Emergency Grants for Writers (and Other Resources)

Page created March 14, 2020; last updated March 28.



  • The Alliance of Artists Communities emergency fund supports “artists facing an unforeseen emergency or triggering event to participate in artists’ residencies. The fund disburses mini-grants to artists who have already been accepted and scheduled for a residency, but who would not otherwise be able to participate due to a sudden change in circumstances. Emergency grants of up to $1,000 are available for eligible artists.” NB: In March 2020, it seems advisable to consult first with the relevant residency program to ensure that the residency will continue to be offered at this time.
  • The American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA) Writers Emergency Assistance Fund “helps established freelance writers who, because of illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work. A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant. However, applicants must establish a record of past professional freelance nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years, which means qualifications generally similar to those of ASJA members. WEAF does not award grants to beginning freelancers seeking funding for writing projects, nor does it fund works-in-progress of any kind.”
  • “Since 1917, the Authors League Fund has helped professional authors, journalists, poets, and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other misfortune. Most of those we help suffer severe health problems but have inadequate insurance; some face eviction; many are older writers whose income has ceased through no fault of their own. The Fund exists to help professional writers continue their careers with dignity by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses. Repayment of this emergency support is not required.”
  • “The Boston Artist Relief Fund will award grants of $500 and $1,000 to individual artists who live in Boston whose creative practices and incomes are being adversely impacted by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). With events of all types being canceled to reduce the spread of COVID-19, people who make income partially or fully through gigs and freelance work are losing critical opportunities to support their well-being in our city….The Boston Artist Relief Fund will be open on a rolling basis and will replace the Opportunity Fund through June 30, 2020…..Opportunity Fund applications that were already received in this application cycle will still be considered for funding.” NB: The location-specific nature of this one reminds me to remind you to check with your local/municipal/state government/agencies for similar resources. I also caught mention of many other location-specific artist relief funds on the COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources list referenced above; I was made aware of this one earlier by my friend Andrea L. Volpe.
  • “The mission of Carnegie Fund for Authors is to award grants to published authors who are in need of emergency financial assistance as a result of illness or injury to self, spouse, or dependent child, or who has had some other misfortune that has placed the applicant in pressing and substantial pecuniary need. We accept applications from any American author who has written at least one book of reasonable length that has been published commercially and received reader acceptance.”
  • The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund “helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska deal with the financial burden of medical expenses.”
  • The Haven Foundation‘s mission “is to offer interim financial assistance to freelance professionals in the arts who face crises. The Foundation’s reach is the United States, and its awards are granted with a view to helping individuals overcome temporary adversity and return to full-time work.”
  • “The PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund is a small grants program for professional—published or produced—writers in acute or unexpected financial crisis. Depending on the situation and level of need, grants are in the range of $2,000. Apart from exceptional circumstances, the Fund does not give repeat grants within a three-year period.” (NB: The same webpage includes information about the  Fund for Writers and Editors with HIV/AIDS and links to additional emergency resources.)
  • The Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund was established “to help at least 100 queer writers of color who have been financially impacted by the current COVID-19. Priority will be given to queer trans women of color and queer disabled writers of color, but I hope this relief fund will help many queer writers of color it can.” Application here.
  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Emergency Medical Fund (EMF) “was established to help genre writers pay medical expenses not otherwise covered by insurance. The fund is meant to cover only short-term (i.e. emergency situations that interfere with the ability to write).”
  • The UK’s Society of Authors Contingency Funds offer “grants for contingencies which can help professional writers who need a boost. The grants are managed in confidence and were endowed by other writers who know that a writer’s life has its ups and downs.” NB: “Specific grants are available for poets and women journalists.”
  • The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Emergency Fund “has been established to provide assistance to SCBWI members in times of emergency or hardship. The emergency or hardship could involve, for example, matters of health, family issues, or natural disasters that are in any way restricting or preventing an SCBWI member’s ability to work as an author or illustrator.”
  • The Woodcock Fund is a quick-access emergency resource that aids established Canadian writers who face an unforeseen financial crisis.”