7 Places to Find Free Money for Your Writing

The new issue of Writer’s Digest has shipped to subscribers, and it’ll be on newsstands soon. It’s an interesting issue for us because in addition to our regular content (including the brilliantly concepted new Top Shelf and 5-Minute Memoir sections…), we tackle a subject in the feature package that’s often a source of confusion in reader inquiries—being a writer for hire. The package covers the ins and outs of copy editing and ghostwriting, but also breaches another topic we haven’t addressed in a while—grants and fellowships.

Now, obviously roping a grant or fellowship is never as easy as waiting in line to pick up your check or plane ticket; you have to find a fitting program, carefully draft an application, submit, triumph in a hidden but brutal campaign against other applicants, etc., etc. But the end result can be the same: Free money (or time) for your writing career.

Thus, on this WD Mag Wednesday, from Gigi Rosenberg’s piece “Free Money,” here are seven venues where you can track down some grant and fellowship opportunities for your work. (Click here to check out the rest of the issue for a slew of tips on how to nab those elusive funds.) A regular prompt follows. Happy Wednesday.


START YOUR SEARCH small and local by investigating grant opportunities in your own town, region and state. Peruse the websites of your town’s art council and your state’s arts commission. To help guide your efforts, visit the website of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, which provides links to arts agencies in all 50 states and a range of helpful publications.

THE NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS’ Source is an online national directory of awards for all types of artists. The Source lists about 1,000 opportunities for literary artists nationwide, including residencies, fellowships, professional development grants and so on. This list is updated daily, and access is free.

MIRA BARTOK’S blog for artists, 
writers and composers includes information, resources and deadlines for grants, fellowships and international residencies (along with encouraging posts). 

C. HOPE CLARK offers a comprehensive monthly Funds for Writers e-newsletter for $15 per year that lists contests, awards, grants and fellowships.

PEN AMERICAN CENTER offers a comprehensive directory for writers with its Grants and Awards Database, which comprises more than 1,000 grants, fellowships, scholarships and residencies for writers. Subscriptions are available for $12 per year.

NONPROFIT LITERARY ORGANIZATION Poets & Writers lists grants, awards and competitions.

THE FOUNDATION CENTER website offers a comprehensive database for individual grant seekers. For a fee, you can subscribe for a month or more. See if your local library has a subscription you can use for free.


free to take the following prompt home or post a
response (500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments
section below. By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings. If you’re having trouble
with the captcha code sticking, e-mail your piece an
d the prompt to me
at writersdigest@fwmedia.com, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and
I’ll make sure it gets up.

An unexpected injury leads to an equally unexpected family discovery.

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