Top Writing Grants: Apply For These By 2022   

Writing grants and fellowships are a great way for authors to receive funding that covers expenses like housing and food while working on their manuscripts.

Are you looking for a writer's grant program, residency program, fellowship program, financial assistance, or funds for writers? 

Below is a guide to some of the best grant opportunities available for writers and what you should know about each grant application process. 

Creative Writing Grants

Top writing grants

National Endowment for the Arts  

The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships program provides $25,000 to eligible published writers in poetry, creative fiction, and nonfiction prose.

Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen, cannot have received more than two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship or Translation Fellowship, must have published at minimum five (5) different works in two (2) or more places 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: January 2022

Application Process: Register for grants.gov and click on the Grant Opportunity Package to complete an electronic application.

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation grants writers of short stories and other types of creative nonfiction and fiction works for up to $50,000 each. 

Eligibility: Creative writing only 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: September 2022 

Application Process: Apply online at https://www.gf.org/applicants/apply/

The Kenyon Review Fellowship 

The Kenyon College in Ohio offers a fellowship for writers of literature or creative works. The program lasts approximately two (2) years and fellows are provided with a yearly salary with benefits. Fellows must teach at least one semester of English every year during the program and will work on multiple projects for the Kenyon Review. 

Eligibility:  Must have undergraduate teaching experience 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: Fall 2022 

Application Process: Send an email to inquire about applications at fellowships@kenyonreview.org

Grants for People of Color 

Writing grants
This grant is designed to help provide funds for writers who may not otherwise be able to obtain them

Speculative Literature Foundation Diverse Writers Grant  

The Speculative Literature Foundation Diverse Writers Grant provides people of color and writers in other minority groups with a $500 stipend. This grant is designed to help provide funds for writers who may not otherwise be able to obtain them.

Eligibility: Applicant must belong to a minority group and must be working in the genre of speculative literature  

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: July 2022 

Application Process: Apply online at https://speculativeliterature.org/grants/slf-diverse-writers-and-diverse-worlds-grants/ with a cover letter and writing sample 

Earnest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence 

People of color in the literary arts can apply for the Earnest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. This grant can help writers in minority groups attain professional development and help with their creative writing endeavors.

Eligibility: Submitted works must be published by an African-American author 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: Unknown 

Application Process: Print the registration form at https://ernestjgainesaward.org/literary-award-criteria-registration and mail 8 copies to the Earnest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.  

Sustainable Arts Foundation 

The Sustainable Arts Foundation awards $5,000 to individual artists and writers who have children. Twenty (20) winners are announced annually. Half of all applicants awarded the stipend are people of color. Awards are issued to writers in the niches of illustrated children's books, fiction, young adult fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and graphic novels. 

Eligibility: Must have at minimum one child under 18. In some cases, writers with older children may be eligible if they have a disability or special needs. 

Application Fee: $20

Application Deadline: February 2022 

Application Process: Visit https://apply.sustainableartsfoundation.org/

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Emerging Voices Grant  

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) provides grants to emerging writers in children's literature who belong to minority ethnic groups. 

Eligibility: Applicants must be writers or writer-illustrators over 18 years of age in the children's book genre and belong to one or more minority ethnic groups 

Application Fee: Unknown 

Application Deadline: November 15, 2021 

Application Process: Create an account and apply online at https://www.scbwi.org/awards/grants/on-the-verge-emerging-voices-grant/ with an autobiographical statement of 250 words or less, a statement of how your work will impact children in underprivileged communities, and your manuscript

Grants for Children's Literature

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)  

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) offers financial assistance to children's content creators. Awards offered include the Manuscript Awards, Emerging Voices Award, Student Writer Scholarship, Work-in-Progress Grants, the Karen Cushman Late Bloomer Award, and the SCBWI PJ Library Jewish Stories Award. Published authors can apply for the Spark Award, the Magazine Merit Award, the Martha Weston Grant, and more.  

Eligibility: Varies 

Application Fee: Varies 

Application Deadline: Varies 

Application Process: Apply online at https://www.scbwi.org/awards-and-grants/

Grants for Nonfiction Writers 

Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant 

Nonfiction writers can receive $40,000 from the Whiting Foundation for creative nonfiction works. This substantial stipend is intended to encourage writers to create new, imaginative nonfiction works that require deep research and add value to American culture. 

Eligibility: Nonfiction writers only 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: February 2022

Application Process: Applicants must submit the following: the initial publication proposal, up to 25,000 words of the original manuscript draft, a statement of how the funds will be utilized, a dated and signed publishing contract, an up-to-date resume, a list of any other financial assistance, artist fellowships, writing grants, and other funds issued to the applicant 

Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program from Mother Jones

The Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program from Mother Jones allows investigative journalists to expand their writing skills and learn other critical capabilities such as creating breaking news articles, verifying the accuracy of news information before reporting, and how to become adept at creating nonprofit news content. 

Mother Jones is a widely popular nonprofit news source where fellows will work on site. The stipend is $3,250 monthly and goes to full-time journalist fellows.

Eligibility: Open to journalists who are available for full-time work 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: November 2021

Application Process: Mail a cover letter and resume to fellowships@motherjones.com, along with two references

Young Adult Writing Grants 

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Emerging Voices Grant  

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) provides grants to emerging writers in children's literature. 

Eligibility: Applicants must be writers or writer-illustrators in the children's book genre 

Application Fee: Unknown 

Application Deadline: November 15, 2021 

Application Process: Create an account and apply online at https://www.scbwi.org/awards/grants/on-the-verge-emerging-voices-grant/ with an autobiographical statement of 250 words or less, a statement of how your work will impact children in underprivileged communities, and your manuscript

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Student Writer Scholarship  

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) offers grants to full-time college students in creative writing or English degree programs. 

Eligibility: Applicants over 18 years of age must be enrolled in a full-time degree program related to the literary arts. 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: 2022

Application Process: Materials needed include a cover letter, a five (5) page sample of your manuscript, and a copy of the applicant's student identification card. Applications are submitted via email to sarahdiamond@scbwi.org

Grants for Freelance Writers 

Writers Emergency Assistance Fund  

The American Society of Journalists and Authors awards the Writers Emergency Assistance Fund to help freelance writers who are experiencing unprecedented financial challenges due to illness or natural disaster. The emergency fund has given writers a total of $400,000 since its inception in 1982. 

Eligibility: Applicants must: qualify for membership to the American Society of Journalists and Authors even if they do not choose to have one and have at least 5 published articles and one book published by a national publisher 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: Unknown 

Application Process: Apply online at https://www.asja.org/For-Writers/Writers-Emergency-Assistance-Fund/WEAF-Online-Application

Applicants must have: 

  • Examples of published works, such as book covers or copies of magazine articles 
  • A CV or biography 
  • A completed W-9 tax form 
  • The first two pages of their IRS 1040 
  • A copy of their IRS Schedule C
  • A copy of the most recent bank statement from all accounts 
  • Copies of bills, medical expenses, and other financial obligations 
  • Documentation of illness or disability if applicable 
  • Documentation of natural disaster if applicable 

Speculative Literature Foundation Working Writers Grant 

Starting in 2013, the Speculative Literature Foundation has offered the Working Writers Grant to content creators who belong to the working class or who are homeless or in poverty. Financial assistance is awarded in the amount of $1,000 to individuals who meet eligibility guidelines. 

Eligibility: Applicants must have a background of low income and work in the genre of speculative literature 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: September 2022 

Application Process: Apply online at https://speculativeliterature.org/grants/the-slf-working-class-grant/ with a cover letter and a writing sample

Grants for Short Stories 

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation grants writers of short stories and other types of creative nonfiction and fiction works for up to $50,000 each. 

