The Authors’ Foundation: Grants for work in progress

Illustration © Antonio Rodriguez
Awarding grants from the Authors' Foundation and K Blundell Trust

The Society of Authors is one of the few organisations to make grants to writers for works in progress, currently awarding over £360,000 each year. 

The Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust award grants to writers whose book project is for a commercial UK publisher.

Finding out I’d been awarded this much-needed grant from the Society of Authors and K Blundell Trust is life-changing news for me… As a single mum with sole responsibility for bills and running the house, I work five says 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… 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.

Emily Morris (2019 recipient)

An Authors’ Foundation grant means, of course, time – I can now see my way through the months to [my project’s] end – but it also means a great boost in spirits and confidence, a sense that others too believe in this project. For both of these things, I am enormously grateful.

Tom Bullough (2018 recipient)

From 2021, Authors’ Foundation grants included the World of Books Impact Award – two annual grants of £5,000 each for books of any genre that have the power to inspire progressive behaviour change – awarded for the first time in October 2021.


There are no deadlines for this fund as it is open on a rolling basis. Please download the below form and submit to [email protected] in order to apply.

We anticipate that applicants will hear back within 12 weeks of application though there may be initial delays as we update our systems.

If you have any questions please get in touch via [email protected].

Grants are usually between £2,000-£3,500 and are a maximum of £6,250. 

How to apply

You are eligible to apply if

You have been commissioned by a commercial British or Irish publisher to write a full-length work of fiction, poetry, or non-fiction and need funding (in addition to any publisher’s advance) for important research, travel, or other general expenditure. 


You are without a contractual commitment with a publisher but have had at least one book published commercially by a British or Irish publisher, of which you are the sole author, and there is a strong likelihood that your next book will be published in Britain or Ireland.

In both cases you must have a non-contributory contract (either currently or for a previous publication) where you, the author, did not pay funds towards publication costs.

Self-published books are not currently eligible for the funds. This, and all criteria for the funds, is kept under review by the trustees. 

  • No author may apply to the Foundation twice in the same year.
  • Grants are only given for one work in progress.
  • Successful applicants must wait four years before reapplying to the Foundation. For example if you received funds in 2020 you must wait until 2025 before reapplying.
  • Grants will not be awarded to cover publication costs. Read more in our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Editors and screenwriters are not eligible.

About the grants

The grants are awarded through the Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust registered charities, and are comprised of a range of specific awards.

Authors’ Foundation

The Authors’ Foundation was set up from donations by authors in 1984. It has received contributions from authors, charitable trusts, and the Royal Literary Fund.

Applications to the Authors’ Foundation will also be considered for the World of Books Impact Award.

Charity number 326605 / Arthur Welton 282446

K Blundell Trust

The K Blundell Trust, generously endowed by the late Kathleen Blundell, gives grants of up to £6,000 to British authors under the age of 40 whose work, which can be fiction or non-fiction, aims to increase social awareness. 

Charity number 296487​

All applicants to the Authors’ Foundation will also be automatically considered for the following specific grants. However, if you think any of the below are particularly relevant to your work in progress please highlight this in your application.

World of Books Impact Award (new for 2021)

Two annual grants of £5,000 each for books of any genre that have the power to inspire progressive behaviour change. Read more

Eric Ambler Awards 

Eric Ambler
© Encyclopedia Britannica

Eric Ambler (1908-1998) who was a prolific and distinguished novelist and scriptwriter. His early novels pioneered an original use of political realism and a gritty style, which propelled the thriller genre to new heights. He also worked as a screenwriter on many award winning films including A Night to Remember (1958) and The Cruel Sea (1953), which was nominated for an Academy Award. During his sixty year career, Ambler published nineteen novels and won many Edgar and CWA Dagger awards, and was also made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1981. In memory of Eric Ambler this award is for a spy novel or thriller.

Taner Baybars Awards

Taner Baybars
© Goodreads

Taner Baybars (1936-2010) was a poet, translator, and artist born in was born in Cyprus. In 1955, he moved to London where he worked for the British Council up until his retirement in 1988. He wrote his first poetry book in Turkish, but subsequently published poetry, novels and an autobiography all in English. He also translated several literary works, most prominently that of the Turkish poet Nâzım Hikmet (1902–1963). An archive of Taner Baybars’ collected works are held in the University of Reading Library. This award offers funding for original fiction in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and magic realism (for both adult and children’s fiction).

