You know it, your friends know it, and your parents certainly know it: you didn’t get into writing for the money. For most writers (especially those just starting out), another, more traditional job is necessary to pay the bills. You may have the passion, the inspiration, the well-thought-out-plot-with-a-twist… but you still need some cash. That’s why you need to check out writer grants.
Writer Grants and Contests
Most of us know that there are writing scholarships for college-bound students, but the funding doesn’t stop there. FundsforWriters.com compiled a list of available writer grants and residencies for writers, and we’ve categorized many of them here for easy reading. For the sake of inclusivity, only financing that does not require the writer to be a resident of one specific region is listed here, but those that had multiple states listed were included.
Sisters in Crime Eleanor Taylor Bland for emerging artists of color in the crime/mystery fiction genre. http://www.sistersincrime.org/page/EleanorTaylorBland
Pollination Project for social change-makers to “unleash goodness and expand compassion.” https://thepollinationproject.org/
Open Meadows Foundation for female writers who promote gender/racial/economic justice https://sites.google.com/site/openmeadowsfoundation/
Screenwriting Lab for aspiring screenwriters with a completed draft. http://www.filmindependent.org/programs/filmmaker-labs/screenwriting-lab/
Mapfund for artists affiliated with a nonprofit, working with original content and a live performance component. https://mapfundblog.org/eligibility/
Elizabeth George Foundation for fiction writers, poets, and emerging playwrights. http://www.elizabethgeorgeonline.com/foundation.htm
Don and Gerel Nicholl Fellowships for amateur screenwriters. https://nicholl.oscars.org/
Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation State Fellowships, for artists residing in Delaware, Maryland, or New Jersey. http://www.midatlanticarts.org/grants-programs/grants-for-artists/#state-fellowships
Speculative Literature Foundation for science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers. http://speculativeliterature.org/grants/
Fractured Atlas to help raise money for artistic projects. https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/
Creative Capital http://www.creative-capital.org/
Morland Scholarships for writers born in Africa or if both parents were born in Africa. http://www.sociolingo.com/africa-morland-writing-scholarship/
The Bush Foundation for artists who are residents of and want to contribute to the communities of Minnesota, North Dakota, or South Dakota. http://www.bushfoundation.org/grants/community-innovation-grants
Awesome Foundation for artists promoting conservation and sustainability. http://www.awesomefoundation.org/en/about_us
Washington Beltway Literary Grants for writers in DC, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia. http://www.beltwaypoetry.com/resource/grants/
Arts Writers for writers who focus on contemporary visual art. http://www.artswriters.org/
Sustainable Arts Foundation for writers with families, at least one child under 18 years old. http://www.sustainableartsfoundation.org/awards/
To see if any writer grants are available for people only in your state/region, visit fundsforwriters.com/grants or check out your state’s universities’ websites, which generally have funding information for local artists even if they are not a student (for example, Michigan State University: http://staff.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/3writing.htm).
There are also several organizations that specifically help writers facing financial distress experiencing medical issues, but do not provide funding or writer grants for writing projects.
Sometimes it is even more important to escape the grind of everyday life or just change your writing environment. Residencies give writers the opportunity to visit, explore, and draw inspiration from all kinds of settings. There are options in the mountains, national parks, on farms and ranches, in big cities, and overseas. The peace, quiet, and change of pace will both expand your imagination and focus your direction.
