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Grants for writers

This page provides links to available grants in Australia and the USA, and relevant resources for writers seeking funding.

Having worked in and around book publishing and the philanthropic sector for quite a while, it makes sense to share my knowledge of grant-seeking, grant-writing and grant-receiving to help other writers.

If you have a specific question, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll try to help.

For Australian writers:

The State funding bodies are a great place to start: Arts NSWArts QLDArts VicArts TasmaniaArts NTArts WAArts SA

Nationally, The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s arts funding body. It awards grants in 20 literary categories. Spend the time on the Literature main page to get acquainted with what’s available for writers at every stage of their career. Here is their literature grants search page.

Below is a helpful brief video in which Australia Council Literature Board Program Officer Joanne Simpson explains three things you need to know about applying for a grant from the Literature Board:

The Churchill Fellowship awards overseas study trips for individuals seeking to conduct research away from their home country that has some wider community benefit. Find out if you’re eligible here (Australia) and here (USA).

Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) makes grants a few times each year from its Cultural Fund, whose coffers are filled with 1% of CAL’s annual revenue.

Philanthropy Australia is the Australian equivalent of the US Foundation Center (below). While it states that private grants to individuals are very limited in Australia, it nevertheless provides this excellent list of places to look for a small pot of gold.


For US writers:

The Foundation Center is one of the world’s leading information sources about grants. It has a fabulous online directory that is free to access if you happen to live in New York and can visit the Center’s headquarters on 5th Avenue. Visiting via the internet, individuals can pay a small fee (around $10) for one month’s searching of the comprehensive Foundation Grants to Individuals Online Directory.

The Poets & Writers web-resource Top Ten Topics for Writers has a bounty of practical advice covering topics ranging from copyright and getting an agent, to publishing and promoting your book, as well as exhaustive lists of writers conferences, creative writing contests, MFA programs and literary journals.

Mira’s List – a comprehensive listing of grant opportunities for creative types across the spectrum, not only writers. As Mira says, “I lead you to the water, you do the rest.”


The New York Foundation for the Arts


Artist residencies
Looking beyond the borders of any one country is res artis, the worldwide network of artist residencies. The database represents more than 400 centers and organisations in over 70 countries. You can search by country, duration of residency, discipline (111 in Literature alone), whether or not artists’ expenses are paid, and whether or not companions are allowed.


detailed list of 2012 events from the membership organization Writers’ Conferences and Centers.