Examples of Writers Helped by the RLF
An acclaimed poet had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing
several months of chemotherapy. She was unable to meet her writing
deadlines and could not take up poetry reading opportunities. The
Committee made her a grant to help with bills while she was receiving
A short-story writer had developed multiple sclerosis in 1990 and
her mobility had become increasingly impaired. She relied on a voice-activated
computer which was antiquated and unreliable. The Committee decided
to buy her a new computer, printer and software.
An award-winning playwright in her seventies suffered from arthritis
and had been unable to write for several months. Following surgery,
she was recovering gradually but found that commissions were drying
up. She was worried about falling into debt and planned to sell her
flat when she was stronger. The Committee awarded her an annual pension
to provide a secure income.
A writer of maritime histories had published one book a year for ten
years but changes at his publishing house had led to two book deals
being abandoned. He had various non-writing projects in progress but
had had to increase his mortgage to help clear his debts. The Committee
made him a grant.
A prolific comic crimewriter had suffered a stroke which had affected
his mobility and his short-term memory. He had had to leave his salaried
job, and was unable to concentrate on writing. He had given up smoking
and alcohol on his doctor's advice but recovery was gradual. The Committee
awarded a grant and invited him to apply again in a year's time.
A biographer had experienced a particularly bad year. She had broken
her wrist and been unable to write for several months. Her husband,
who suffered from chronic depression had required increased support
while his medication was changed. Her latest book was two years away
from publication. The couple were thinking of selling their house
to help clear their debts. The Committee made her a grant to help
her through a difficult period.
A playwright and performance poet had spent three decades touring
village halls and schools all over the world. He had subsisted on
low earnings throughout his life, and following retirement and the
collapse of his marriage, he was trying to survive on benefits. The
Committee made him a grant within the disregard regulations to supplement
his low income.
An award-winning poet had relocated to the South of England and been
unable to live in her new house until essential building work was
carried out. She had become ill with depression and agoraphobia and
had to take time out from writing. She was worried about debts and
felt compelled to find a full-time job. The Committee made her a substantial
grant to help her make a fresh start.
A freelance journalist and biographer, who had had a successful career
for many years, developed an acute allergy syndrome which had taken
some time to diagnose. He had been unable to work for several months
and his debts had begun to accumulate. The Committee made him a grant
to help compensate for his loss of earnings.
A children's novelist had supplemented her income from writing by
letting rooms in her house. However, problems with her son and his
partner, who were long-term drug dependent, had resulted in her having
to live with her two grandchildren to prevent them being taken into
care. She was now struggling to manage and had taken out a bank loan
to cover additional expenditure. The Committee made her a grant and
helped clear some of her debts.
A poet and literary critic had led an active life in retirement until
he became ill and could no longer be looked after by his wife. He
had anticipated that his academic pension would provide reasonable
comfort in his old age, but all of his income was being eaten up by
care home fees and other bills. The Committee made him an annual pension.
An elderly poet who lived in Europe had developed health problems
and was finding it difficult to meet the cost of medical care and
drugs. He continued to write in spite of deteriorating eyesight but
made little income. The Committee awarded him a pension.