Grants: Straight to the Source

Grants: Straight to the Source

Heather M. O’Connor.

When I didn’t know something in school, I was never afraid to put up my hand. Call me curious. Call me nosy. I like answers.

When I started applying for grants for writers, I had lots of questions. I studied the application and searched for reliable resources on the Internet. But grant applications are complex and slippery beasts. You don’t have any examples to follow, and there’s no teacher to ask.

Or so I thought.

Call me!

Most grant applications give you a contact name or an email address. The person on the other end is ready and willing to help you. As one program administrator explained, granting organizations want you to apply. If the number of applicants falls off, so do the funding dollars.

What can these problem-solvers do for you?


Approved stamp

Answer questions

What exactly is a project description?” (Marion Hebb Research Grant)

Offer helpful tips

“There’s nothing wrong with asking for the maximum amount. The recommenders can’t give you more than you ask for, but they can give you less.” (Writers’ Reserve)

Share the jurors’ preferences

“They often prefer to read your first chapters.” (OAC Works in Progress)

Tell you news

“Graphic novels now have their own category.” (OAC Works in Progress)

Explain why you were unsuccessful

“The level of writing this time around was very high.” (Canada Council)

Encourage you

“Be persistent. A lot of good writing goes unfunded.” (Every writing grant ever offered.)

Go for it!

The grants are there for the asking. So apply, and do the asking!

I promise you, getting a writing grant feels a hundred times better than getting straight As on your report card. And you can take that–and the grant money–straight to the bank.

What would you use a writing grant for? Education? A writing retreat or conference? Research? Writing time? Let us know in the comments.

Get That Grant workshop

If you think writing grant applications ranks right up there with getting a root canal, Writescape can ease your pain. Gwynn Scheltema and I are offering a hands-on workshop that will walk you through the steps. From finding grants to submitting a polished and convincing application, you’ll be ready to Get That Grant (runs April 16 in Oshawa and April 17 in Bracebridge.)