Grants for Writers

By Nanci M. Pattenden, Author.

Many writers, both professional and newbie, may not be aware there is free money available to them.

Well, almost free. You are required to claim any grant you’ve received when you do your taxes. Most of these grants are not easy to get, but with a little practice and persistence you might win one or two. The two main places for writers and publishers to find grants are the Ontario Arts Council ( and the Canada Council for the Arts ( Keep in mind you need to set up your profile 30 days prior to applying.

The grants available aren’t just limited to writing. Some of them cover travel and research, two very costly items. And if you’re a small publisher or belong to an organization that puts on events, etc., there are grants that cover you too. Some of the grants available are:

­Ontario Arts Council:

1.  Craft Projects

The program supports craft-based practices through grants to Ontario-based artists, curators, ad hoc groups/collectives and organizations. Part of what this grant covers include:

  • Short-term study, training, workshops or master classes
  • Exhibitions, shows, and festivals
  • Attendance at an important conference or other professional opportunity

2.  Literary Creation Projects:

There are two categories:

  • Creation of literary works for publication
  • Creation and/or recording of literary works for performance

3.  Publishing Organizations: Operating (Book Publishers):

There are two categories:

  • Book publishers: Organizations that publish books in print or digital format as their primary activity. Some publishers may publish magazines or journals as a secondary activity.
  • Magazine publishers: Organizations that publish magazines in print or digital format as their primary activity. Some publishers may publish books as a secondary activity.

Canada Council for the Arts

1.  Research and Creation

  • Canadian artists, artistic groups and arts organizations can apply to develop and make creative works. Grants provide support for creative research, creation and project development.

2.  Concept to Realization

  • Supports the full creative cycle – from the initial idea through to presentation. Canadian artists, artistic groups, and arts organizations can apply to create projects intended for presentation.

3.  Arts Abroad:

  • Travel
  • Representation and Promotion
  • Translation

4.  Arts Across Canada

  • Grants support festivals and presenters to showcase important artistic work, strengthen artistic practice, and build bridges between artists and audiences.

This is just a sampling of what’s available. There are also private foundations, small institutions, as well as corporations that provide funding. With a little research and a lot of luck they can be found.

Go to the sites listed above, check the requirements and deadlines, and create a profile.

Requirements vary from grant to grant. Some prefer a traditionally published book or a certain number of short stories. If you are self published, you may need to have sold a certain number of books. If you’ve won contests or awards, that could meet the requirements.

Even if you don’t qualify now, check the grants that are of interest and work towards meeting the requirements. And check regularly as grants change from year to year. You never know when the right fit will pop up.

Current publications: Detective Hodgins Victorian Mystery Series D.E.M.ON. Tales - Humourous Paranormal Anthology - The Human Condition - One story, Junior CSI

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