LaSalle Storyteller Award

Application Open: TBD 2021

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Number of Awards: 1

Eligible Disciplines: Fiction writers

About the LaSalle Storyteller Award
The LaSalle Storyteller Award is an unrestricted grant of $10,000 given to a Washington State artist engaged in storytelling through their artistic discipline. The 2019 Award will recognize an outstanding literary artist working in fiction.

Funding for the LaSalle Storyteller Award is generously donated by author Gar LaSalle. A physician, sculptor, and award-winning filmmaker and author, Gar LaSalle has been honored widely in both the medical and arts communities for his leadership and creativity. He is a co-founder of TeamHealth, the nation’s largest physician staffing company and served for thirteen years as its national chief medical officer. He also is an adjunct professor of emergency medicine at Cornell-Columbia and the University of Washington. Gar has earned acclaim for his debut novel, “Widow Walk,” and the first two sequels, “Isthmus” and “The Fairness of Beasts,” which reflect his love of history. All three novels have been optioned for the screen by Seattle based Heyou Media. His first feature-length film, “Diary of a Moonlighter,” was produced in 1976 and aired on the PBS series “P.O.V.” He writes from his home in Seattle and sculpts in his studio on Maury Island.


Guidelines for the 2021 LaSalle Storyteller Award cycle are to be determined.

Selection Criteria

  • artistic excellence;
  • excellence in storytelling as evidenced in body of work;
  • the professional background of the artist;
  • originality and writing skill.

Selection Process

The LaSalle Storyteller Award panel consists of three writers or literary professionals from across Washington State with expertise in fiction. For example, the panel may include a novelist, a short story writer, and an administrator for a literary organization. Panelists have several weeks to review and score applications through Submittable. While reviewing applications, panelists are asked to apply a lens of racial equity. They meet to discuss the highest-ranking applicants and choose one recipient based on the selection criteria. The panel is held in Artist Trust’s office.


The timeline for the 2021 LaSalle Storyteller Award cycle is to be determined.


Eligibility Information

Applications for the LaSalle Storyteller Award are currently closed. Please stay tuned for our 2021 cycle. The information below is for the 2019 cycle.


  • An individual literary artist working in fiction;
  • A Washington State resident at the time of application and payment (payment is made in December 2019);
  • 18 years of age or older by September 9, 2019.


  • A graduate or undergraduate student enrolled in any degree program at the deadline date of September 9, 2019;
  • A previous recipient of the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist, Arts Innovator, or Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award; a recipient of more than one AT grant in a calendar year;
  • Current Artist Trust staff, Board members, Committee members, consultants, Storyteller Award panelists, or their immediate family. Family members or current employees of Gar LaSalle.


Can I apply for an award from Artist Trust?
To apply for one of our awards, you must be an artist, 18 years or older, residing in Washington State.

Most of our awards are open to artists of all disciplines with two exceptions – the LaSalle Storyteller Award is open to fiction writers only, and the Twining Humber Award is open to self-identified female visual artists age 60 or older, who have dedicated 25 years or more to creating art. Proof of residency, such as a copy of a Driver’s License or a utility bill, is required if you’re selected for an award.

You may not be currently enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate degree program at the time of the deadline, and you may not apply on behalf of a company, nonprofit, organization, community group, ensemble, collective, or a fiscally-sponsored entity.

Each of our awards has additional eligibility requirements. For example, for the Fellowship Award, you cannot receive more than two awards in a lifetime. Eligibility requirements can be found on page 2 of the respective award’s guidelines.

Where can I find help with my application?
We offer several support services and resources to help you with your application, including Office Hours, preliminary application review, webinars, workshops, reference guides, and other resources. These are listed in the guidelines and on our website. You can also request feedback on unsuccessful applications. Information on how to request feedback is included in the email notification about your application.

What do I do if I’m having technical difficulties with my grant application?
If you aren’t able to sign into Submittable, have questions about uploading or formatting files, or other technical questions, visit

How are the awards selected?
All of our awards are selected by an independent selection panel made up of 3-5 artists and arts professionals with a depth of knowledge and expertise. Panelists review all eligible applications online through Submittable and meet at Artist Trust to discuss applications and recommend recipients. Panelists are asked to review all applicants through a lens of racial equity and consider geographic diversity. The panel selects the recipients based on the award’s selection criteria.

Our selection panels change each grant cycle. Panelists must wait three years before they can serve on another selection panel and must wait five years before they can serve on a panel for the same awards program.

Selection panelists are chosen by our staff. In selection panelists, we seek a committee that represents an intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, geography, career stage, discipline, and artistic practice. Our staff and Board do not select any of the awardees.

How does racial equity impact the selection of awardees?
We have a strong commitment to racial equity throughout our organization. Within our award programs, we ask selection panelists to review all applications through a lens of racial equity. This means when a panelist is considering an applicant we ask them to be mindful of structural, institutional, and historical barriers artists of color face and how those barriers may impact their work and their career.

Read more about applying a racial equity lens in this report on compiled by the Foundation Center, a leader in the field of philanthropy.

Read more about our work towards racial equity here.

Can I re-apply? Or apply for more than one grant?
Yes, we encourage all applicants to re-apply. Many artists who have received awards don’t receive them on their first try. Our selection panels change each grant cycle, and work that one panel may not be excited by another panel may absolutely love. You can apply for as many grants as you’d like, but you can only receive one grant from us in a calendar year.

Do you accept late applications?
We do not accept late applications under any circumstances.

Can I make changes to my application after the deadline?
No, we do not allow changes to applications after the deadline.

What is a generative artist?
A generative artist means you are the originator of the works of art. Curatorial projects and adaptions are ineligible.

Can I receive a grant if my work has been funded elsewhere?
Yes. If you’re work has been funded elsewhere, include that information in your resume. If you are applying for project support through our GAP Award and you have received funding from another source, include that information in the budget.

Can I submit a paper application?
No, we do not accept paper applications. Applications are only accepted through Submittable.

What disciplines are eligible?
All disciplines and artistic practices, including all forms of visual, literary, media, and performing arts, are eligible for our awards. The exceptions are the LaSalle Storyteller Award, which is open to fiction writers only, and the Twining Humber and SOLA Awards, which are open to female-identified visual artists age 60 or older, who have dedicated 25 years or more to creating art.

Can I apply as part of a collaboration or team?
A team of two or more artists may apply if you have a documented history of creating and presenting work as a team for at least three consecutive years. Artists applying as a team must contact Artist Trust to confirm eligibility before applying. If eligible, one artist will submit the application and list team members. All team members must meet the eligibility requirements for the respective award. Applications made on behalf of a company, nonprofit, organization, community group, ensemble, collective, or a fiscally-sponsored entity will not be accepted.

What’s the most important part of the application?
Your work samples are the most important part of your application. Spend the most time honing your samples. If you are submitting images, audio, or video, make sure your documentation is high quality. Be sure to follow the work sample guidelines.

The written parts of your application, such as the artist statement, impact statement, and project description, help panelists understand your vision, process, and philosophy and give context for the work in your work samples. Start on these parts early and have friends or colleagues read them. You can find examples of successful applications in our reference guides here. For tips and tricks on the written parts of your application, visit our Resources here.

I don’t have a resume. Should I apply?
If you don’t have a resume, you can still apply for grants from us. It’s best to start with our GAP Awards, which support many emerging artists and are often the first awards artists receive from us. You can find information about GAP here.

You will need to create a resume to apply for our awards. You can find examples of resumes in our reference guides, and many word processing programs, such as Microsoft Word, have resume templates. If you do not have extensive experience, consider including your education, training, artistic projects you’ve completed, or professional affiliations. In the end, what matters most to selection panelists is the strength of your work.

I can’t decide on my career stage. Will that affect the panelists’ decision?
Career stage is not a selection criteria for our awards and does not have an impact on whether or not you are chosen for an award.

If you have questions not addressed in this FAQ, please be in touch with our program staff here, or by calling (206) 467-8734.

Related Professional Development

Related Resources

Recent LaSalle Storyteller Award Recipients

LaSalle Storyteller Award Profile Photo
2019 LaSalle Storyteller Award
Johanna Stoberock
Walla Walla County
Amount Awarded: $10,000
LaSalle Storyteller Award Profile Photo
2018 LaSalle Storyteller Award
Juan Reyes
King County
Amount Awarded: $10,000
LaSalle Storyteller Award Profile Photo
2017 LaSalle Storyteller Award
E. Lily Yu
King County
Amount Awarded: $10,000
LaSalle Storyteller Award Profile Photo
2016 LaSalle Storyteller Award
Peter Mountford
King County
Amount Awarded: $10,000
LaSalle Storyteller Award Profile Photo
2015 LaSalle Storyteller Award
Anca L.Szilágyi
King County
Amount Awarded: $10,000

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