Wish you could get a writing grant? Stop wishing and start winning with this workshop. Learn how to craft a compelling application that will sell you and your writing project to granting organizations. Dozens of grants are open to writers: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays…
Get That Grant is a full-day prep session with hands-on writing activities and how-to tips, so you will:
define and clearly state your goals
write a project description
prepare your writer’s bio or literary CV
present your writing history
all of which will be invaluable for far more than grant applications
Participants are encouraged to select and bring an actual grant application to work on.
Don’t have a grant in mind? We’ll help you find a grant for now or in the future.
Participants leave this workshop with loads of information, resources and inspiration.
“Thanks, Heather. I had no idea I could apply for research grants.”
“This workshop helped me look at my manuscript in a completely different way. Amazing.”
When: Saturday, October 28, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Location: NewMakeItTraining Room, 1310 Kerrisdale Blvd. Suite 200, Newmarket, ON
Heather M. O’Connor is a freelance writer and author. She has won five recent grants totalling more than $20,000, including a prestigious Ontario Arts Council Works in Progress grant and a Marion Hebb Research Grant from Access Copyright.
Author and creative writing instructor, Ruth E. Walker taught government employees how to write persuasive bios and CVs, and has won bursaries and creative writing scholarships, and Ontario Arts Council writers’ grants.
Together, Heather and Ruth deliver practical workshops jam-packed with useful information and resources.
$80.00 +HST Writing organization members discount
Gwynn and I know firsthand what a thrill it is when someone validates us as writers. When you are told that you’ve won an award, a scholarship or a grant for your creative work, it’s not just about the money. Don’t get me wrong. For almost all of us, the “starving artist” is not a metaphor. It’s a hard reality.
Winning an award or grant is more than an income boost, however. It shows the world that others place worth on your craft. And it validates you as a working writer, one who is submitting their work for evaluation. That you are willing to risk the opinion of strangers.
So it gives us great pleasure to participate in an annual scholarship program with The Writers’ Community of Durham Region. WCDR is a 300+-member networking organization for writers of all types and levels. Heather O’Connor and I have been members for years and Gwynn was there at their very first meeting in the 90s. We all know that education is a prime focus for this non-profit group.
When we were approached a few years ago to be part of their annual WCDR scholarship program we said Yes! Writescape funds a $150 scholarship.
Applicants must be members of WCDR, they must complete an online form to outline their background and budget details on their writing project/plans and, most importantly, craft a compelling essay inspired by a writing prompt. All applications are judged on their practical, logical content as well as how their passion is conveyed in responding to the prompt.
Our $150 support is not tied to taking any of our workshops or retreats. Writescape has no part in the adjudication process. We aren’t on any of the judging panels, we see none of the applications or essays, and only learn the name of the recipient a day or so before the award is announced.
A prize-winning event
It’s always been wonderful to attend the award breakfast and to hand out the prize. But this year was especially delightful for me. I’ve known the winner for twenty years. I also know he was the originator of the WCDR scholarship program and willingly volunteers his business acumen and well-honed technology skills to support the group and individual members.
In short, Rich Helms a good guy.
Rich Helms is not, however, a poet. Nor does he write mysteries or thrillers or historical romance novels. His excellent resource book Book Trailer 101 coaches writers on making their own book trailers. And if you want to understand Amazon SimpleDB, Rich co-wrote a guidebook on that as well. So I was curious and asked Rich if I could see his application and essay. What technological advance was Rich taking on this time? He willingly shared his application. Turns out, Rich reaches back to the early days of civilization for his latest topic.
Rich is baking bread. And he’s writing about it.
In his background notes, Rich shows his logical side. “…40 years in computer research and development, where I took complex ideas and turned them into marketable products.” and lays out his plan “The next thing I want to tackle is how to write a recipe – an area in which I have no expertise.”
But baking bread is his passion. Does his essay reveal any passion?
“When I retired from the company I once owned, I spent a month living by the ocean. Every day, my dog, Margaret, and I would walk the shore, then stop and fish. My all-consuming thought was, what now?
I’m a computer nerd who bakes bread and writes about it, and I’m not afraid to describe bread baking as a sensuous experience. I revel in the feeling of kneading dough into a boule of smooth, elastic food that is alive and growing. I breathe deeply the smell of the flour and yeast fermenting, breaking down the starches as well as the tantalizing aromas of caramelizing sugars…”
“…Thinking back to my walks by the ocean with Margaret …when I returned each day, our footprints were gone. Only pictures on my phone proved that we had walked the shore. The sand looked clean, and all traces of the day before were removed. What remained was a clean slate beckoning us to start the walk again.
This all makes me think about my journey with breadbaking. The traces of the journey disappear; time washes them away. But what survives are the writing, the stories, the recipes and what I learn along the way. As I move forward, I am excited to knead a deeper element of writing into the mix.”
Yup. I’d say the passion is there. And a wonderful depth and elegance to Rich’s writing that I’d not seen before.
A worthwhile gift to writers
We know that every writer who has received the Writescape scholarship has appreciated the support and used the money to deepen their craft or expand their skills into new areas. This time, it’s especially nice for us to know the recipient. And I can add that I have tasted Rich’s breads: a superb cheese loaf and dinner rolls that engaged the senses and deliciously filled the belly.
This ancient craft is even older than written language. I’ll be looking for Rich’s recipe book but in the meantime, I’ll settle for an occasional taste from the hearth. Yum!
DID YOU KNOW
Writescape offers Get That Grant, a fabulous one-day workshop on the art and skill of applying for writing grants and scholarships. Participants have a pretty good track record, and we can happily boast that Rich Helms is only the latest success story from taking the workshop this past February. Heather O’Connor offers her workshop yearly in Durham Region as well as “on demand” for groups and organizations that express interest. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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.
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?
“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)
“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.)