Making a living from writing is notoriously tricky, especially when other priorities are pulling you away from your creative projects. But the good news is there are plenty of writer grants out there that will pay you cold hard cash so that you can actually hunker down and finish your book.
What Are Writer Grants?
Grants, both for writers and others, are monetary funds that are given to a person or group (like a charity or nonprofit organization) for a specific purpose with no need for repayment.
Once a grant is given, that money is yours to use however you’d like. For writers, grants are often given to help financially support the author during the writing process.
Who Qualifies for Writer Grants?
How you qualify for a grant typically depends on what it is you’re applying for. Some grants are specifically for LGBTQ+ or BIPOC writers, so if you don’t identify as part of those communities, you won’t be eligible.
For other grants, there may be an age limit or education requirement. For example, you may need to still be attending college to qualify for a certain grant. Always read the fine print before applying for grants to make sure that you fit the criteria.
How to Apply for Grants for Writers
Every grant will have different application requirements, but there’s usually an online or physical form application that you’ll need to complete when you apply. Fill in all of your basic information (name, date of birth, address), along with the sections that elaborate on why you should receive the grant.
Some grants will also ask for samples of your work or may even have a theme that they’d like you to write about as an example. For published authors, some grants will ask for two or three copies of a previous book that you’ve completed, along with details about the next project that you’re working on.
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How to Use Your Grant
Once you have your grant money, how you use it is completely up to you! Some writers choose to use those funds to go on research trips to help with their next story, while others will put the funds toward living expenses so that they can take time off work in order to finish their book.
You may even want to use the money to go to a writing conference and network with publishers so that, once your project is complete, you can find a home for it in a publishing house.
Types of Grants
Most grants are divided into categories based on the type of writing that you do. Poetry, prose (fiction and creative nonfiction), and nonfiction generally all have their own separate grants or individual categories.
Be sure to check that you’re applying for the one that fits with your style of work.
There are available grants for writers that are open all year round, so do your research and see what deadlines are coming up and what you may be interested in applying for. Some of the most notable grants include:
- National Endowment for the Arts
- Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
- The Bard Fiction Prize
- Sustainable Arts Foundation Award
Get Those Grant Applications In!
No matter what type of writer you are, there’s money out there with your name on it! Start your grant research today and you could see your writing project through to the end in no time at all.
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