OPC Micro-grant Program for Freelance Journalists Affected by the Pandemic

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

For years, American media organizations have scaled back foreign bureaus and increasingly relied on freelance journalists who lack the resources, protection and support of staff reporters. Freelancers were already struggling before the pandemic hit, but Covid-19 has left this crucial part of the industry in tatters.

Last spring, an Overseas Press Club survey of its freelance members revealed an urgent need for support. Since then, the club has distributed nearly 50 micro-grants for freelance journalists in need.

Thanks to a generous gift from the Ford Foundation, the OPC will expand this project over the next year and distribute more than 90 grants of $1,000 each to freelancers in need, regardless of medium or coverage area.

These micro-grants are intended as one-time assistance to provide economic relief for freelance journalists who have had work published in any medium by an American news organization within the past year. If you have been forced to return to the United States because your freelance work dried up, you are still eligible.


  • Freelancers: We define freelance journalists as those who derive the majority of their income from work done not as a full-time staff employee. Freelancers must have published two stories (in any medium) with an American news organization in the last 12 months.
  • Applicants should have a history of international reporting, or a demonstrated interest in international coverage.
  • You do not need to be an OPC member to apply, but anyone who receives a grant and is not currently a member will receive a one-year membership upon accepting the grant.

Application Deadline:

The deadline for the first round of applications is Feb. 15, 2021. There will be additional rounds later in the year, so please come back to this page in the future.

How to Apply

Application materials consist of:

  • Your CV
  • A statement of no more than 500 words about how the pandemic has damaged your ability to work or financial well-being, and how you would use the OPC micro-grant to support your freelance journalism work
  • Links to two stories in any medium you have done for an American news organization in the past 12 months

Your application will be read by our judges, who are professional journalists, but it will not be distributed to anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

The OPC is committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive environment in foreign reporting. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or any other factor.

If you meet the eligibility criteria and would like to apply, click the "submit' button below.