Grants for Book Writers

Mary Gormandy White
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Are you interested in learning about grants for book writers? There are a number of foundations and other charitable organizations that offer this type of funding for writers. However, competition for such awards can be quite stiff and getting such an award is not an easy endeavor. If you want to try to obtain this type of funding, you'll need to be diligent in looking for grant programs that are good fits for your work and be prepared to draft and submit detailed grant application forms and supporting materials.

Examples of Grants for Book Writers

Organizations that fund grants for book writers offer funding for a specific purpose. Typically, book grant programs are tied to specific foundation, government, or charitable organization programs with established criteria, or are based on project specific funding to support the a particular type of literature.

  • Lannan Literary Grants - The Lannan Foundation has a literary program. Each year, the foundation funds a variety of grant and fellowship awards. The organization focuses on supporting select English language prose and poetry that promotes an enhanced understanding of the world.
  • National Endowment for the Arts - The National Endowment for the Arts funds a number of literary awards programs, including creating writing fellowships of up to $25,000 for individuals with demonstrated talent in prose and poetry.

Where to Find Grant Opportunities for Book Writing

  • Funds For Writers publishes a newsletter that contains information about grant opportunities and other sources of funding, such as contests, freelance opportunities, and details about publishers and agents, for writers. There is a fee to subscribe to the main newsletter, but you can sign up for a small writing markets newsletter at no cost.
  • Grants.gov - If you feel there might be government funding opportunities for the type of book you want to write, consider registering for this database. You'll be able to search available funding opportunities from a variety of federal agencies from one convenient website. Keep in mind that the majority of the published funding opportunities will not be for book writing grants, but this site may be your best resource for learning about any book funding opportunities that are offered through the government.
  • Proof Positive has information about a variety of grant and fellowship opportunities for writers.

Watch Out for Scams

When searching for grants to help fund your writing, it's important to keep in mind that there are many scam artists seeking to take advantage of people who are looking for this type of funding. There is typically no fee to apply for a legitimate grant opportunity, so beware of any person or organization that charges a fee for access to grant applications. One of the most widespread scams is based on charging a fee to find out about government grant opportunities. There are no "secret" government grants that you can only find out about if you purchase a particular book or publication. Government agencies publish grant opportunities on their websites and on grants.gov as they become available, so you can find out about available funding on your own if you're willing to spend time researching available opportunities.

Use common sense when searching for grants for book writers. To protect yourself, keep these tips in mind:

  • If something seems too good to be true, there's a good chance that it's a scam.
  • If you have to spend money to apply for a so-called grant, it's likely that the program is not legitimate.
  • Grant applications are very detailed and involved, so beware of any quick-fix promises of grant funding.
  • There's no such thing as a free ride. If you are awarded a grant to write or finish a book, there will be terms and conditions that you'll have to honor in order to get, or keep, the money.

Applying for Grant Funding

If you do find a grant program that seems to be a good fit for you and the project you want to complete, pay attention to details when filling out the application. The grant awards process is highly competitive, so you will want to make sure that your application stands out to the funding agency.Before you start writing the application, read the qualifications and instructions very carefully. Many grant applications are discarded early in the process because they are submitted by ineligible individuals or organizations, are incomplete, or are not prepared in compliance with the submission guidelines.

Follow the guidelines exactly as they are written. Do not leave any requested information out of your application packet, and do not include items not requested. Make sure the document is properly formatted, and proofread it carefully. Submit it on or before the deadline. Following these steps won't guarantee that you'll get funding, but can keep you from being eliminated from consideration on a technicality.

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Grants for Book Writers