It always made sense to me that if you want to find out what someone is publishing, you go to conferences to hear them speak, maybe even do a pitch so you get a personal vibe for what they are looking for.
So I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to realise that if you want to find apply for arts funding, you really should speak to the people who manage it before you fill out your grant application.
Applying for funding is not an easy road – I’ve applied many times without success, but when you believe in a project, you just have to keep trying:)
I’d probably still be living in ignorance if it weren’t for my good friend and writing buddy, Alison Reynolds. I was coming to Melbourne for a book launch so Alison kindly booked me in for an interview with the Australia Council to find out all about funding and whether my WIP might be eligible.
It was such an eye opener. Previously, I’d ‘assumed’ that the publishability of the project was a major criteria in the selection process – not true. There are so many other things you need to focus on in your application.
MY TEN TIPS
From my interview at the Australia Council, I realised that these are the things they are looking for in applications:
- Passion for your project.
- Reasons why you chose this project and why you are the person to write it – what’s your connection to the subject matter?
- Why you are doing this project, why now?
- Speak with enthusiasm.
- Outline where you are in your career and how this project will help your professional development as a writer.
- Talk about stylistic devices you are using and why.
- What impact will this project have on the literary landscape – if it’s groundbreaking – say so. Why this form and not another?
- What are you trying to achieve?
- Have a clear rationale, clear goals and a clear plan for your project.
- What challenges will this project present and how will you overcome them?
The Australia Council currently has Literature grants available in a number of categories. You can find out more here.
Good luck with your submissions. If you have any other tips about grant applications or would like to share your success stories, please feel free to comment on this post.