Caldera in the Cascade Mountains, near Sisters, Oregon. http://calderaarts.org/caldera/arts-in-residence/
Vermont Studio Center Visiting Artists and Writer’s Program in Johnson, Vermont. http://vermontstudiocenter.org/visiting-artists-writers/
Creative Access Fellowships Program in various locations for artists and writers with spinal cord injury. http://www.artistcommunities.org/creativeaccess
Lillian E. Smith Writer-in Service for writers in public service jobs or who volunteer. http://www.piedmont.edu/writer-in-service-award
Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/getinvolved/artist-in-residence.htm
Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas. https://www.nps.gov/gumo/getinvolved/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence.htm
Newnan Art Rez in Newnan, Georgia http://newnanartist.org/
Ucross in the Highland Plans of Northeast Wyoming. http://www.ucrossfoundation.org/residency-program/apply/
Hole in the Wall Collective in New Jerusalem, Pennsylvania. http://www.holesinthewallcollective.org/creativeresidency/
Art AIA in Pordenone, Italy. https://artaiaartist.wordpress.com/about/
Chulitna Lodge in Lake Clark, Alaska. http://chulitnalodge.com/artists
ACRE in Steuben, Wisconsin. http://www.acreresidency.org/
Mid-Atlantic Creative Fellowships at two locations for residents of Delaware, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, DC, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virgina. http://www.midatlanticarts.org/creative-fellowships-2/
Surel’s Place in Boise, Idaho. http://suresplace.org/
The Arctic Circle for artists and scientists to collaborate on an expeditionary sailing vessel. http://www.thearcticcircle.org
Omi Arts Center in Ghent, New York. http://www.artomi.org
Arte Studio Ginestrelle in Assisi, Italy. http://www.artestudioginestrelle.wordpress.com
Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine. http://www.nps.gov/acad/getinvolved/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence.htm
Anchorage Museum of Polar Lab for artists focused on issue impacting northern people and places. http://polarlab.anchoragemuseum.org/make-art/
Anderson Center Retreats in Red Wing, Minnesota. http://www.andersoncenter.org
18th Street in Santa Monica, California. http://18thstreet.org/
360 Xochi Quetzal in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. http://www.deborahkruger.com/1/art-residency.html
Drop Forge & Tool in Hudson, New York. http://www.dropforgeandtool.com/#/creative-residencies/
Hypatia in the Woods for female artists. Located in Shelton, Washington. http://www.hypatiainthewoods.org/
Hotel Maria Kapel in the Netherlands. http://hotelmariakapel.nl/wp/residency/
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. http://www.nps.gov/meve/getinvolved/supportyourpark/artists_in_residence.htm
Carey Institute for Global Good for non-fiction writers. http://careyinstitute.org/nonfiction-residency
Hawthorden Castle in Midlothian, Scotland. http://www.transartists.org/air/hawthornden-castle
Azule in Hot Springs, North Carolina http://www.AZULE.org
Sundress Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee. http://www.sundresspublications.com/safta/
Bush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming. http://www.brushcreekarts.org
Hambidge in Rabun Gap, Georgia. http://www.hambidge.org/application.html
Colleen Lewis Open Archive in St. George, Barbados. http://tinyurl.com/omv623q
Sleeping Bear Dunes in Empire, Michigan. http://www.nps.gov/slbe/parkmgmt/artistinresidence.htm
Agate Fossil Beds National Park in Nebraska. http://www.nps.gov/agfo/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence-program.htm
Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. http://www.nps.gov/bicy/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence-program.htm
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. http://www.nps.gov/crla/air.htm
Hub City Writers in Spartanburg, South Carolina. http://hubcity.org/writersproject/fellowships-and-scholarships/the-writers-house-residencies/
Odysseys with a host family in Costa Rica. http://www.OdysseysCostaRica.org
Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island, Washington. http://www.hedgebrook.org/writers-in-residence/
Jentel in Banner, Wyoming. http://www.jentelarts.org/
Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. http://www.shakeragalley.com/writers-residency
Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. https://www.osfashland.org/en/work-with-us/FAIR-fellowships-internships-and-more/residencies.aspx
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in West Branch, Iowa. https://www.nps.gov/heho/getinvolved/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence-program.htm
Osage Arts Community in Belle, Missouri http://osageac.org/index.php/theprogram/
Writers in the Schools in Seattle, Washington. http://www.lectures.org/wits/get_involved.php
Camac in France. http://www.camac.org/residences-dartistes/candidatures/?lang=en
Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. http://artistcommunities.org/residencies/fine-arts-work-center
That’s Not All…
The FundsforWriters.com list also includes conferences and seminars that supply financing to help writers attend. This is a valuable resource because while funding and residency options are incredible tools for any writer, engaging with people who understand your goals and can guide you along the way is priceless.
There are several crowdfunding sites acknowledged that can offer not only financing, but also give writers a chance to ‘test the water’ to see how well received their work might be among literary enthusiasts – perhaps before the blood, sweat, and tears have been shed through multiple drafts. These sites include Patreon, Crowdrise, and Writersfunding.com.
Looking for Some Work Experience?
Two programs mentioned on the compilation provide funding the more conventional way, as salaried internships for a specific company: The Disney/ABC Television Writing Program and The American Prospect. The paid internship (sanctioned by the Writer’s Guild of American) with Disney is for one year and, unsurprisingly, tailored to those who want experience with screenwriting. The American Project is a paid two-year program with a progressive political magazine in Washington, D.C., to develop the skills needed in the field of journalism.
What Are You Waiting for?
You didn’t get into writing for the money, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a starving artist. Consider some of these great funding options writer grants while you perfect your magnum opus, then take advantage of Publishing Xpress’s incredibly affordable rates to send it out into the world!