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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. We provided a grant to help with bills while she was receiving treatment.


A prolific comic crime writer 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. We awarded him 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. We gave her a grant to help her through a difficult period.
A short-story writer had developed multiple sclerosis and her mobility had become increasingly impaired. She relied on a voice-activated computer which was antiquated and unreliable. We bought her a new computer, printer and software.
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. We made her a grant and helped clear some of her debts.

Roy Bainton

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. We awarded her an annual grant to provide a secure income.

From our beneficiaries

‘”Thank you” seems a poor thing to say in response to the lifeline extended to me in the form of this grant. Be sure, however, that you have my deepest appreciation. The cancer count is very high and the matter is now ‘serious’ in the words of the consultant. I had not expected the news to be quite so bad, but the grant that you have extended to me will mean that financial worries will not complicate this period of investigation. For this I am most grateful.’
‘This has taken a huge weight off my mind. To be honest, I was starting to think that, at my age, I would never dig myself out of my financial problems. Now I can breathe again and more importantly, get back to concentrating on my writing.’
‘You simply have no idea of the extent of the relief that swept over me. As far as writers are concerned the RLF is a body like no other, and judging from the research I have recently been doing into writerly archives, it has been an institution of incomparable and unique support to a medley of curious, classical, rare, strange and often broke writers of all genres since the 18th century.’
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