Grants Programme

About Grants

We offer a range of hardship grants to professional writers needing short-term to long-term financial support. You might be facing an unexpected bill, reduced income or unable to write due to a change in circumstances, sickness, disability, or age.

Our Grants team is here to guide you through our confidential application process to see if you or your family qualify for assistance.

Beneficiary Stories

Learn about the application process from our beneficiaries and how our grants have changed their lives since applying.


Over a 20-year career, the RLF has bailed me out three times with grants, each time as I was going under, in serious debt, with rent arrears. I don’t think my literary career would have survived without this financial aid.

Monique Roffey

The RLF has been an absolute lifeline for me as long as I continue with my work as an author. I have no idea how I’d have been able to do so without your organisation’s incredible kindness, understanding, and assistance.

RLF Beneficiary

Writing for a living is a precarious occupation at the best of times, and authors, even those who were once household names, sometimes need a hand. It's so good that they are there and that help exists for authors who need it.

Neil Gaiman

I turned to the RLF, and they supported me, not just financially. They encouraged me; they were a listening ear, almost like family.

RLF Beneficiary

In these times where writers’ incomes have dropped to £7000 per year on average, the Royal Literary Fund is an invaluable resource for authors who need a helping hand.

Malorie Blackman

Our Named Grants

In addition to our general grants, the RLF has a selection of specific grants for writers of particular genres, regions or stages in their careers.

Learn More

Helping writers in financial need since 1790.

Are you a professional writer facing financial hardship? The RLF may be able to help support you through our grants programme.

To be eligible for a grant, you must:

  • Hold UK or Irish Citizenship OR reside in the UK or Ireland
  • Have a minimum of two works which meet the following criteria:
    • You are the sole author of the work
    • The work has been professionally published or produced in the UK or Ireland
    • Poems, articles, short stories or essays must be published as part of a collection
  • Or be the dependant of a writer who meets the eligibility criteria above

Please note that self-published works or works derived from journalism are not eligible for consideration. See our FAQs for more details.

The RLF is not able to provide grants for the following:

  • Creative practice, i.e., grants for projects, work in progress or publication costs
  • General fundraising appeals or letters requesting donations
  • Academic research, scholarships, bursaries, student or private education fees, courses or retreats

Our committee must pass applicants for literary merit before they can consider a grant. As part of this confidential application process, you will be asked to provide details of your publishing history, details of your income and expenditure and supporting documentation. You may also be asked to send copies of your published work.

You will also be invited to discuss your application and circumstances with a staff member. Grants are given as a donation towards the removal of the distress of the applicant and not as a loan, nor for the completion of any literary work.

Enquire about a Grant

If you would like to apply for a grant, please send us a brief outline of why you are applying at this time and include a list of your publications, along with the name of the publisher and year of publication.

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Contact Info

Justine Palmer
Royal Literary Fund
3 Johnson’s Court

+44(0)20 7353 7150

Access Support

Printed and large print versions of our application form are available. If you require additional support to complete your application, please contact the Grants team to discuss how we can help you.

Contact Us

Yes, we can accept applications from legal guardians, carers (with signed, written confirmation from the author) or those with Lasting Power of Attorney.

Yes, we do support the dependants of writers. You may be asked for supporting documentation demonstrating your financial dependence on the writer. If a dependant is under 18, a parent or legal guardian must apply on their behalf.

We support writers from the following writing categories:

  • Biographers
  • Children’s and YA authors
  • Essayists
  • Non-fiction writers
  • Novelists (including ‘genre fiction’)
  • Playwrights
  • Poets
  • Scriptwriters
  • Translators
  • Writers of short stories
  • Ghost-writers
  • Graphic Novelists

Unfortunately, we are not able to currently accept the following writing categories:

  • Illustration
  • Performance poetry
  • Academic works, textbooks or technical manuals
  • Blogging
  • Work as a critic or journalist
  • Work as an editor or compiler
  • Works under contract but not yet published
  • Self-published works (including works where the author has contributed towards the cost of publishing i.e. hybrid contracts)

The Grants Committee meets 11 times a year to consider applications. The grants team will be able to confirm at which meeting your application will be considered once all relevant materials and documents have been received.

We aim to process first-time applicants within two months of receiving all relevant documents and materials, and one month for returning writers.