Eligibility: Creative writing only 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: September 2022 

Application Process: Apply online at https://www.gf.org/applicants/apply/

Grants for Emerging Writers 

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Emerging Voices Grant  

The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) provides grants to emerging writers in children's literature. 

Eligibility: Applicants must be writers or writer-illustrators over 18 years of age in the children's book genre 

Application Fee: Unknown 

Application Deadline: November 15, 2021 

Application Process: Create an account and apply online at https://www.scbwi.org/awards/grants/on-the-verge-emerging-voices-grant/ with an autobiographical statement of 250 words or less, a statement of how your work will impact children in underprivileged communities, and your manuscript

Steinbeck Fellow Program at San Jose University, California

The Steinbeck Fellow Program at San Jose State University gives emerging writers the opportunity to work on their manuscripts or pursue a writing project while attending SJSU. 

Eligibility: Emerging writers from any racial background and of any age 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: January 2022 

Application Process: Apply online at https://steinbeck.submittable.com/submit

Grants for Older Writers 

Speculative Literature Foundation Older Writers Grant 

Starting in 2004, the Speculative Literature Foundation has offered an Older Writers Grant of $1,000 to aging content creators. 

Eligibility: Grant program applicants are considered on a case by case basis 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: May 2022 

Application Process: Apply online at https://speculativeliterature.org/grants/slf-older-writers-grant/ with a cover letter and a speculative literature writing sample 

Sustainable Arts Foundation 

The Sustainable Arts Foundation awards $5,000 to individual artists and writers who have children. Twenty (20) winners are announced annually. Half of all applicants awarded the stipend are people of color. Awards are issued to writers in the niches of illustrated children's books, fiction, young adult fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and graphic novels. 

Eligibility: Must have at minimum one child under 18. In some cases, writers with older children may be eligible if they have a disability or special needs. 

Application Fee: $20

Application Deadline: February 2022 

Application Process: Visit https://apply.sustainableartsfoundation.org/

Creative Nonfiction Grants 

National Endowment for the Arts  

The National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships program provides $25,000 to eligible published writers in poetry, creative fiction, and nonfiction prose.

Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen, cannot have received more than two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship or Translation Fellowship, must have published at minimum five (5) different works in two (2) or more places 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: January 2022

Application Process: Register for grants.gov and click on the Grant Opportunity Package to complete an electronic application.

Other Writing Grants 

Awesome Foundation Grant 

The Awesome Foundation Grant is a $1,000 stipend offered to individual artists and project starters in a wide variety of industries. Nearly $5.5M has been awarded to almost 6,000 grantees since 2009. Awards are issued monthly. 

Eligibility: Must have a brilliant idea for a project, article, artwork, etc. 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: N/A

Application Process: Apply online at https://www.awesomefoundation.org/en/submissions/new

PEN America Writers Emergency Fund 

The PEN America Writers Emergency Fund offers temporary emergency funding for writers facing economic challenges. Although there are over 100 PEN America locations worldwide, its headquarters are in New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. Famous PEN America writers include Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Anne Tyler, and more. 

Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: Every other month on the 1st of the month 

Application Process: Apply online at https://pen.org/us-writers-aid-initiative/

Speculative Literature Foundation Working Writers Grant 

Starting in 2013, the Speculative Literature Foundation has offered the Working Writers Grant to content creators who belong to the working class or who are homeless or in poverty. Financial assistance is awarded in the amount of $1,000 to individuals who meet eligibility guidelines. 

Eligibility: Applicants must have a background of low income and work in the genre of speculative literature 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: September 2022 

Application Process: Apply online at https://speculativeliterature.org/grants/the-slf-working-class-grant/ with a cover letter and a writing sample

Writing Fellowships

Steinbeck Fellow Program at San Jose University, California

The Steinbeck Fellow Program at San Jose State University gives emerging writers the opportunity to work on their manuscripts or pursue a writing project while attending SJSU. 

