Funding for Writers

On 1st September 2021, TLC hosted Funding for Writers, a webinar to provide provide writers seeking different funding routes The webinar was part of TLC’s Writing Soup for the Soul series, and included a Q&A on financial support available for writers, including who it’s for and how to apply. The webinar featured: James Urquhart (Senior Manager for Literature and Libraries, Arts Council England), Nicola Solomon (CEO, the Society of Authors), Eileen Gunn (Grants Director, the Royal Literary Fund), and Beth Gallimore (Events and Outreach Manager, Royal Society of Literature).

We thought it might be helpful to compile some of the different funding options discussed in the webinar in one place, so we’ve created this page to give some more information. The webinar was free to attend, and a video recording can be viewed at the bottom of this page. We hope you find it useful!

Arts Council England

Arts Council England has two main streams for securing funding for writers and artists. These are Project Grants and Developing Your Creative Practice.

Project Grants are open for new applications throughout the year, but if you are submitting an application for £15,000 or under please allow up to 10 weeks to receive your decision. If you are submitting an application for over £15,000, please allow up to 16 weeks to receive your decision. If your work includes opportunities for people to engage with the work (e.g., with workshops or audience-reaching events) – then Project Grants might be the more suitable funding stream for you from ACE. You can read more information and guidance for Project Grants here.

Developing Your Creative Practice has submission rounds that open and close throughout the year, so do check when the next window closes before readying your application. If you’re focusing on your own creative practice, then DYCP might be the better stream to apply for. DYCP has a grant range of £2,000 – £10,000 and is meant to benefit individual artists and/or creative practitioners. There are some examples of succesful Developing Your Creative Practice applications here.

Regional literature development agencies are also a great bet for local funding/support. We have a map here with the major literature orgs: https://literaryconsultancy.co.uk/editorial/ace-free-reads-scheme/

Society of Authors

The Society of Authors provides £360,000 through Time to Write grants – all writers are welcome to apply, you don’t have to be a member of Society of Authors. Read more about Society of Authors’ grants here. The Society of Authors also run a great series of Prizes, run frequent Campaigns on author rights issues and also have handy Advice around funding and securing financial support.

Royal Society of Literature

The Royal Society of Literature also provides multiple Prizes and Awards throughout the year, and you can read more about what prizes they have running currently here. Prizes such as the £10,000 Christopher Bland Prize, which is awarded annually to a debut novelist or popular non-fiction writer, first published at the age of 50 or over; and the RSL Giles St Aubyn Award, for authors engaged on their first commissioned works of non-fiction. They also have an excellent page on where writers can find financial support here.

Royal Literary Fund

The Royal Literary Fund provides grants and pensions to writers in financial difficulty. They are a self-funded charity, and have been supporting authors since 1790, among them James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Dylan Thomas and Edith Nesbit. To find out more about the RLF’s Grants and Pensions, click here. You can find out more about their Fellowship scheme, which provides individual writing support to students in the UK here.

The Literary Consultancy

TLC provides bursaried manuscript assessment and mentoring places for writers from low-income and marginsalised backgrounds, via it’s 17 regional and diversity-specific partners around England. Funded by Arts Council England, Free Reads has been running since 2001, and has helped thousands of writers. The scheme runs from April-April, with Free Read partners running submission windows throughout the year. Read more about the scheme, and TLC’s Free Read partners here.

Watch the Funding for Writers webinar recording for free: