Grants for writers

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

Grants 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.


Grants 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.

The New York Foundation for the Arts hosts NYFA Source, a comprehensive directory for awards, services and publications for artists of all kinds. Those looking for funding opportunities should search under awards.

Artist and writer Mira Bartok curates Mira’s List, a free Facebook page where people in the arts can find up-to-date information, resources and deadlines for grants, fellowships and international residencies. As Mira says, “I lead you to the water, you do the rest.”


Writing residencies and retreats

This fabulous resource from the Alliance of Artists’ Residencies is a one-stop shop offering a searchable directory as well as tips on getting funding, and a worksheet to help you calculate your costs in attending a residency (even free ones aren’t 100% free when you factor in things like travel and the opportunity costs of .

This directory from AWP, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, allows you to search for conferences, residencies, retreats and writers festivals by region all over the world.

The website of Poets & Writers magazine includes a topic page for writers looking for workshops, conferences and retreats, as well as this excellent database.

Also 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.


6 Replies to “Grants for writers”

  1. Greetings Virginia,
    I am an Australian woman- poet/writer/artist/writer of Australian bush narrative & events in my poetry in Australia. While I am a published poet I am looking for a publisher/agent.
    I think your website is very helpful to would-be Australian authors & yes I need to apply for a grant.
    If you are interested in viewing one of my childrens narratives & water colours,on the Australian Bush flora & fauna let me know. Or can help.
    Thanks for your time & this website,

    1. Hello Edwina,
      Thanks for reading and commenting. If you’d like to submit your work then please consult my guidelines on the Submissions page (under the Contact menu tab above). Because of the volume of inquiries I receive I must streamline the process for authors making submissions.
      Thanks for your understanding, and good luck with your writing. –Virginia

  2. I have a client who is searching for funding to publish a book in relation to the Western Australian Ballet Company from 1953 to 1973. Can you please HELP by pointing me in the right direction in Australia for help. She has tried a few places, one has requested the copyright of the book, the others don’t support individuals only community GROUPS. Her aim is to recoup her expenses and donate the rest of the funds to the ballet madam’s estate.

    1. Hi Penelope. This sounds like a project for which you would need to pool donations from interested funders in WA who are passionate about the WA Ballet. Your client could do that privately or more publicly through an Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign. With the self-publishing technology available today, a niche book like this one could be produced reasonably cheaply and sold in a limited edition to those private supporters. If you are able to collaborate with the WA Ballet in some kind of joint venture that would be preferable — your client would gain access to their supporters, and the Ballet would have some input into the project and would therefore have a vested interest in how sophisticated its production values. Good luck — Virginia

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