Eligibility: Emerging writers from any racial background and of any age 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: January 2022 

Application Process: Apply online at https://steinbeck.submittable.com/submit

Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program from Mother Jones

The Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program from Mother Jones allows investigative journalists to expand their writing skills and learn other critical capabilities such as creating breaking news articles, verifying the accuracy of news information before reporting, and how to become adept at creating nonprofit news content. 

Mother Jones is a widely popular nonprofit news source where fellows will work on site. The stipend is $3,250 monthly and goes to full-time journalist fellows.  

Eligibility: Open to journalists who are available for full-time work 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: November 2021

Application Process: Mail a cover letter and resume to fellowships@motherjones.com, along with two references

Provincetown Fine Arts Center Fellowship

The Provincetown Fine Arts Center Fellowship offers a small monthly stipend of $750 and seven (7) months of training in the artistic disciplines in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Housing is also provided to fellows. 

Eligibility:  Must live in Provincetown, Massachusetts during the fellowship program 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: Fall 2021 

Application Process: Apply online at http://web.fawc.org/program/apply/

The Kenyon Review Fellowship 

The Kenyon College in Ohio offers a fellowship for writers of literature or creative works. The program lasts approximately two (2) years and fellows are provided with a yearly salary with benefits. Fellows must teach at least one semester of English every year during the program and will work on multiple projects for the Kenyon Review. 

Eligibility:  Must have undergraduate teaching experience 

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: Fall 2022 

Application Process: Send an email to inquire about applications at fellowships@kenyonreview.org

FAQ About Writers Grants 

What is the difference between a writer's grant and writing fellowships? 

A writer's grant is funding sent directly to an author or writer to provide them with financial assistance during or after the writing process. Writing fellowships, on the other hand, tend to provide writers with both funding and space in which to work, such as an office building. 

What is the difference between writing fellowships and a residency program?

Writing fellowships are typically done after a residency program has been completed. A residency program initially offers more specialized training in an author's chosen field, while writing fellowships are usually even more narrowed down. 

Can I get a writing grant for my first book? 

Writers publishing their first book may be able to get a writing grant depending on the genre of literary arts they're in, the grant, and whether or not they belong to a particular minority group. 

Where can I find information about grants by area? 

Some writing grants are awarded only to recipients in certain geographical locations. For example, Leeway Foundation grants are awarded only to female and trans applicants in the greater Philadelphia area. The Five Wings Arts Council awards writing project grants in Minnesota, specifically in Cass, Crow Wing, Todd, Morrison, or Wadena Counties

Search for the writer's grant application you want by state by just simply typing in your location and the keyword “writers grants” or “creative writing grants” along with your state or city. For example, this might look like “writers grants Delaware,” “writers grants in Delaware,” “creative writing grants in new york city,” or “literary arts grants Los Angeles.” 

How many grant opportunities can grantees secure for themselves? 

Whether or not grantees can apply for multiple grant opportunities depends largely on the eligibility and application guidelines of each individual grant program. 

Why are there specific writing grants for people of color? 

Traditionally, people of color, minorities, indigenous people, and other BIPOC community members have had a significant disadvantage in the publishing arena due to a wide variety of factors including ingrained systemic racism and financial hardship. 

White writers generally do not face the same type of discrimination and are usually published more frequently than minority authors. Writing grants that only allow applicants of minority offer a more even playing field for people of color. 

Can I get a writing grant if I work in the visual arts?

Some writing grants are open to both authors of written and photographic works. Check the eligibility guidelines of the grant you are interested in to determine if it accepts individuals in the visual arts field. 

How can I create the best writing sample for my grant application? 

Sometimes a grant application will require a writing sample from an author's already published works, or they may accept unpublished writing samples from emerging writers who haven't been published before. 

First, ensure you follow the grant application instructions and provide a sample that best fits the description of the desired text. Edit and then edit some more until you've polished the writing sample to perfection to avoid errors that could cause your application to be declined.

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