18 December 2018
We are delighted to once again award grants for works in progress to writers: the Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust grants have awarded nearly £185,000 this month to authors to assist with research costs or buying them time to write.
As with every year, we are proud to offer support to writers from a wide range of genres and styles all at different stages of their literary careers.
If you would like to apply for a grant, the next deadline is 1 April 2019. More details on our eligibility criteria can be downloaded here, and applications should be submitted via email to [email protected].
December 2018 recipients
Awarded the Eric Ambler Award, in memory of the spy thriller writer.
“I’m deeply honoured to receive the Eric Ambler Award. The grant will greatly assist with the cost of researching my new non-fiction book on one of the most important, yet least understood, spies of the Cold War. Uncovering this previously-hidden story involves extensive work in archives throughout Europe and the United States; the award is a huge help in funding this research. I am profoundly grateful for this support.”
Awarded the John C Laurence Award, which offers funding to works, of any genre, which help to improve understanding between races.
“I cannot begin to express my gratitude and delight at being awarded The John C Laurence Award from the Authors Foundation. My novel Flying Solo is a young adult novel in verse. It is a coming-of-age story that focuses on the life of teenager Amber growing up in a challenging environment. It is a tale for anyone who has ever felt forgotten, inferior and beat down by society and those closest to them. Finding the time and space to write is extremely challenging. I have worked tirelessly for over a year, desperately trying to carve out time to finish my novel. This award will not only allow me the valuable time to finish the novel but also knowing there are others that believe in my work is a huge confidence boost and support in getting my debut novel finished and published. I will forever be grateful.”
Namita Elizabeth Chakrabarty
“This week I received a wonderful writing-affirming letter from the Authors’ Foundation, informing me that my application for a grant to continue working on my current project has been successful. It means the world to me to receive validation as a writer from the Society of Authors, and particularly – like others during this era of austerity and cuts – after a financially challenging year during which I was made redundant from my part-time academic job. So the grant is both a financial lifeline and professional validation, perfect timing now I am living precariously financially, but happy to be devoting time to my writing. The literary fiction project I am working on is also of a precarious, and personal nature, exploring racism and crime, and how we deal with hate, when we would rather get on with living and love.”
“I am thrilled to receive support from the Society of Authors’ Authors Foundation Grant for my second novel, A True Relation. At the core of my writing is a creative approach to history, and I will be using the grant to pursue archival and site-based research in Devon. Drawing on adventure fiction, the literature of roguery, travel and life writing, A True Relation explores issues of gender, genre, and place in the South West. The main thread of the novel is a smuggling tale, intercut by century-spanning conversations between male and female writers who either visited or lived in Devon. By placing these national figures in conversation – including Celia Fiennes and Daniel Defoe, Hester Thrale and Samuel Johnson, George Eliot and Charles Dickens – I hope to explore the national portrait they paint. In a time of sweeping cuts to the arts, I am deeply grateful for the encouragement the Society of Authors provides. The grant will allow me to make use of the amazing collections across Devon, from Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum to the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre. I will also be able to invest writing time at sites such as Dr Johnson’s House and Celia Fiennes’ birthplace, and in nature, from moor to sea. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”
Awarded the Antonia Fraser Grant, which offers funding for a biography of a woman or women.
“Receiving the Antonia Fraser Grant for my work on a biography of children’s writer Eva Ibbotson is a true honour. I am currently working on this project alongside the Ibbotson family, and I believe there is a particular timeliness to celebrating a woman who came to England seeking refuge, who made her home here, and who then shared her extraordinary talent for storytelling with us all. There is, I think, a responsibility to share these stories when they are most needed, a responsibility that Eva’s own work recognises. The award will fund several important research trips, as well as buying me more time to write. Beyond this, however, it feels truly wonderful that others share a belief in this project that is so close to my heart.”