John Brooks Awards 

John Brooks (d. 2010) was the former chairman of the West Country Writer’s Association, whose members included Daphne du Maurier, Henry Williamson and Christopher Fry. He won the Guinness Poetry Prize at Cheltenham Literary Festival and published the books Hat (1971) and The Expert (1973). In memory, of John Brooks, this award offers funding to writers based in the West Country or Wales.

Antonia Fraser Grants 

Antonia Fraser
Antonia Fraser
© Susan Greenhill

Lady Antonia Fraser, born in 1932, is a bestselling author, who has written over forty books, which include historical non-fiction and biographies, detective novels and memoirs. Fraser has been awarded the Wolfson Prize for History, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Medlicott Medal, the CWA Silver Dagger and the Franco-British Enid McLeod Literary Prize, as well as the Biographer’s Club Lifetime Services to Biography Prize in 2013. In 2011, she was made a dame of the British Empire and a Companion of Honour in 2018 for services to literature. This award is for a biography of a woman or women.  

Arthur Welton Awards 

Arthur Welton was a 20th Century poet and philanthropist. He was born in 1928, in Ipswich, Suffolk. His father was Robert Welton and his mother was Margaret Caley. He died in 1998, in his hometown, at the age of 70. In memory of Arthur Welton this award is generally awarded to poets.

The Great Britain Sasakawa Grant 

One grant of £2,000 is awarded annually, in either round of awards. Works of fiction or non-fiction about any aspect of Japanese culture or society, or set in a Japanese context, will be considered. Preference will be given to works which help to interpret modern Japan to the English-speaking world. 

Our thanks go to the following benefactors for their generous donations to the fund:

Roger Deakin

Roger Deakin
© Peter Everard Smith

Roger Deakin (1943-2006) was a dedicated environmentalist, author and film-maker. He was born in Watford and studied English at Cambridge. He is most known for his books about nature, which include Waterlog (1999), Wildwood (2007) and Notes from Walnut Tree Farm (2008). He was a co-founder of the activist group Common Ground, which sought to encourage people to reconnect with the natural landscape through outdoor activities such as walking, swimming and cycling.

Waterlog, which was the only book to be published during Deakin’s lifetime describes his journey as he resolved to swim through every waterway in Britain. (At one point, this even includes swimming through a river as it flows through a supermarket parking lot). The bookwas a seminal work, which not only galvanised the wild swimming movement, but also formed a part of his larger campaign to preserve UK waterways from human pollution and environmental degradation.

He spent the last forty years of his life in his farmhouse in Suffolk, which was surrounded by a medieval spring-fed moat. A collection of his work, as well as memorabilia of his personal life, can be found at the Roger Deakin Archive at the University of East Anglia Library.

Sir John Heygate

Sir John Heygate
© Derek Hill

Sir John Heygate (1903-1976) was a novelist and journalist. He was first educated at Eton before he went on to study at Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1930 he married Evelyn Gardner (who was previously married to Evelyn Waugh) but the pair later divorced in 1936. He published a variety of novels during his lifetime, which include: Decent Fellows, Kurumba, and Motor Tramp.

John C. Laurence

John C Laurence  © Ebury Publishing

John Laurence was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a foreign correspondent for US news channels and was the author of several non-fiction books. Some of his notable published work include: The Cat from Hue: A Vietnam War Story and Race Propaganda and South Africa. In particular, his media and literary coverage of the Vietnam War was widely acclaimed and he received the George Polk Memorial Award for “the best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and enterprise abroad.” The Cat from Hue: A Vietnam War Story is his personal memoir from his time in Vietnam, which includes personal anecdotes as well as reflections on the history and politics of the war.

Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer
© David Higham Associates 

Michael Meyer (1921-2000) was an accomplished author, translator, and playwright.

He was born in London and went on to study English at Christ Church, Oxford. However, his education was interrupted as he went to serve as a Bomber Command for the last three years of World War Two. After graduating, he moved to Sweden where he lectured in English at Uppsala University from 1947-1950 and learnt Swedish and Norwegian.

Meyer is often regarded as the preeminent translator of Henrik Ibsen (a Norwegian playwright) and August Strindberg (Swedish playwright). He was the first Englishman to be awarded the Gold Medal of the Swedish Academy and his biography of Ibsen (published in 1967) won the Whitbread Biography Award. He also published a biography of Strindberg (1985), a novel titled The End of the Corridor (1987), a biography titled Not Prince Hamlet (1989), as well as several original plays for stage and radio. Markedly, in 1953, he produced The Ortolan with Maggie Smith at the beginning of her career and then Lunatic and Lover in 1967 with Helen Mirren, which won an Edinburgh Fringe First Award. He was appointed a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1971 and Knight Commander of the Polar Star in Sweden in 1977.