Top Writer’s Grants to Apply for In 2023: 15 Writing Grants That Will Help You Achieve Your Dreams

Writing grants and fellowships are an excellent way for authors to receive funding that covers expenses like housing and food while working on their manuscripts, ranging from just a few hundred dollars to $40,000 or more.

Grants can be an excellent way for writers to achieve their goals, complete ambitious projects, and advance their careers. Many grants offer cash prizes that cover the costs of entire projects, while others offer an all-paid residency to allow writers to complete their work without worrying about bills.

Are you looking for a writer’s grant program, residency program, fellowship program, financial assistance, or funds for writers? Below is our guide to the best grant opportunities for writers and what you should know about each grant application process.

Creative Writing Grants

Top writing grants

1. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: September 30, 2023 

Application Process: Apply online at 

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation grants writers of short stories and other types of creative nonfiction and fiction works up to $50,000 each. This writing grant is only available for individual artists who write creative fiction. This includes but is not limited to, short stories, children’s literature, and young adult fiction.

2. Speculative Literature Foundation Diverse Writers Grant

Speculative Literature Foundation The Working Class Writers Grant
This grant is designed to help provide funds for writers who may not otherwise be able to obtain them

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: July 31, 2023 

Application Process: Apply online at The 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. Applicants must belong to a minority group and work in the speculative literature genre. Apply on the site with a cover letter and writing sample to qualify for this grant.

3. Earnest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

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

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: October 15, 2023

Application Process: Print the registration form from the site and mail eight copies to the 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. This grant only accepts works published by an African-American author

4. Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Emerging Voices Grant

Application Fee: Unknown 

Application Deadline: July 30, 2023

Application Process: Create an account and apply online at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) 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

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. 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. 

5. Speculative Literature Foundation The Working Class Writers Grant

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: September 30, 2023 

Application Process: Apply online at Speculative Literature Foundation The Working Class 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. Applicants must have a background of low income and work in the genre of speculative literature. 

6. Awesome Foundation Grant 

Awesome Foundation Grant
The Awesome Foundation Grant is a $1,000 stipend offered to individual artists and project starters in various industries

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: Open all year

Application Process: Apply online at Awesome Foundation Grant 

The Awesome Foundation Grant is a $1,000 stipend offered to individual artists and project starters in various industries. Nearly $5.5M has been awarded to almost 6,000 grantees since 2009. Awards are issued monthly. To be eligible to apply, writers must have a brilliant idea for a project, article, artwork, etc. 

7. PEN America Writers Emergency Fund

PEN America Writers Emergency Fund
The PEN America Writers Emergency Fund offers temporary emergency funding for writers facing economic challenges

Application Fee: $0

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

Application Process: Apply online at 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. Applicants must be U.S. citizens to qualify for eligibility. 

8. The Louisiana Project Grants

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: June 30, 2023

Application Process: Read the guidelines available online and apply on the LDOA grant application system.

The Louisiana Project Grants are available to writers and artists across Louisiana. This grant is open to individual artists, nonprofit arts organizations, public and private schools, school boards, colleges, universities, and local government agencies. The grant awards range from $2,500 – $7000. However, the applicants must demonstrate a cash match and commitment to the projects.

9. Maine Fellowship In Literary Arts

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: June 30, 2023

Application Process: Read the guidelines available online and apply through their online portal.

Maine Artist Fellowship awards writers who showcase artistic excellence within the Maine area. This fellowship is a merit-based award that aims to advance the career of talented writers. The application must include documented evidence of the writer’s work and supporting materials. This fellowship is also open to scriptwriters and those who write for the stage or screen within the performing arts fellowship category. The awards range in value to a maximum of $5,000.

10. Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency

Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency
Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency is a non-money-based grant where the winning applicants receive an all-paid residency rather than a cash prize

Application Fee: $30

Application Deadline: September 1, 2023

Application Process: Read the guidelines available online and apply through their online portal.

Corsicana Artist and Writer Residency is a non-money-based grant where the winning applicants receive an all-paid residency rather than a cash prize. The residence included fully-funded studio housing accommodations, access to workshops, and collaborative classes. Artists and writers are then asked to hold a weekly slideshow based on their work. The residency lasts two months per term, from January 9 – February 28, March 6 – May 2, and October 16 – December 12.

11. Art Omi: Writers

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: Applications open from August 15 – October 15, 2023.

Application Process: Read the guidelines available online and apply through their online portal.

Art Omi: Writers, formerly Ledig House, host authors and translators for a two-week program over the spring and fall. This residency grant is free for successful applicants. The purpose of this residency is to allow writers to hone their craft and create work without the stress of everyday life and paying bills. Applications must include a CV of work history, a work statement, and a writing sample showcasing the writer’s talents.

12. From Growth to Well Being Think Fund

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: July 31, 2023

Application Process: Read the guidelines available online and apply through their online portal.

This grant seeks experts, researchers, writers, and creatives who give a fresh perspective on the world. The From Growth to Well Being Think Fund offers small grants to develop proposals, recommendations, and ideas that aim to move the conversation on inclusive economic transformation forward.

13. Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: August 1, 2023

Application Process: Read the guidelines available online and apply through their online portal.

The Leeway Foundation Art and Change grant awards up to $2,500 to fund art for social change by women, trans, and/or gender nonconforming artists. This grant aims to encourage self-expression and activism for social change that will positively impact communities. Creating social change must be integral to the art created, and the goals must be woven throughout the work. Applicants are encouraged to complete the form disclosing their required grant funds to complete the project. Winners will be awarded the amount that the administrators find to be fair.

14. Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) Awards

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: June 23, 2023

Application Process: Read the guidelines available online and apply through their online portal.

The Grants for Artists’ Progress (GAP) offer a project-based grant of $1,500 for artists working across Washington State. In 2023, the Artist Trust will support artists who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) residing in King County. This grant aims to award artistic excellence and provide artists with the funds required to achieve their vision. Applicants must have clarity and vision on this project and showcase the potential progress and impact the award would have on their lives.

15. ArtsKC Inspiration Grants

Application Fee: $0

Application Deadline: August 30, 2023

Application Process: Read the guidelines available online and apply through their online portal.

ArtsKC Inspiration Grants are project grants available for individual artists or small groups of artists. The aim of this grant is to support and encourage ambitious projects of risk, growth, and change. The grant is open to writers who work within the disciplines of theatre, poetry, and film. ArtsKC offers grants of up to $2,500 to several applicants. Applicants must be over 18 years of age and live in the five-county Kansas City metropolitan area.

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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  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.