Once you’ve become a published author and have done everything you can to keep the tills ringing with sales of your book, it is time to look to the future. It may be time to consider applying for a grant from the government, an association, corporation or private party to cover your projected expenses for writing a subsequent book. In 2004 in the United States alone, government and private foundations had to, by law, distribute more than $360 billion to writers, artists, businesses, college students and others, so there is plenty of money to be had, if you know what you’re doing.
Be aware that not all on-line sites offering (for money) to give you lists of grant sources or find you a grantor are legitimate. Many of them offer outdated data bases and directories. If you are unsure, check out the site or company with The Better Business Bureau, which now has a presence on line at: http://www.betterbusinessreviews.org/grants.com/mygov-ov1.
Here are some links that you should find helpful:
1) The Canada Council For The Arts at: http://www.canadacouncil.ca/grants
2) Association of Canadian Publishers: http://www.publishers.ca/publishing-writing-grants.htm
3) Ontario Council for the Arts (http://www.arts.on.ca/grants/writing) has a Writers’ Reserve for professional writers. For more information, write to Lorraine Filyer in the Literature Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org. She also handles grants for works in progress, travel grants and creative writing grants.
4) Canadian organizations: http://authorial.com/pages/f1_grants.html
5) The Canadian Writers’ Foundation: http://www.canauthors.org
In the United States:
6) The Writers’ Directory: http://www.usarts.grants.com
7) Uncle Sams Money: http://www.UncleSamsMoney.com
8) Grant-Sources: http://www.Grant-Sources.com
9) Grants for the Serious Writer at: http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/grants.htm
10) The Writer’s Fund: http://www.writersfund.org
11) GuideStar – a database of more than 40,000 non-profit organizations and charities at: http://www.guidestar.org
12) The Foundation Center: http://www.fdncenter.org
13) Granting organizations: http://www.pw.org/links.pages/Grants_and_Awards
14) The National Endowment for the Arts: http://arts.endow.gov/guide
In the library, refer to such books as the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)(for U.S. only).
Applying for a Grant
Once you have found a shortlist of possible grantors, you will need to send out query letters. They should include the following:
1) A mission statement, which in the case of a writer is to publish your book and widen your profile as an author.
2) A description of your proposed book.
3) A summary of you goals and objectives.
4) List any collaborators, illustrators, etc.
5) Give a time frame for completion.
6) Give a brief description of how the funds would be used.
7) List any other funding that you have received from that particular grantor.
Once you have some positive responses, you will need to send along a grant proposal. Preparing a grant proposal can be a daunting experience, if you’ve never done it before. Remember that the primary goal of your proposal is to sell a potential grantor on the idea of helping you attain your goals.
When you write your proposal, be concise and clear about what you need, including the cost of any research or collaborators and what the funding will be used for. Make sure you read the potential grantor’s guidelines and instructions very carefully. Give the grantor a reason to believe that you will successfully carry out the work.
Be sure to proofread your proposal. There is nothing worse than applying for a writing grant with a proposal that looks like you are a sloppy or incompetent writer. Finally, if you are rejected, you may ask for a grant reviewer’s opinion and suggestions. This will help you the next time you apply.
Components of a Funding Proposal
1) A three to four sentence summary of the book for which you seek funding.
2) An introduction telling a little about you and your qualifications.
3) A Statement of Need based on facts to show why you need the funding.
4) State your objective. How will the funds assist you?
5) State your method of accomplishing your objective.
6) An evaluation on how you will measure your success.
7) Future funding: how will this funding help you to continue successfully with your writing career?
8) Budget: clearly define the costs that will be borne by the grant.
If you still feel unsure of yourself when it comes to preparing a grant proposal, you can take a grant-writing course for about $300 at: http://www.grantwriters.com or purchase a book like The Grant Winner Guide for $35 at: http://www.grantwinner.nt/?hop=invest2.