Ever wish you could write full-time? It's the dream of most writers. Before publication happens, it's difficult to convince family and friends that tapping away at your keyboard will one day generate some income.
Some writers try publishing freelance articles to supplement their income while they write their novel. It's a great idea, but it will extend the time it takes to finish your novel.
So here's an additional option: apply for a grant.
Believe it or not, there are foundations, organizations, and agencies that want to promote the arts--including writing. Taking the time to apply for a grant might net you the cash to be able to focus on finishing that manuscript.
Not all grants require extensive applications, but those that do will probably offer more significant amounts. The big question is where can you find grants?
Start with writer's groups. Joining a professional writer's organization gives you access to more than networking. Many larger organizations sponsor grants for members, often funded in memory of a member who has passed away. For instance, I am a member of the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. They offer several grants for writers each year in the amount of $2000. The application is brief, and asks for a synopsis and writing sample. Check out the professional organizations for the genre you write.
Find some lists. There are many places to find information on writer's grants. Read the application information carefully, as some grants involve residencies. Most grants will ask for details about a specific project you're working on. You can't usually say, "I just want to write." So working on your agent query and having a polished paragraph about your work in progress will help your application. Here are some grant sites to get you started:
C. Hope Clark's Funds for Writers. Clark keeps a list on her website, and you can sign up for several newsletters to learn about more.
WorldWideFreelance. A nice article about applying for grants, with links to emergency writing grants, and grants by country.
Love to Know. A list with links to more spots that list grants.
Freelance Writing Jobs. A list of nineteen writing grants to check out.
Writing World. A collection of grants, fellowships, and residencies.
Mira's List. A blog for creative types with residencies, fellowships, and grants.
Grants.gov. A database of federal grants to search through.
The biggest thing to remember, as C. Hope Clark says is, "You won't be able to quit work and write, but you might find a grant to make your writing goals easier to reach."
What do you think about finding a grant?