Return of ACE Project Grants – FREE workshop on how to apply from Spread the Word 


Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants has re-opened for funding applications. This is an open access funding stream for arts, museums and library projects. The fund is for individual artists, community and cultural organisations. They are keen for more individual artists to apply and be funded and have made changes to the grant to support this happening.   

About project grants 

Project Grants supports a broad range of not-for-profit projects that create and sustain quality work and help people to engage with arts and culture. The fund supports development by allowing artists, cultural practitioners and organisations to work in new ways and to get their work out to new audiences. Engaging audiences, live or online, is the key distinguishing feature of this fund – it is not primarily designed to support your time to write or mentoring unless these are integral to the engagement activity. You can also apply to research and develop a project idea without going on to fully-fledged production of the project. An individual artist can apply for up to £15,000.  

About the workshop 

If you are not familiar with applying for grant funding, filling out an application form can be a daunting and baffling process. Ruth Harrison and Eva Lewin from Spread the Word will be running a free zoom workshop for London based writers 6pm-8.30pm on Wednesday 12 August 2020. 

We will talk you through the changes to the fund and the different questions in the Project Grants form to help you think about what you will need to have in place for Project Grants funding. Once you have attended the workshop you can send your draft application to Spread the Word for 30 minutes phone feedback. 

Who is this workshop for? 

This workshop is designed to support: 

  • Individual writers or a writer representative from, for example, a writers’ collective who want to pursue a joint project; 

  • Writers of any literary form including playwriting and graphic novels; 

  • Writers who are considering applying for Project Grant for the first time or who may have applied in the past but been unsuccessful; 

  • Disabled writers and writers of colour are particularly encouraged to apply.  

What you will need for the workshop: 

  • A clear idea of what your proposed project is, what you want to achieve, the audiences you want to engage and how you are going to go about it; 

  • Be able to show how your project involves engaging audiences or participants or will engage them at a later date; 

  • Please read through the ACE guidance before you apply to take part in the workshop, so that you are reasonably sure that what you have in mind is suitable for Project Grant funding.  

This workshop will: 

  • Give you an insight into the purpose of the fund; 

  • Help you think through your project; 

  • Take you through key stages of the application process; 

  • Look at what will make a strong application; 

  • Provide opportunities for you to ask questions about your own proposal. 

We are only able to offer spaces to applicants whose project ideas are suitable for this particular funding stream. We anticipate that demand will be high so please only book yourself a place if you are committed to attending. This workshop is not open to artists working in other artistic forms outside of literature, including screenwriting and documentary film making. 

Booking your place 

The workshop is FREE but places are limited. To book a place, please email [email protected] with a brief paragraph about you as a writer; a short paragraph on your project idea, an outline of the activities and audiences you are aiming to engage and the approximate level of funding you are seeking. Do include brief details of any previous Project Grant applications you may have made and if they have been successful or not. Please say if you have any access requirements. The workshop will be BSL interpreted by Michelle Wood and Amy Hayward 

Please put Project Grant Workshop in the email subject line.  

Closing date: midnight, Sunday 2 August 2020.  

We will contact you by 5 August (5pm) to let you know if you have a place on the workshop.   

Date: Wednesday 12 August 2020
Time: 6.30pm-8.00pm
Cost: FREE
Location: via Zoom 

Future dates

We will be repeating this workshop in October. Applications will open in late September and will be announced online.

About Ruth and Eva

Ruth Harrison joined Spread the Word in 2015. Her working life has been in the field of the arts and particularly in literature. She has been Director of Apples and Snakes, a literature development officer and programme manager at The Reading Agency. She is passionate about not only widening people’s engagement with writers and writing but also in developing writing talent. Widening participation and engagement alongside developing and building awareness of new voices has been core to her work.

Ruth has previously been a trustee of Little Green Pig – a charity working to inspire children and young people to get creative with writing, sits on the steering committee for The Literary Platform’s Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and is part of the team developing EmpathyLab – a start-up using words and stories to build young people’s empathy skills.

At Spread the Word, Ruth is responsible for leading the company artistically and strategically and working with our highly skilled and dedicated team to make a difference to and for writers and their audiences in London.

Eva Lewin is Writer Development Manager at Spread the Word where she leads on the one-to-one support for writers, through feedback surgeries and professional development coaching.

Eva commissioned the Writing the Future research (published in 2015) into Black and Asian writers and publishers in the UK marketplace. She continues to work on the strategy to take forward the diversity agenda, including Spread the Word’s consultancy on WriteNow with Penguin Random House.

Her twenty years’ experience in the literature sector includes curating creative writing programmes, co-directing the Hackney literature festival, running writers’ residencies and a shop-floor library at Ford’s car factory in Dagenham. Eva is an RD1st accredited coach (ILM Level 7 equivalent).

 Published 22 July 2020