Funding Opportunities for Writers


Spread the Word has listed different funding opportunities for writers that might offer that support you need to get your project off the ground or that much-needed time to write. We have included grants for longer-running projects, small pots of funding to help out in times of need, and bursaries that offer discounts or free places on writing events and courses. We have grouped the opportunities according to the stage of the writer’s career where suitable, otherwise we have grouped them as being for all.

We have made every effort to ensure the information included here is as accurate as possible. We aren’t responsible for the content on external websites.

For emerging writers:

Spread the Word, Early Career Bursaries
Bursary | Apply for £15,000
Open to low-income writers based in London
Applications open once a year (the 2024 programme is now closed for applications)
The Bursaries is an open brief programme which offer three writers a year of financial and professional support to develop their creative work, with £15,000 awarded to each writer – £10,000 cash and £5,000 towards development opportunities. The Bursaries are made possible by a generous donation from Sam and Rosie Berwick.
More info:

Scottish Book Trust, New Writers Awards
Awards with cash bursary | Apply for a £2,000 cash award plus development opportunities
Open to unpublished writers based in Scotland
Applications open once a year
This awards programme offers writers based in Scotland who are committed to developing a writing project a £2,000 cash award allowing them to focus on their work, plus other development opportunities including mentoring, to help develop their projects.
More info: 

For published writers:

The Authors Foundation & K Blundell Trust, Grants for work in progress
Grant | Apply for £2,000 – £6,000
Open to published or forthcoming published writers in the UK and Ireland
Applications open once a year
This fund is for writers who either have been commissioned by a commercial British or Irish publisher to write a full-length work, or have published at least one book by a commercial British of Irish publisher. This grant is set up to support a writer with a work in progress to help make time to write.
More info:

Peggy Ramsay Foundation, Grant
Grant | Apply for up to £5,000
Open to British published theatre writers
Applications open all year round
The Peggy Ramsay Foundation awards funding to theatre writers in the British Isles with at least one play professionally published to afford them the time and the space to write. The grant may go towards general costs such as rent and bills, as well as materials and equipment.
More info:

The Royal Literary Fund
Grant | Funding subject to application
Open to published professional authors in the UK experiencing financial hardship
Applications open all year round
This funding supports professional authors who have published at least 2 works and are experiencing financial difficulties, with an annual grant provided to older writers. The grant can be used towards supporting you personally and financially, and may go towards materials and equipment, as well as paying the bills.
More info: 

For All:

Arts Council England, Develop Your Creative Practice Grant
Grant | Apply for £2,000 – £12,000
Open to writers of all levels with a 1+ year track record as a professional writer
Applications open four times a year
ACE’s popular funding supports UK cultural and creative practitioners in their career who want to take time to focus on their creative development. You can apply for funding to go towards development activities and support, such as undertaking a period of research, networking, or time to create new work.
More info:

Arts Council England, National Lottery Project Grants
Grant | Apply for £1,000 – £100,000+
Open to writers of all levels
Applications open all year round
ACE’s access programme supports UK individuals and organisations with a range of arts, museums and libraries projects that benefit people living in England. The funding can support projects that last up to three years in total.
More info:

Creative Debuts, The Working Class Creatives Grant 
Grant | Apply for £500
Open to working class early-career writers
Applications open on monthly basis
This one-off grant offers working class writers and creative practitioners no-strings attached financial support. This funding can go towards time to write, funding equipment and materials, or helping to pay rent or bills.
More info:

Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust, Small-Scale Grant
Grant | Apply for £250-£1,000
Open to writers aged 30 and above experiencing financial difficulties
Applications open once a year (now closed to applications)
This small-scale fund is for writers and creative practitioners over the age of 30 who are experiencing financial difficulties in the pursuit of their creative careers. The purpose of the funding is go towards materials and equipment, research activities, travel and production costs.
More info:

Arvon, Low Income Grant
Grant | Apply for discounted / free courses
Open to low-income writers
Applications open throughout year
Arvon offers this grant to UK writers who cannot afford the full course fee to cover as much as the course fee as is needed. Priority is given based on financial circumstances. Concessions are also offered towards online courses and residentials at Arvon.
More info:

National Centre for Writing, NCW Academy Bursary Programme
Bursary | Apply for discounted / free places on paid-for activities and courses
Open to writers who are on a low income
The National Centre for Writing offers bursary places to UK writers who are unable to book a place on a workshop or course without financial aid, whether you are a student, pensioner, or earn a low income. Priority is given based on financial need.
More info:

The Literary Consultancy, Free Reads scheme
Bursary | Apply for a free manuscript assessment
Open to low-income writers based in UK
Applications open once a year (Spread the Word’s Free Reads scheme for London Writers is currently closed for applications)
The Free Reads scheme offers talented low-income writers in London feedback on their writing. Writers are matched with a professional TLC reader and will receive either a partial or full read on their submission, with the feedback provided in the form of a written critique.
More info:

Published: 23 August 2023

Updated: 4 September 2023