Home Programs NEA Big Read What's New?

What's New?

From year to year, the application guidelines for NEA Big Read change, sometimes in subtle ways. Below is a quick list of the significant changes to the guidelines for this year compared to last.

  • Eight new titles available: Advice from the Lights by Stephanie Burt, The Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldbloom, Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, Hustle by David Tomas Martinez, In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, Borne by Jeff VanderMeer, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, and Our Town by Thornton Wilder.
  • Six titles removed: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff, Five Skies by Ron Carlson, and Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Educational materials are still available for these titles on the National Endowment for the Arts website in the Archive section at the bottom of the page.
  • The minimum book discussion requirement has been reduced from 10 to 5.
  • The application process now has a required intent to apply phase applicable to past grantees and new applicants in order to gain access to the online application.
  • You may save and return to an application in progress.
  • The Programming Description narrative character limit has been increased from 4,000 characters to 6,000 characters (including spaces) to accommodate a more detailed response.
  • The Organizer Biographies section has been reduced from 4,000 to 2,000 characters.


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