is especially true of immigrant writers,” says Rick Kinsel, president of the Vilcek Foundation. “The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise will honor writers who render our stories, histories, politics, and experiences into literature that elevates our understanding of ourselves, and of the times we live in.”

Foreign-born literary artists working across a variety of genres are invited to apply, including fiction (novels, novellas, short stories, and graphic novels); nonfiction (memoir, creative nonfiction, general nonfiction, book-length journalism, and graphic nonfiction); and poetry.

Applicants should have published at least one full-length book (not self-published), been born outside of the United States, and be 38 years of age or younger.

Candidates will be asked to submit a resume, writing portfolio, press and review clippings, and two professional references. In addition, they will be asked to submit three short personal essays and proof of immigration status (DACA recipients are welcome). Applications will be accepted from March 4 to June 10, 2019, 5pm EDT. The application and full eligibility requirements are available at

A panel of distinguished literary experts will evaluate each application based on its excellence, innovation, and impact. The winners will be notified in fall 2019 and honored at the foundation’s annual awards gala in spring 2020. The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise are also awarded to immigrants in biomedical science. Since the Vilcek Foundation Prizes were created, over 4.5 million USD has been awarded to immigrants from 53 different countries.

The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation, to honor immigrant contributions to the US and to foster appreciation of the arts and sciences, was inspired by the couple’s careers, as well as their appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers. The foundation awards annual prizes to immigrants, sponsors cultural programs, and manages the Vilcek Foundation Art Collections. To learn more, please visit

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.