FAQs for the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award

One of the main purposes of the award is to fund a project that otherwise would not come to fruition. Bearing this in mind here are some answers to questions that people have about the likelihood of their proposal being successful.

Q: Must a story already have been commissioned by a publication in order for a writer to apply?
A: No, you do not need to have an assignment in order to apply.
Q. Does having an assignment disqualify me?
A. No. But few publications would actually assign a piece that needs to be reported if funding for that reporting was a question. Sometimes an editor might say, “We could see assigning you this piece if you had a way to pay for the travel.” If you have had a conversation like that, please let us know with whom you had it.
Q: How can the applicant guarantee that their project will get published in a suitably well-known publication?
A: Publication, in this world, is never guaranteed. But projects are selected based in part on our estimation of how likely the finished piece is to find a strong outlet for publication.
Q: I am a full-time staff writer at a publication, but the story I want to write is not something they will fund or publish. Can I still apply?
A: Yes, you may apply. The judges will want to hear how you plan to put sufficient time into the project in order to report and finish the piece in a timely fashion while working full-time.
Q: I am a freelance writer; can I include payment for my time in the budget for the project?
A: You may, but you don’t have to. Most proposals do not factor the writer’s time in the budget.
Q: I am not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible to apply?
A: Yes, you are. There are no citizenship nor residency requirements.
Q: I am a U.S. citizen, but I live abroad. Do I need to come to New York to accept the prize or work on my project?
A: No, you do not need to come to New York.
Q: Does the project have to be published in American media?
A: No. However the publication should be well known to American audiences. Additionally, only proposals submitted in English, for articles intended to be written in English, will be considered.
Q: Can two people–co-writers, for instance–apply jointly for the award?
A: Yes.
Q. Can the award be used to pay for book research?
A. No. The award is intended to support the research and writing of an article.