Funding for Writers
Other Funding Opportunities
Can your Local Education Authority help you?
Local Education Authorities (LEAs) are not responsible for administering grants to authors to help them complete a work-in-progress or to help to cover the costs of running literary events – that’s the work of Literature Wales through its Bursaries and Writers on Tour Schemes. Neither do LEAs subsidise the publication of books in Wales, whether published by an established independent publisher or self-published.
Professional Development: courses and ad hoc workshops
LEAs offer writers professional development opportunities through termly courses and ad hoc workshops run at local colleges and community centres throughout Wales, most of which are inexpensive and, in some cases, depending on your circumstances, may be completely free. For further details on courses run by LEAs and how to find out what’s going on in your area click here.
Professional Development: degrees and funding
LEAs are no longer responsible for administering grants to individuals seeking to pursue a degree course in Wales. If you are currently resident in Wales and are contemplating study for a creative writing degree at a higher education institution in Wales visit Student Finance Wales for details on tuition fees and to find out about the grants you may be eligible for. In addition, some universities offer a limited amount of modest bursaries to help cover the cost of studies or materials.
However, while LEAs do not administer grants, many do administer charitable trust funds available to those seeking to pursue degree study. Trust funds may be restricted by place of birth or residence, by age, or sometimes by a combination of particulars. Competition is extremely high for trust fund grants and very often eligibility is limited to those seeking to undertake more traditionally ‘academic’ subjects. You should contact your LEA for details on trust funds which they currently administer.
For more information on studying for a creative writing degree click here.
Creative Wales Awards
Creative Wales Awards are funded by the National Lottery and administered by the Arts Council of Wales, celebrating the talents of Wales’s very best individual artists, including creative writers. Sums of up to £25,000 are available to enable artists currently resident in Wales to take time out, and drive their work into new and exciting territory. The Creative Wales Awards are reserved for those who have already accumulated a distinguished and substantial body of work and are therefore not available to emergent or only recently established authors. Emergent writers are advised to apply to the Academi Bursaries Scheme, which offers grants of up to £10,000 to both new and established authors to enable them to buy time to develop a major creative work.
For more information on the Academi Bursaries Scheme click here.
For more information on the Creative Wales Awards click here.
Creative Wales Ambassador Awards
In November 2006 the Wales Arts Review outlined proposals to make Beacon Awards to companies, organisations and artists in Wales in recognition of excellence and best practice in their field. The Creative Wales Ambassadors Awards is the Arts Council of Wales’s Beacon scheme for artists and is an extension of its existing support structure for individuals, which currently ranges from set up grants to Creative Wales awards.
The aim of the Creative Wales Ambassadors Awards is:
• to recognise significant individual achievement in the arts
• to raise the profile of Welsh culture outside of Wales
• to provide financial support to enable the artist to develop a
• programme of work
Creative Wales Ambassadors is open to artists working in any area of professional arts practice.
Guidelines are now available on the Creative Wales Ambassador awards. For more information and to download the guidelines, visit here.
Society of Authors grants and prizes
The Society of Authors is the trade union of professional writers in the UK. Alongside its ground-breaking campaigning work for authors’ rights, its role in representing the interests of individual writers in disputes and in information provision, the Society of Authors is also responsible for annually administering a number of awards and prizes to authors in the UK.
Almost all of the Society’s prizes are awarded on the merit of a published work or works, and entry is by publisher only. However, for talented young poets, of particular interest are the Eric Gregory Awards, which recognise the potential of outstanding British poets under 30. Poets may be previously published or unpublished, and awards are judged on the merit of a short manuscript, which may be published or unpublished. Sums awarded take into account accomplishment, financial need and, crucially, how the money will be used to drive forward the poet’s creative and professional development.
In addition to its annual awards and prizes, the Society also administers the Authors’ Foundation grants, which can help writers to cover costs for research, travel or associated expenditure through the Authors’ Foundation. Writers must either be commissioned to write a full-length work of fiction, poetry or non-fiction or have had at least one book published by a commercial publisher and likely to have a second also published by a commercial publisher in the UK.
A select number of grants may also be available to writers working in specific genres and whose planned works cover specific subject matter.
For more information on the Authors’ Foundation and other charitable grants administered by the Society of Authors, including benevolent funds available to professional writers, click here.
Information on other Awards
All writers should get hold of a good writers’ handbook. The two leaders in the market in the UK are The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and the Macmillan Writer’s Handbook. Both books provide invaluable, up-to-date listings for UK publishers and magazines, and also carry highly readable and entertaining essays by leading figures in literature and the publishing industry. Packed with advice, warnings and presenting a clear picture of the current publishing scene in the UK, as well as international trends, no writer of serious intent can get by without them. For both new and established writers seeking financial support with their writing and career development, the handbooks also include comprehensive listings of current prizes, trusts and awards of interest. The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and the Macmillan Writer’s Handbook are revised annually and writers are strongly advised to invest in a new copy every year.
In addition, Literature Wales carries details of the latest news and information of interest to writers, including listings of literary prizes, awards or other schemes on its Opportunities for Writers page. Visit the website regularly and subscribe to our e-newsletter.