Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible?

Authors who have been previously published or who currently have a book contract are eligible. 

You may 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. 

or

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 (currently or for a previous publication) where you, the author, did not pay funds towards publication costs.

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

How do I apply?

The fund is currently closed and will reopen in 2023. You can get in touch with us via grants@societyofauthors.org.

What counts as ‘costs of publication’? 

Grants cannot be awarded to help towards publication costs. These type of costs are anything that should be covered by your publisher, which includes but is not restricted to: 

  • Image rights 
  • Cover design 
  • Employing an editor or proof-reader 
  • Printing or buying copies of your book from the publisher 

If you are unsure please contact us at grants@societyofauthors.org and we will be happy to discuss the specifics of your application with you.  

Can a grant be used for a mentorship or a retreat? 

Yes, but this mentor support must be used by you to work specifically on your work in progress and not more generally for honing your craft. The Society of Authors also offers general grants for residential stays

Can I apply for funds retrospectively for costs already incurred? 

You are still eligible for the fund, but it is recommended to apply for funding in advance of incurring any costs.  

Can I apply to the K Blundell Trust with my debut work? 

No. However you can apply to the Authors’ Foundation with your debut work as long as you have signed your contract with a UK publisher.

What is the difference between the K Blundell Trust and the Authors’ Foundation?

The K Blundell Trust is a much smaller fund and has additional eligibility criteria – you must be British by birth and under the age of 40. There are no nationality or age restrictions on the Authors’ Foundation.  

To enter the K Blundell Trust you must use the same form and fill out the sections asking for your date of birth and nationality. You must also send your most recently published book to the Society of Authors for the assessors to read. This can be attached to your application as a PDF or posted to our London offices at “K Blundell Trust, Prizes Department, 24 Bedford Row, London, WC1R 4EH”. Please note we are unable to return hard copies of books sent to us as part of your application. 

Please note the fund is currently closed and will reopen in 2023.

If I am unsuccessful, when can I next reapply? 

We ask all applicants to wait until the next calendar year before reapplying. This is because the assessing panel changes every year and it prevents you from applying to the same panel twice.  

If I am successful, when can I next reapply? 

All successful applicants must wait four years before re-applying to the Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust again. So, if you received funds in 2020 you must wait until 2025 to reapply. 

If I have previously been awarded a grant, does that affect the likelihood of my being successful again? 

No, each application is treated independently but we will ask you to disclose if you have received any other funding for your current project. 

If I am unsuccessful, will I be notified and will I be given feedback on my application? 

All applicants will be contacted with the decision of the assessors, whether successful or not, but we’re unable to give individual feedback on applications. 

Will a list of successful applicants be made public? 

No, all grant applications are treated as confidential throughout the entire process. However, we do ask some successful applicants if they are willing to have details of their grant and project shared, and this will appear in the news section of our website.  

Does the amount of money I ask for affect the likelihood of my receiving a grant? 

No, though it may be that the grant you receive is smaller than the amount you ask for, simply due to the high volume of applications the fund receives. 

Am I more likely to receive a grant if I have a contract with a publisher? 

No, as long the application is submitted with the confidence that your work in progress will find a publisher once completed. 

When can I expect to hear back?

The fund is currently closed and we will update the pages with estimated wait times once it reopens.

Will I receive a notification that my application has been received? 

Yes, we will reply to your email to let you know it has arrived safely with us. If for any reason you are ineligible for the fund, we will contact you as soon as possible to let you know so that you don’t have to wait until the assessment period is completed. 

Can I apply for more than one project? 

No, you may only apply to the fund once each year and your application should be focused on a single work in progress. 

What are appropriate uses of the funding? 

Funding can be used for any of the following: 

  • Time to write – such as taking time off from freelance or other paid work in order to write. 
  • Basic living costs – the fund can be used for rent, utilities, childcare or other carer costs etc. while you are writing.
  • Research trips – any location or archival research including subscriptions to online archives or journals. 
  • Access costs – such as having research material copied into an accessible medium or paying a researcher to physically visit an archive on behalf of an author.

If you are unsure about your plans for funding please get in touch with us at grants@societyofauthors.org and we’ll be happy to discuss the specifics of your application with you. 

How much detail do I need to give regarding my financial situation? 

The most important part of your application should be the description of your work in progress but details of your financial situation should outline why it is necessary for you to apply to the Authors’ Foundation and why the costs of writing or research cannot be met without the support of a grant.  

Can I apply for a specific grant, such as the World of Books Impact Award, the Antonia Fraser Award or the Roger Deakin Award? 

The assessors will check all applications to see if the projects submitted fit with any of our specific awards. However, if you think your application is particularly suited to any of the awards please do mention this in your application. A full list of our specific awards can be found here.  

Can I apply with my co-author? 

Yes, co-authors can apply to the fund as long as they fulfil all other eligibility criteria. If you are applying with a co-author please send one application for your work in progress from both of you.