Before our upcoming short course on grant writing, Katerina Bryant talks fellowship and grant writing tips as well as where to apply.

Grant Writing Tips

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. But thankfully there are organisations that grant funding (aka. free lunches) to creatives to pursue their goals, whether that's a professional development opportunity or taking time out of that soul-sucking day job to complete a manuscript. Grants, while fantastic if you win, can be awfully competitive and time-consuming. So we've compiled some grant writing tips and tricks, as well as a few leads, to get you on your way to bringing in those big bucks. 

grant writing tips

Know who you are and where your grant application fits

Are you an emerging writer? Under 25? Are you applying on behalf of an organisation? Brainstorm what qualifies you as a practising artist. For example, I would be ‘writer’ ‘emerging’ ‘nonfiction’. You may be a visual artist who has been a published professionally for over 10 years. By breaking down who you are, you’re putting yourself in a smaller pool of applicants which helps your chances of being successful.

If you’re an emerging writer:

The Ian Potter Cultural Trust grants for emerging artists

2017 Grace Marion Wilson Glenfern Fellowships

Writing NSW Early Career Writer Grants

Sydney Review of Books Emerging Critics Fellowship

If you’re a woman, gender nonconforming writer:

The Kat Muscat Fellowship

ABR Gender Fellowship

If you’re a writer with a disability:

Write-ability Fellowships

If you’re a remote or regional writer:

Regional Arts Fund Community Grants

If you’re an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander writer:

Aboriginal Regional Arts Fund


What kind of grant will help you most?

And as a part of this, consider what you want out of this grant. Do you want access to professional development? A mentor who can comment on your work and help you grow? It could be something as simple as financial support, providing a living wage while you write your book or create art.

If you need a mentor:

ASA Emerging Writers’ and Illustrators’ Mentorship Awards

Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program 2017

If you need time to write:

Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship

If you need to travel:

The inaugural Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund

Melbourne City of Literature Travel Fund 

grant writing tips

Another large portion of available grants are for community growth and development. Rather than focus on your own development, you are focussing on getting support so you can help the community around you. In this vein, are you starting something from scratch or developing an already existing project?

If you need funding for your start-up or organisation:

The Walkley Media Incubator and Innovation Fund 

Copyright Agency Cultural Fund

Writing NSW Emerging Writing Organisation Grants

Start local

State writers’ centres and government funding bodies should be your first point of call but don’t overlook your local community. Libraries and councils can offer a series of community grants that, depending on your project, could suit your needs. Universities can also offer funding, whether you’re an undergraduate or are pursuing postgraduate study.

The more money and resources you need, the bigger the scale of funding body you need to consider and the longer you will spend on your application. When you’re looking for time to write, spending weeks on an application that may not be successful might not be the best use of your time – it’s important to weigh the risk against potential reward.

Have the time of your life on someone else’s dime

And finally, what’s better than applying for those once-in-a-lifetime experiences, because ‘what if’?

If you have a spare afternoon and wouldn’t mind the trip to Antartica?

Australian Antarctic Arts Fellowship

Want more grant writing tips and opportunities? Visit our opportunities board and sign up to our free online course, generously supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund, ‘Grant Writing with Alison Croggon’. 

Katerina Bryant's picture

Katerina Bryant

Katerina Bryant is a writer based in Adelaide and Writers Bloc's Writing Development Manager. Her work has appeared in the Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings and The Lifted Brow, amongst others. She tweets at @katerina_bry.