Grants for writers to finish projects can really come in handy when the money runs out before the ideas do. These grants can help you bridge the financial gap between doing the writing and getting your work published and are a lifesaver for many writers, who wouldn't be able to get their words on paper if they had to keep a day job on the go as well.
Grants for Writers to Finish Projects - Really?
In a word - yes! It may come as a surprise to many, but there are organizations out there that provide financial support to both fiction and non-fiction writers. These grants are awarded for a number of different reasons. Some aid packages are tailored towards covering the cost of researching a topic for a book, some are designed to simply cover living expenses for the author so they're free to write, and some are a combination of the two. Other grants help writers do things like travel to meet potential publishers or interview subjects or market their own work. The trick is matching the grant to the type of support you need.
If you're elbow deep in a writing project that your bank account is telling you that you might not be able to finish, this might all sound a little too good to be true. Well, you're partially right. These grants are available, and you may be able to qualify for one. There are, however, some things you should keep in mind before you start your funding hunt:
- Where you live can have a big impact on the availability of funding for writers. For instance, in the UK, government funded arts councils actively invest in writing projects in their communities, providing relatively generous aid packages. These groups complement private donors. In the US, there is little to no government funding available, so nearly all grants come from private organizations - meaning there are simply fewer funding sources.
- Getting funding to finish a project is more difficult than getting funding to start a new one, especially if you have already received a grant from another source to get you started.
- When it comes to private funding for writers, most organizations have strict guidelines about the kind of writing they will support. They are often looking for writers to cover certain topics, or in some cases, adhere to certain stylistic guidelines. Sometimes, this can extend to restricting the kinds of language you use or encouraging you to put forth a certain position on an issue.
That being said, grants for writers to finish projects are almost always a win-win for everyone involved. If you have a writing project that you need financial support to wrap up, it is well worth investing some time in researching the different grants that are available and seeing if there is one that suits you.
Grants for Writers to Finish Projects - Where to Look
Do you want to investigate the different grant opportunities that might be right for you? These websites can help:
- Funds for Writers - Funds for Writers has two different avenues of information for site visitors - the tips they give away for free, and the tips you have to pay to get, although the subscription fee for a year is low. A weekly newsletter gives you leads on grants plus info on markets.
- Poetry and Writers - Poetry and Writers have a bi-monthly newsletter that collects information about all of the grants, markets and writing contests on the go at any given time, to save you from having to search each on individually.
- National Endownment for the Arts - For US readers, the National Endowment for the Arts does offer literary grants. Although the grants offered through NEA are difficult to get, if you are undertaking a project that requires extensive research and that has some kind of far reaching social and cultural context, they are worth investigating.
These websites are the most popular clearinghouse sites for writing grants, but there are literally millions of others that promise to help writers find money. A word of warning as you navigate the world of grants - there are many places that promise to "sell" you information about applying for grants. You should proceed with caution as many are simply scams. You should be able to find almost everything you need either for free or for a very modest fee. Check out some online reviews before you hand you money over to any company for grant help.