Dallas — As COVID-19 reshapes the American economy, Texas literary artists are disproportionately impacted by the crisis. Many writers work on a freelance basis and are facing reduced project income or have been laid off. With the publishing and book distribution industries on hold, Texas literary artists are experiencing dire financial insecurity.
In response to the crisis, Dallas-based nonprofit publisher Deep Vellum is launching the Deep Vellum Emergency Fund for Texas Literary Artists. Deep Vellum Executive Director Will Evans explained, “As a major independent nonprofit publisher in the state of Texas, we believe that it is our responsibility to take care of our artists. We’re stepping up to the plate to support a community that not only encourages empathy and dialogue in normal times but that has been a special source of joy and comfort for the Texas public in recent weeks.”
Grants will be at least $200 and given to Texas writers who demonstrate financial need. Submission deadline for Round One is June 8, and grants will be given as long as funds last. Grantees will not be under contract to Deep Vellum. Applications can be submitted here.
Deep Vellum board member Paul Wingo has generously donated seed money to launch this campaign. According to Wingo, the fund is one way that members of the Texas community can support each other during this crisis. “Some issues are just so big,” he said, “that it’s hard to wrap your head around how you can actually make a difference. Deep Vellum is doing something simple: directly placing money into the hands of artists who need it the most. It is direct help to those whose paths make them the most vulnerable in difficult times like now. It’s a novel idea, doing the write thing.” Wingo lives in Dallas and is an avid fan of literature and bad puns.
Contributions can be made here, or individuals can contact Deep Vellum Development Coordinator Lindsay King at lindsay [at] deepvellum [dot] org to discuss other giving options. Donations at any level are accepted. Gifts are 100% tax-deductible, and all funds will go directly to Texas literary artists.
Reading is buoying up individuals and families across the state as we weather this crisis together – let’s support the artists who make reading possible!
Deep Vellum is an independent nonprofit publisher based in Dallas. It was founded in 2013 with the mission to bring the world into conversation through literature. Deep Vellum builds community around the literary arts by hosting conversation-driven events and fosters inclusion in the literary arts by publishing works by writers from around the globe and from its home base in Texas.
Press release has been edited to reflect new submission deadline, changed from June 1 to June 8.