Contingency Fund open for repeat applications

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.
Individuals supported by the Fund in 2020 can now reapply, as we take stock of how the SoA can continue to support authors through the health crisis in 2021.

As the Covid-19 health crisis continues to impact the incomes of creative freelancers, we continue to provide financial assistance from the Contingency Fund to writers, illustrators and translators facing financial difficulty.

In 2020, we distributed over £1.3 million in hardship grants to authors, made possible by generous donations from organisations including ALCS, the Royal Literary Fund, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, the Literary Consultancy, as well as from many authors and other individuals.

Repeat applications

Due to high demand last year, we limited grants to one per person. However, we know the need is still there, so we are inviting second applications from authors who received a Contingency Fund grant in 2020 but who are still in financial difficulty.

Our grants are there for a wide range of purposes. They aren’t limited to emergency relief to support you through the health crisis. They are also available for unexpected expenses, to ensure the inconvenience of a broken boiler, laptop or washing machine doesn’t become a crisis. The Funds can help to:

  • Make up lost income if you find yourself unable to work
  • Help cover a shortfall if a project falls through
  • Ease the impact on your writing career of illness or a domestic situation
  • Pay for a training course when you don’t have the funds
  • Help with one-off expenses, such as the cost of a new boiler or if your computer is on its last legs.

The application process and criteria are the same, whether you are applying for the first time or you are reapplying for help. Apply now

If you are looking for funding for a work in progress, the Authors’ Foundation is open for applications. Find out more

Sponsorship & donations

We are always looking for partners to secure additional sponsorship for the Contingency Fund. We will continue to do so for as long as the need is there.

We also welcome donations from individuals. If (and only if) you can afford to give a few pounds, you can do so here.

Authors in the health crisis Survey 2021

From March last year we ran a repeat survey (in April, May and September) to track the ongoing financial impact of the health crisis on writers, illustrators and literary translators. In the most recent round of the survey, we found that two thirds of authors had suffered a loss of income since March 2020, almost half had lost more than a quarter of their income, but under a third had received any government help.

The evidence from these surveys have formed a critical part of our approaches to Government about the statutory support available authors, and how it has fallen short.

We will run these surveys again throughout 2021 – with the first opening later in February – as we lobby for more effective Government and industry support for creative freelancers.

6 December 2022

ALCS report on author incomes shows 60% drop in median incomes since 2006

25 March 2022

A joint statement from the Society of Authors, the Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses network, Inklusion, and the SoA’s Poetry and Spoken Word Group

12 July 2021

The fifth round of support under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opens at the end of July. SoA members can apply anytime on or before 30 September 2021.