Writers receive £185,000 for works in progress

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.
Each year we are thrilled to be able to support a number of writers with their works in progress through grants from the Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust. This year is no exception – with over 70 authors awarded nearly £185,000 this month, helping them with research costs and giving them valuable time to focus on their latest writing projects.

These grants support writers to do what they do best, helping them to bring exciting new work into the world – from a range of genres and styles and at all stages of their literary careers – without worrying about financial pressures or time constraints.

Want to apply?

We award grants twice a year, and the next deadline for applications is 1 April 2020. More details on our eligibility criteria can be found here. For all enquiries, please contact [email protected].

Meet our some of our September 2019 recipients

Julia Blackburn

Awarded the John Heygate Award in memory of John Heygate, to help authors of commissioned works of travel writing.

I am in the early stages of writing and researching a book, tentatively called Dreaming The Karoo. It’s to be a meditation on two worlds: the way of living and thinking of the San Bushmen, juxtaposed with the way of living and thinking that we the colonisers, brought to South West Africa. This grant transforms the idea of spending time in the Karoo and the north of Namibia into a vivid and imminent reality. I am hugely grateful, both for the financial help and for the emotional validation it gives me. Thank you so much.

Nick Makoha

Awarded the Arthur Welton Award, in memory of the philanthropist and poet Arthur Welton.

Time and hope are important chemicals in the genesis of a new book. I would like to thank the Society of Authors for putting their faith in me as I begin to write my second poetry collection. I will work diligently to repay your generosity.

Emily Morris

Awarded from the K Blundell Trust

Finding out I’d been awarded this much-needed grant from the Society of Authors and K Blundell is life-changing news for me; I’ve known for a few days now and I’m still reeling. It will enable me to dedicated precious time to my work in progress, a novel that looks at the intense pressure on straight women across many backgrounds to follow the conventional path of marriage and children. As a single mum with sole responsibility for bills and running the house, I work five days a week in my job, as well as freelancing. Prioritisation and constant money worries mean I rarely get a moment to write and my writing career often feels like an afterthought. This wonderful prize will enable me to cut down my freelance working hours and spend some time being a writer and finishing my novel, which is just priceless. As well as lifting an enormous burden off my shoulders, knowing the judges like my existing book and the premise of my new one is a brilliant confidence boost. I am extremely grateful, beyond happy and immensely relieved of much worry and stress.

Deborah Harvey

Awarded the inaugural John Brooks Award in memory of John Brooks, offering funding to writers based in the West Country and Wales.

I am thankful to have been awarded an Authors’ Foundation grant for my poetry-collection-in-progress, Learning Finity, which is an exploration of the landscape of my native city, Bristol, viewed through the lens of mythic time. In addition to my part-time job in a school for deaf children, I care for my autistic, learning-disabled son and 91-year-old mother, and it can be hard to make ends meet. The award of this grant buys me precious time to write, for which I am profoundly grateful.

Sarah Armstrong

Awarded the Eric Ambler Award, given in memory of the spy thriller writer.

I am currently writing the third novel of my Moscow Wolves series which is set in the 1970s. I have been unable to visit some cities which I have written about, such as Moscow, relying on written memoirs and public images. With this Society of Authors grant I will now be able to travel to Minsk, a city unlike any other I have visited, and experience the feel of the place. I will also be able to understand how the city has changed over time with the help of local guides. This grant allows me the space and time to immerse myself fully, away from work and my responsibilities. Writing about spies means that receiving the Eric Ambler Award feels vitally important, a wonderful investment in my writing which I am so grateful for.

25 October 2022

Hil Aked, Constantine Alexander Blintzios, Jaye Elster, Araba Ofori-Acquah, Laura Theis and Andrew Ziminski are among the recipients of our second 2022 round of Authors Foundation and K Blundell Trust awards for 2022.

18 May 2022

Louisa Adjoa Parker, Leo Boix and Rachel Trethewey are among the recipients of our first round of Authors Foundation and K Blundell Trust awards for 2022.

26 October 2021

72 authors receive grants to buy time to write and complete research, including the inaugural World of Books Impact Award