Where writers can find support – financial, editorial, and pastoral
Please note that all links will take you to external websites, the contents of which we cannot be held responsible for. If you notice any broken links, outdated information, or have suggestions for additional resources, please get in touch.
You can find a full Directory of Literature Organisations on the National Centre for Writing’s website.
The Alliance of Independent Authors work with authors, publishing services and author organisations, globally, and advocate for indie authors within the literary, publishing and creative industries. They run an ongoing campaign to find ways to ensure everyone can access self-publishing – see their guide here.
All Stories is a free mentoring programme for writers of children’s books who come from underrepresented backgrounds.
For those based in England, Arts Council England’s funding programmes include Developing your Creative Practice, which allows independent creative practitioners to undertake ambitious research and development and make a step change in their practice, and National Lottery Project Grants which support thousands of individual artists, and community and cultural organisations.
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland offers a range of funding support schemes to individuals in Northern Ireland including Travel Awards.
Arvon offers residential courses and retreats in its centres in Devon, Shropshire and West Yorkshire. Established authors work closely with writers working, or embarking, on books. Grants are available to help with course fees.
The Authors’ Foundation, together with the K. Blundell Trust, are administered by the Society of Authors and offer grants to writers with works in progress, this year totalling in excess of £360,000. Each grant can be up to £6,000 (occasionally more). Almost always, the authors receiving these grants will have contracts from UK publishers. The grants are made twice a year.
The BBC Writersroom runs the Script Room, the BBC’s system for receiving unsolicited original scripts. It has distinct submission windows which are announced on its website. Opportunities for shortlisted writers include an invitation to be part of Drama Room and Comedy Room development groups.
The Biographers’ Club administers prizes for biography writing, including the Slightly Foxed Best Biography Prize for the best first biography and the Tony Lothian Prize for an uncommissioned proposal from a first time biographer.
Black Girl Writers provides free mentoring to Black women writers, pairing aspiring writers with professional writers or those working in publishing. They also run events and workshops.
The Black Writers Guild can be joined by Black writers (you need to apply to join). They also run the Mary Prince Memorial Award for writers of African and African Caribbean heritage who are over 35.
BookTrust’s programme, BookTrust Represents, provides support to children’s authors and illustrators of colour to help them reach a wider audience. They also run workshops and other events for those at the beginning of their careers.
The British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants are available to support primary research in the humanities and social sciences. These awards, up to £10,000 in value and tenable for up to 24 months, are provided to cover the cost of the expenses arising from a defined research project.
Creative Future is an arts organisation and charity. They seek to make the arts more diverse by supporting underrepresented artists and those facing inequalities. The also run the Creative Future Writers’ Award for underrerpresented writers.
Creative Scotland has a variety of funding opportunities including its Open Project Funding for artists, groups and creative organisations based in Scotland who need support to pursue their artistic or creative projects.
The Gaelic Books Council provides support to Scottish Gaelic writers through grants. They also run awards in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust and run events.
Grand Plan is a charity that gives £1000 grants to UK based creatives of colour to help them fund a project.
Hawthornden Literary Retreat in Midlothian is an international retreat where up to five writers (Fellows) at a time can stay and work, with free board and lodging, for a month.
I LIKE NETWORKING is a career platform for women and non-binary people in the creative industries. They run a range of activities including workshops, panels, mentoring and membership, and regularly feature opportunities on their Instagram page.
Jerwood Arts has several funding streams. The Jerwood New Work Fund enables artists, artistic groups and artist led organisations to undertake the research, development and creation of new work to bring about a step change in their practice and profile. The Jerwood Bursaries offer funding opportunities to network, find new partners for collaboration, receive mentoring or take part in training, conferences, workshops and residencies.
Kiota Bristol is a collective for Bristol based BPOC creatives. They do regular showcases at The Wardrobe Theatre.
The Literary Consultancy (TLC) offers manuscript assessment and editorial advice for writers at all stages in their careers. It has an Arts Council England-funded Free Reads Scheme for writers on low incomes.
Literature Wales offers support to both new and established writers resident in Wales through its Writers’ Bursaries scheme. Bursaries are awarded annually to writers at all stages of their careers. The refocused 2019 Writers’ Bursaries Awards, which are funded by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Wales, enable writers to concentrate on developing a specific work in progress across a twelve-month period. Awards are fixed at £3,000.
The London Writers’ Salon runs free daily writing sessions online every weekday.
Mental Heath for Creative Freelancers is a resource created by The Society of Authors, The Association of Illustrators and The Association of Photographers to address common issues experienced by their members and other creatives, offering practical strategies to help deal with them
National Association of Writers in Education (nawe) aims to further knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of creative writing and to support good practice in its teaching and learning at all levels. nawe runs an Annual Conference and offers a range of online resources.
Neon Books manage The Big List of UK Writing Competitions, covering a range of literary forms.
New Writing North offers Northern Writers’ Awards, which support works in progress by new and emerging writers across the north of England. It also supports new work by established writers, particularly those whose work is changing direction.
Out on the Page runs events for LGBTQ+ writers. They are focused on writer development, promoting LGBTQ+ writers and bringing writers together.
The Peggy Ramsay Foundation gives grants to theatre writers in order to afford them the time and the space to write. You can be a writer who has only had one play professionally produced, a writer who has had dozens of successes or a writer who is somewhere in between.
Pen to Print supports writers in Barking and Dagenham. Their work includes their free events and workshops, as well as writing competitions and their Write On! publications.
Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, is committed to the development and support of playwrights in Scotland. Their programmes include their Disabled Playwright Support Programme and Playwright Mentoring Programme.
Poetry Ireland is an organisation focused on providing poets in the island of Ireland with opportunities for publication and performance. Their website also contains useful resources for writers.
The Royal Literary Fund’s Fellowship Scheme gives professional authors – who must have published at least two books – one or two years’ paid employment in higher education institutions while they work on their books. The principal aim of the Fellows’ work is to foster good writing practice across disciplines and media.
The Scottish BPOC Writers Network provides advocacy, networking, promoting Scottish & Scotland-based writers of colour, literary events & spaces.
Shape Arts runs programmes which give opportunities to disabled creatives. Their website contains resources for disabled artists.
The Society of Authors is the UK trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers.
Wellspring is a professional development programme for disabled, d/Deaf and Neurodivergent playwrights. They provide participants with tools and skills to build confidence and foster connections with UK’s theatre sector, in a safe and supportive environment.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust runs the Churchill Fellowships, a unique programme of overseas research grants. These support UK citizens from all parts of society to travel the world in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems. Writers are encouraged to apply.
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) is a trade union representing professional writers in television, film, theatre, radio, books, comedy, poetry, animation and video games. Its members include emerging and aspiring writers.
Writing Our Legacy is an arts organisation raising awareness of Black, Asian and ethnic diverse writers & poets in Sussex and the South East, offering bursaries, events, and development opportunities.