City of Tampa Releases an RFQ for Wordsmiths

“Creative and diverse conversations are fundamental to our city’s strength,” said Mayor Jane Castor. “What better way to pull us all together than through a wordsmith who can challenge us to imagine, engage, and enjoy our city through a different lens.” 


Neighborhood Empowerment

Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs

306 East Jackson

Tampa, Florida 33602

Office (813) 274-8531

Call for Wordsmiths

Honorarium Range: $5,000 – $10,000

Deadline for Submission: Friday, December 20th 2019

The City of Tampa recognizes the power and value of self-expression and acknowledges that the written word expressed through poetry, creative writing and verse can be a platform to engage and empower Tampa’s citizens and neighborhoods. For this reason, under Mayor Jane Castor, the City of Tampa’s Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs seeks to commission a Wordsmith to lead citizens and visitors in the joy, challenges and rewards of creative expression through the written word.

Project Description:

This project is part of Mayor Castor’s Art on the Block Program and is informed by the notion that a creative and diverse discourse is fundamental to our city’s strength. A Wordsmith will be commissioned and contracted by the city for approximately two years. The objective of this project is to bring creative expression through words into the daily lives of Tampa residents and visitors and to offer a platform for interdisciplinary arts and cross-sector pollination and partnerships. Engagement with Tampa neighborhoods and communities is required. This may be realized through a variety of activities.

Examples may include, but are not limited to suggesting writing prompts via social media, initiating a neighborhood to neighborhood postcard writing program, or working with city and local businesses to integrate text into marquees or other temporary signage opportunities, etc. Some texts from the selected Wordsmith and results from community engagement may be curated and incorporated into city infrastructure projects such as sidewalks or park improvements.

Eligibility /Qualifications:

  • Wordsmith must live or work in the Tampa Bay region
  • Wordsmith must have published works (excluding self-published and vanity presses) such as books, articles or poems in juried journals and have demonstrated literary excellence
  •  Wordsmith must have commitment to the promotion and awareness of their literary field
  • Wordsmith must have an interest in community involvement and engagement with the public
  • Wordsmith must be 21 years of age and older
  • Wordsmith must be able to travel citywide



  • Celebrate Tampa’s cultural heritage
  • Champion the literary arts and the spoken word in the City of Tampa, in person and on social media
  • Create provocative, challenging, respectful, fun and entertaining exercises that engage the citizenry of Tampa
  • Encourage appreciation of the art form and creative expression by engaging Tampa’s diverse citizenry
  • Inspire the next generation of poets and writers
  • Attend City of Tampa cultural events as appropriate in coordination with the City of Tampa’s Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs
  • On occasion, write and read original work at ceremonial events (examples could include at a dedication of a new building or site that will benefit the community), at City Council or other public meetings such as the Mayor’s State of the City Address
  • Work in coordination with the city’s Division of Arts and Cultural Affairs on a signature project to educate and engage the city’s residents about poetry and literature


Anticipated Schedule:

Deadline for submission: Friday, December 20th 2019

Wordsmith Selected: January 2020

Wordsmith Notified: January 2020

Proposal/Contract: February 2020

Wordsmith Begins: March 2020

Length of Term: 18 – 24 months

Honorarium: $5,000 – $10,000 (pending scope, schedule, etc.)

Selection Process: Notable literary professionals will be invited to review submissions with the Arts & Cultural Affairs Division staff. Their recommendation will be presented to Mayor Castor. The successful candidate will be notified 1st quarter of 2020.

To be considered, please submit requested information below to




City / State / Zip



Web Site

Bio / Maximum Length: 250 Words

Written Description of what the Wordsmith would hope to accomplish, and (not required), state what type of signature project could develop, if given the opportunity. / Maximum Length: 500 Words

Professional Résumé: Please upload as a PDF your current professional résumé or vita (no longer than three pages) that lists bibliography of published works

Work Sample: Please upload a PDF of a work sample of ten poems not to exceed 20 pages (in 12-point font, with 1” margins)

Published at Thu, 14 Nov 2019 20:30:12 +0000
Source: City of Tampa Releases an RFQ for Wordsmiths.