BLOG: How to Find Writing Grants for Professional Writers

Becoming a writer isn’t easy, and a little financial support could go a long way toward building a career for professional writers. The truth is that many aspiring writers can’t afford to take time off or quit their jobs to become full-time authors.

A good alternative is to look for financial aid programs to pursue your dream of becoming a writer. This can be in the form of writing grants which are usually open for applications year-round, and they typically prioritize those in real need of some support.

The difference between writing grants, scholarships, and fellowships

You might be wondering what all of these terms we’re throwing around mean, and their differences in relation to one another. In the interest of becoming professional writers, sometimes we need a little more financial support so we can focus full-time on our writing. A good place to start looking for them is to dig around local or international companies, nonprofits, competitions, or councils that offer this sort of aid to aspiring professional writers.

But not every writing grant is the same. Make sure to check out the exact terms they’re using before applying for any financial aid, and choose the one that’s best for you! You’ll be on track to becoming a writer in no time.


Grants are funds from companies or foundations that are given to certain deserving individuals or entities for a specific project. Sometimes the recipient of the grant is determined through competitions, instead of the typical application process.

They basically stand out from the other two types of financial assistance because typically, grants don’t need to be paid back like a loan or through a return service. Think of it as a gift that can help jumpstart your career towards becoming a writer. For example, a company can give you X amount of money for writing a memoir within a specific time frame. The funds they gave you, in this case, should be used towards editing and publishing fees. Applying for writing grants isn’t easy, though, and the environment is usually very competitive.


This is probably the best option if you’re a student that’s interested in becoming a writer. The most basic definition of a scholarship is that it’s a form of financial assistance offered to students with good academic standing and great potential for the institution. If you’re currently in university and aiming for writing grants, try to see if there’s one being offered in your current program for aspiring professional writers.


Fellowships are similar to grants but they’re more associated with “internships” or what is called a return service. As fellowships are usually offered to students or interns of a particular organization, they’re expected to work on a project for the duration of the fellowship in exchange for the stipend they’re receiving over that period of time. Professional writers sometimes start off with fellowships under a publishing company or writer’s council. Anything they create will typically be associated with the organization they worked under, but it’s in exchange for precious time and a dedicated workspace to hone their craft.

4 Writing Grants You Should Apply To

  1. Awesome Foundation Grant

Amount awarded: $1,000

Deadline for the next application period: Monthly

The Awesome Foundation Grant is a series of monthly grants awarded on a “no strings attached” basis, meaning that they won’t try to take any control over your project’s final outcome. Since they operate on a monthly basis, they give out mostly “micro-grants” which are smaller stipends meant to fund individual projects at a time. Applying to the Awesome Foundation is a pretty straightforward process, and they award a minimum of $1,000 to their chosen grantees.

  1. Bard Fiction Prize

Amount awarded: $30,000, residency, and the opportunity to give one public lecture

Deadline for the next application period: TBA (2023)

The Bard Fiction Prize is one of the heftier grants out there, with a whopping value of $30,000 and free accommodations at Bard College for a semester. The application process understandably requires a bit more effort to complete given the weight of the award. The winner of the grant will also be able to give one lecture to the students of Bard College, which is ideal exposure if you’re planning on becoming a full-time writer.

The catch is that you need to be a published author to apply, so up-and-coming writers can cross this off the list for now and come back again later after some development in their career.

  1. Grants for Artists’ Progress (GAP) Awards

Amount awarded: $1,500

Deadline for the next application period: September 26, 2022

The Grants for Artists’ Progress (GAP) Awards are hosted by Artist Trust, an arts organization based in Seattle. If you’re an aspiring writer from Washington, this is a great opportunity to showcase your literary prowess.

This grant prioritizes BIPOC artists and writers in the spirit of empowerment and keeping the arts alive. This is another award that operates on the “micro-grant” system in order to support as many small artists as possible and focus on the individual projects being created for the program.

  1. Sustainable Arts Foundation Award

Amount awarded: $5,000

Deadline for the next application period: February 24, 2023

The Sustainable Arts Foundation Award is special because they’re looking to support applicants that specifically have children. They refer to the grant as “unrestricted” because the money awarded could be used for anything, like bills or to support childcare costs. This grant is ideal for those who are struggling to manage their writing career and support their family at the same time.

Financial aid isn’t the only thing that comes into play when becoming a writer. Writing grants can make the journey easier, but you still have to do most of the work. Community, support, and connections between mutually respected peers are also important factors when dipping your toes into the world of professional writers. Writing your book is only half the journey! It’s always best to have expert guidance when starting a new chapter in your professional life.