Applying for A Grant

Rachel Bradbury has asked me to post about applying for a grant.

Being funded to write a project is every writer’s dream, but unfortunately, arts grants are few and far between so competition is fierce.

Here are my tips on how to apply for arts funding.


  1. Show your passion for your project.
  2. Demonstrate strong reasons why you chose this project and why you are the person to write it – what’s your connection to the subject matter?
  3. Provide strong reasons for why you are doing this project, why now?
  4. Speak with enthusiasm.
  5. Outline where you are in your career and how this project will help your professional development as a writer.
  6. Talk about stylistic devices you are using and why.
  7. Show how your project will benefit others. What impact will this project have on the literary landscape – if it’s groundbreaking – say so. Why this form and not another?
  8. Clearly explain what you are trying to achieve?
  9. Have a clear rationale, clear goals and a clear plan for your project.
  10. Identify what challenges this project will present, and how will you overcome them?
  11. If at first you don’t succeed, keep applying. Some people don’t receive funding until their second and third attempt.
  12. Always read and follow submission guidelines carefully.

YOUR WISH MAY BE GRANTED – Applying for Arts Funding

I have always stumbled around in the dark when it came to completing grant applications. I thought it was just about answering the questions and sticking to the rules.

But as I discovered at today’s ASA funding seminar in Melbourne, applying for funding is so much more than that.

And if you do it right, your wish may be granted.

Here’s what I found out:

  • It’s okay…in fact, probably essential to ring the funding body and ask the co-ordinator if you are on the right track.
  • Think about what gives your project its urgency and appeal – this is what will make it stand out from other applications.
  • Read the instructions carefully – and ask the funding co-ordinator if there is something you’re unsure of.
  • Double check the criteria to make sure you are eligible.
  • Make sure you have included details of what stage of development you are seeking funding for – where are you at with this project at the moment? Where to from here?
  • Relate your ‘Aims’ to the selection criteria.
  • If there’s an interesting story behind why you have undertaken this project, include this on your application.
  • Discuss how you intend to go about your project. Will it require research? Are you going to seek feedback eg a manuscript assessment? Are you intending to submit to a publisher?
  • It’s good to have a recurring statement or goal throughout your application – eg This project will compare behavioural differences between termites and cockroaches and how they co-exist.
  • Play your natural game and be sincere – avoid jargon and allow your enthusiasm for your project to shine through.

Finally, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why should you be given funding for this project?
  2. Why you?
  3. Why now?

Yes, there are lots of people applying for funding – but someone has to get the grant – why not you?

If you’re not successful the first time, ring the funding body and ask for feedback about your application. Revise it and try again next year.

Good luck with your applications. I’ll keep you posted on how I go with mine.