An Open Letter to the National Endowment for the Arts

May 2007
by Amy Wachspress

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Amy Wachspress

An Open Letter to the National
Endowment for the Arts

 

from Amy Wachspress

 

Dear NEA:

 

I recently learned that the
eligibility requirements for application for an NEA Literature Creative Writing
Fellowship demand that applicants have published at least one book.
Self-published books, however, don’t count.

 

What were you thinking when you
made this decision, people? What if independent filmmakers were not eligible to
win an Oscar?

 

In a Publishers Weekly article entitled
“Indies Learning to Love Self-Published Authors,” Judith Rosen documents the
way indie bookstores and indie authors are teaming up locally and regionally to
reach readers. Rosen quotes Arsen Kashkashian, head buyer at Boulder Book Store
in Colorado: “I think self-publishing is just going to keep growing. You ignore
it at your own peril.”

 

So, NEA folks, perhaps you are not
only in peril at the hands of lawmakers who want to cut funding to the arts,
but also in peril of becoming so wedded to an obsolete paradigm that you can’t
find the pulse of creative thought and enterprise in this century.

 

Why do authors self-publish? Many
authors want to retain rights in and contro…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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