2021 Piedmont Laureate Program Application

Co-Sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County

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Guideline Criteria Expectations and Responsibilities Terms and Agreement Timeline Selection Process Application

The City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County are pleased to announce the opening of the application process for the position of Piedmont Laureate for 2021. For the 2021 cycle, applications will be accepted from writers of children’s and young adult literature for youth up to 18 years old.

The selected candidate will focus on elevating children’s and young adult literature in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties. The application submission period will begin August 28, 2020, and close on October 9, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.

Considering the impact of COVID-19 upon our world, the Laureate Partners look forward to exploring opportunities that will allow the Piedmont Laureate to be a success in the virtual environment.


The Piedmont Laureate program is co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. Its primary goal is “to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region.” The program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing, enriching the lives of all our citizens.


The Piedmont Laureate will serve for one year and will offer the following activities in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties:

  • Present readings in a virtual or live environment at designated public sites (libraries, arts centers, schools, universities, and other community gathering places);
  • Encourage creative writing for all age groups (by offering workshops or other types of outreach);
  • Promote literature at select public events in a virtual environment;
  • Bring attention to literature in less traditional settings; and
  • Propose original activities to expand appreciation of the literary arts.

Guideline Criteria

The open call is for all writers of children’s and young adult literature residing in Wake, Durham or Orange counties who meet the guideline criteria:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older;
  • Resident of Wake, Durham, or Orange counties for at least one year; and
  • Plan on maintaining residency in Wake, Durham, or Orange counties for the duration of their appointment as Laureate.

Candidates will demonstrate

  • Exemplary writing skill;
  • Significant body of published work;
  • Comfort with public presentation and interaction in a virtual environment;
  • An understanding of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram;
  • An understanding of cloud platforms for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars; and
  • Availability and willingness to travel in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties for scheduled readings, workshops, and other public events when it is safe to do so according to federal, state, county, and municipal COVID-19 guidelines. 

Expectations and Responsibilities

Advocacy/Ambassador in Children’s and Young Adult Literature 

  • Acting as the official ambassador/advocate in children’s and young adult literature for the sponsoring partners and their respective governing agencies.
  • Representing the sponsoring partners at literary events*.
  • Working with the sponsoring partners to further the literary arts in local schools and as an advocate for children’s and young adult literature.

Online Presence and Promotion

  • Maintaining the Piedmont Laureate blog, social media platforms, and website with updates at least once a month following best practices for these platforms. 

Recognition as Piedmont Laureate 

  • Receive recognition at various area events* and receive online media coverage related to the Laureate program. 

Conduct and Facilitate Presentations, Programs, Workshops, etc. 

  • Participating in and/or creating three (3) events* for each sponsoring partner for a total of twelve (12) virtual or live events.* Since virtual/live streaming events may reach audiences across several sponsoring counties at once, the number of required events may be decreased if approved by sponsors.
  • Maintaining the progress/status of the programming by updating the shared Google document on a regular basis.

Specific outreach activities for the Piedmont Laureate program, planned in conjunction with the sponsoring agencies, will reflect the program’s stated goals, including:

  • Readings and other creative writing activities, most likely delivered in a virtual environment;
  • Participation at select virtual and live functions;
  • Online media and virtual appearances; and
  • Creation of at least one (1) original virtual activity to expand appreciation of literature.

Additionally, the Piedmont Laureate will be encouraged to offer suggestions for future projects that will inspire public engagement in both real and virtual environments and focus on local support of the literary arts.

*Events – including, but not limited to, workshops, readings, presentations, book signings, virtual/remote meetings, programs, podcasts, interviews, appearances, outreach, etc.

Terms and Agreement

  • The Piedmont Laureate appointment is a one‐year term that shall formally commence on January 1, 2021, and conclude on December 31, 2021.
  • The Piedmont Laureate will receive an honorarium of $6,000. One-half ($3,000) will be disbursed midway through the term and the second half at the end of the term. This disbursement will be coordinated and processed by United Arts.
  • The candidate will be required to sign a contractual agreement with United Arts to be eligible to receive the honorarium. 


Activity Date
Application Period Opens August 28, 2020
Application Submission Deadline October 9, 2020, 11:59 p.m.
Review Period October 2020
Recommendation by Selection Committee October 2020
Interview of Finalists October 2020
Selection of 2021 Piedmont Laureate October 2020
Notification of Candidate October 2020
Announcement of 2021 Piedmont Laureate October 2020
Piedmont Laureate Appointment Beings January 1, 2021
Piedmont Laureate Appointment Ends December 31, 2021

Selection Process

All submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee appointed by the sponsoring agencies. 

The selection committee will base its decisions primarily on the following criteria: 

  • The applicant’s apparent potential as an ambassador for children’s and young adult literature.
  • The nature of the applicant’s affiliation with the community and support of the program’s mission statement.
  • The unique quality of the applicant’s writing samples.
  • An interview process with each candidate conducted in a virtual environment.

The final candidate will be recommended to the sponsoring partners.


Deadline: October 9, 2020, 11:59 p.m.

Application must be submitted via the online form and requires the following to be uploaded: 

  • Letter of interest (500 words or less) detailing how the applicant would contribute as Piedmont Laureate based on the position description and the goals of the program;
  • Proposal (500 words or less) detailing the applicant’s ideas for using all virtual platforms to increase awareness and promote the Piedmont Laureate program;
  • Work sample(s) of children’s and young adult literature completed in the last five (5) years. The minimum number of total pages for all work samples combined (either scanned or text) is ten (10); the maximum number of pages combined is twenty (20).
  • Resumé with an emphasis on literary achievements;
  • Two (2) letters of support; and
  • Up to 2 critical reviews of work. (optional)

The selection committee reserves the right to ask for additional information as needed. 

Apply online to the 2021 Piedmont Laureate program



Belva Parker
Arts Program Director, Raleigh Arts

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