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How to Find and Qualify for Writing Grants

FEATURED IMAGE New York Book Editors 10 11 2021 How to Find and Qualify

Let's throw away that old, rusty image of the impoverished writer. Even if you're a new writer, you can make a modest living to support yourself while waiting for your career to take off.

In this post, we'll share some of the top grants available to writers in 2021 and beyond.

Let's dive right in.

The Gulliver Travel Research Grant

Accepting submissions from November 1, 2021, to November 30, 2021.

Dating back to 2004, the SLF Gulliver Travel grants are awarded to writers of speculative literature in several genres, including fiction, poetry, drama, and creative non-fiction. The $1,000 grant is awarded to cover travel-related expenses, such as airfare and lodging. The goal of the grant is to assist writers as they perform research for their work.

The SLF $1000 A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian Speculative Literature

Accepting submissions from January 1, 2022, to January 31, 2022.

Founded in memory of Ashim Chandra Bose, the A.C. Bose Grant awards $1,000 annually to a writer of South Asian descent. The mission behind this grant is to develop imaginative work that inspires the youth.

The William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant Program for Unpublished Writers

Accepting submissions from January 1 to November 1 every year.

This cash grant of $2,500 is awarded to a member of the next generation of traditional mystery writers. In order to qualify for the grant, you must be writing a novel (not a short story). Also, your work should be in progress, and not contain explicit gore, violence, or sex. You also must be unpublished in the mystery genre before submitting your information.

Grants for Writers and Authors

Shearing Fellowship

Accepting submissions until November 1, 2021.

The Shearing Fellowship provides a stipend of $20,000 that will be paid to a writer over the span of a four-month period. This fellowship is awarded to emerging writers who've published at least one book with a trade or literary press. This fellowship is located in Las Vegas and requires writers to maintain set weekly office hours.

The American Library in Paris Visiting Fellowship

Accepting submissions from February 7, 2022, to April 1, 2022.

Since 2013, the American Library in Paris has awarded fellowships to writers and researchers who wish to pursue a creative project for at least a month, if not longer. Applicants should be actively working on a book project, but it doesn't matter if it's fiction or non-fiction. The American Library in Paris offers two one-month fellowship periods each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Winners will be awarded a $5,000 stipend at the start of the fellowship period.

The Bard Fiction Prize

Contact for application deadline information (usually in June of each year).

The Bard Fiction Prize is given to an emerging American writer under the age of 39 at the time of the application. This grant offers a generous $30,000 cash award, and the winner will be appointed as writer in residence at Bard College for one semester. The winner of this award will be expected to provide at least one public lecture.

The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Grant for Children’s and Young Adult Novelists

Contact for application deadline information (usually accepts submissions between April 1 and June 1 of each year).

The PEN/Phyllis Naylor Grant for Children’s and Young Adult Novelists is a $5,000 grant that's awarded to an author with a work in progress in either of these two genres: children’s or young adult fiction. The purpose behind this grant is to help writers produce a high-quality novel.

Even if you're a new writer, you can make a modest living to support yourself while waiting for your career to take off.

The Arkansas International Emerging Writer’s Prize

Accepting submissions from August 25, 2021, to October 25, 2021.

This prize is offered to fiction writers for a single prose work that does not exceed 7,500 words. Writers may enter more than once, but if you do, you must submit each new entry with a separate $20 fee. Writers should only submit previously unpublished work, and the contest is only up to writers who have not yet published a full-length book.

The LoveReading Very Short Story Award

Accepting submissions until October 31, 2021.

This award is granted to a writer of short stories of any genre for works between 600 to 1,000 words. Judges are instructed to look for stories that are "exciting, stimulating, original, and beautifully written." LoveReading will offer two awards, one for £300 that is decided by the judges and one for £200 that is decided by the people.

The Awesome Foundation Grant

Submission deadlines vary. Check with your local chapter for more information.

The Awesome Foundation offers $1,000 grants to individuals and groups with no strings attached. To apply, choose a chapter located near you (each chapter can offer a $1,000 grant at its discretion), and there are dozens of chapters around the country and the world.

The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Contact for application deadline information.

The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence recognizes African-American fiction writers at a national level. The annual award is $15,000 cash, meant to support and empower the winner.

The Kerouac Project

Accepting submissions starting on January 1, 2022.

The Kerouac Project awards four residencies in a single year to writers of any age and ability. Winners will have the opportunity to stay in Jack Kerouac's cottage, and will also receive a $1,000 stipend.

The McKitterick Prize

Accepting submissions until October 31, 2021.

Awarded to debut novelists over the age of 40 years, this grant will also consider works of fiction that are unpublished. Novels must be full-length and written in English by one author. Works must also be published in the UK between November 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021.

Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award

Contact for application deadline information.

For children's literature writers over the age of 50, the Karen and Philip Cushman Late Bloomer Award will offer $500 along with free tuition to any SCBWI conference anywhere in the world. To submit your application, you must be a current member of the site. It's awarded to mature writers who've never been published before.

Grants for Writers and Authors

Welter Micro Fiction Contest

Accepting submissions until October 19, 2021.

The Welter at University of Baltimore has a micro fiction contest. Writers can submit fiction, nonfiction, or prose-poem pieces, as long as they are 100 words or less. The current theme is "home" but the judges will consider other pieces. The grant is $100, which translates to at least $1 per word. The winning work will appear on Welter Online.

The Haven Foundation

Accepting applications on a rolling basis.

The Haven Foundation was created by revered author Stephen King after being the victim of a crippling accident. The Haven Foundation does not offer writing grants. Instead, the goal of this foundation is to offer financial assistance to artists (including writers) who are unable to work because of an accident or illness. The application is extensive and requires submission of IRS tax returns.

Final Thoughts

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more great grants available to writers. And remember that you can apply for more than one. If you’ve ever won a grant to support your writing, please let us know about your experience in the comments below.

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