McKnight Artist and Culture Bearer 2023 Logo

Info Session

We hosted an info session on November 22. If you missed it, you can watch the recording below. 

Award is open for applications
McKnight Artist and Culture Bearer Fellowships

One $25,000 fellowship is awarded each year in children’s literature, including poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. This year’s award is offered to a writer for children under 8 years of age. 

Four $25,000 fellowships are offered in alternating years to writers of creative prose and poetry/spoken word. The 2024 year cycle is in poetry/spoken word.

The Loft administers the McKnight Artist and Culture Bearer Fellowships for Writers. Five $25,000 awards are presented annually to accomplished Minnesota writers and spoken word artists. Four awards alternate annually between creative prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry/spoken word. The fifth award is presented in children’s literature and alternates annually between writing for ages under eight years old and writing for children eight years and older.

Please contact program manager of awards, Marion Gómez at with any questions.

McKnight Fellows 2023
Congratulations 2023 McKnight Fellows!

The Loft Literary Center is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 McKnight Artist and Culture Bearer Fellowships for Writers, Loft Awards in Creative Prose and Loft Award in Children's Literature (Older Children). The fellowships are judged by prominent American authors and editors, and the winners, all from Minnesota, are awarded $25,000 each. The judges this year were Alexander Chee in creative prose and Aida Salazar in children’s literature.

The Loft received 44 qualified applications in children’s literature and 87 qualified applications in creative prose. This year’s recipients are children’s writer Art Coulson (Apple Valley) and creative prose writers Naomi Cohn (Saint Paul), Gen Del Raye (Minneapolis), Hilal Isler (Saint Paul), and Kao Kalia Yang (Saint Paul).

Read the full linked press release. 

McKnight Artist and Culture Bearer Fellowships

Founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists and culture bearers thrive, the McKnight Foundation’s arts and culture program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Support for individual working Minnesota artists and culture bearers has been a cornerstone of the program since it began in 1982. The McKnight Artist & Culture Bearer Fellowships Program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in 15 different creative disciplines. Program partner organizations administer the fellowships and structure them to respond to the unique challenges of different disciplines. Currently, the foundation contributes about $2.8 million per year to its statewide fellowships. For more information, visit

The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. Established in 1953, the McKnight Foundation is deeply committed to advancing climate solutions in the Midwest; building an equitable and inclusive Minnesota; and supporting the arts and culture in Minnesota, neuroscience, and global food systems.