Where writers can find support – financial and editorial
The Authors’ Foundation, together with the K. Blundell Trust, are administered by the Society of Authors and offer grants to writers with works in progress, this year totalling in excess of £360,000. Each grant can be up to £6,000 (occasionally more). Almost always, the authors receiving these grants will have contracts from UK publishers. The grants are made twice a year.
The Royal Literary Fund’s Fellowship Scheme gives professional authors – who must have published at least two books – one or two years’ paid employment in higher education institutions while they work on their books. The principal aim of the Fellows’ work is to foster good writing practice across disciplines and media.
Jerwood Arts has several funding streams. The Jerwood New Work Fund enables artists, artistic groups and artist led organisations to undertake the research, development and creation of new work to bring about a step change in their practice and profile. The Jerwood Bursaries offer funding opportunities to network, find new partners for collaboration, receive mentoring or take part in training, conferences, workshops and residencies.
The British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. These awards, up to £10,000 in value and tenable for up to 24 months, are provided to cover the cost of the expenses arising from a defined research project.
National Association of Writers in Education (nawe) aims to further knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of creative writing and to support good practice in its teaching and learning at all levels. nawe runs an Annual Conference and offers a range of online resources.
The Literary Consultancy (TLC) offers manuscript assessment and editorial advice for writers at all stages in their careers. It has an Arts Council England-funded Free Reads Scheme for writers on low incomes.
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) is a trade union representing professional writers in television, film, theatre, radio, books, comedy, poetry, animation and video games. Its members include emerging and aspiring writers.
For those based in England, Arts Council England’s funding programmes include Developing your Creative Practice, which allows independent creative practitioners to undertake ambitious research and development and make a step change in their practice, and National Lottery Project Grants which support thousands of individual artists, and community and cultural organisations.
Creative Scotland has a variety of funding opportunities including its Open Project Funding for artists, groups and creative organisations based in Scotland who need support to pursue their artistic or creative projects.
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland offers a range of funding support schemes to individuals in Northern Ireland including Travel Awards. Visit artscouncil-ni.org/funding
Literature Wales offers support to both new and established writers resident in Wales through its Writers’ Bursaries scheme. Bursaries are awarded annually to writers at all stages of their careers. The refocused 2019 Writers’ Bursaries Awards, which are funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales, enable writers to concentrate on developing a specific work in progress across a twelve-month period. Awards are fixed at £3,000.
New Writing North offers Northern Writers’ Awards, which support works in progress by new and emerging writers across the north of England. It also supports new work by established writers, particularly those whose work is changing direction. Visit newwritingnorth.com
The BBC Writersroom runs the Script Room, the BBC’s system for receiving unsolicited original scripts. It has distinct submission windows which are announced on its website. Opportunities for shortlisted writers include an invitation to be part of Drama Room and Comedy Room development groups.
Arvon offers residential courses and retreats in its centres in Devon, Shropshire and West Yorkshire. Established authors work closely with writers working, or embarking, on books. Grants are available to help with course fees. Visit arvon.org
Hawthornden Castle in Midlothian is an international retreat where up to five writers (Fellows) at a time can stay and work, with free board and lodging, for a month. For more information contact the Administrator on 0131 440 2180.
The Peggy Ramsay Foundation gives grants to theatre writers in order to afford them the time and the space to write. You can be a writer who has only had one play professionally produced, a writer who has had dozens of successes or a writer who is somewhere in between.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust runs the Churchill Fellowships, a unique programme of overseas research grants. These support uk citizens from all parts of society to travel the world in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems. Writers are encouraged to apply.
The Biographers’ Club administers an annual award of £2,000, the Tony Lothian Prize, for the best proposal for an uncommissioned first biography. Visit biographers.club/the-tony-lothian-prize