The past few weeks involved my first grant writing experience. Submitting a grant application reminded me a bit of essay writing. You must rephrase the question in the form of an answer in the first line, only deliver what was asked, and provide relevant supporting samples/evidence. As I wrapped up the application I decided to make it a regular practice to apply to grants. Not monthly, of course, but once or twice per year will be a nice fit.
Grant writing didn’t feel incredibly time-intensive or complicated, to me at least. (And, hey, we won’t know for a few months whether or not my application was successful!) Whereas a writer may have the chance of ‘winning’ a free copy of a literary journal if their story is selected for publication, winning a grant is generally tied to a bit more substantial prize. Yes, money, but also the promotion that’s attached to acquiring a grant.
For one, the grant provider will want to show you off because they want to showcase to donors that their money is effectively being used. Two, you can add your grant feather to your writing hat (aka your bio). You could also write a press release announcing the grant acquisition. Some grants can be used to further your education, your skills, or expertise. In the long-run, the grant can help you become more valuable and essentially pay for itself. You could also get a project-based grant and use the funds to pay for an award-winning book cover designer for your next book. These are just a few extra pluses aside from the monetary plus inherent in the grant itself.
If you’re a newbie to grants like me, a few places for you to bookmark:
- Funds for Writers (always a staple!) – FFW maintains a special grants for writers page.
- Your local arts council – Sorry, I don’t have a link for you. Try your favorite search engine and plug in ‘arts council <your county name>’ and see what pops up.
- Poets & Writers – This long-time resource maintains a searchable page for grant opportunities.
Have you ever applied for a grant? Were you selected? Do you provide grant writing on behalf of other applicants? I’d love to hear about it.