10 Tips for Finding Grants to Fund Your Literary Pursuits
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Start with specific literary grant search engines
  2. Network with other writers
  3. Apply for grants that match your writing style
  4. Create a strong writing sample
  5. Write a compelling proposal
  6. Research past recipients
  7. Seek feedback before submitting
  8. Apply for multiple grants
  9. Stay organized and meet deadlines
  10. Follow up after submission

Finding the right grant to fund your literary pursuits can seem like looking for a needle in a haystack. But with the right strategy, you can uncover the resources that can help turn your writing dreams into a reality. Here are 10 tips on how to find grants for literature and how to make your application stand out among the rest.

Start with Specific Literary Grant Search Engines

Let's kick things off with your first step — using specific literary grant search engines. It's like using a treasure map instead of wandering aimlessly in search of gold. These search engines, designed specifically for writers, are your secret weapon for finding grants that match your literary pursuits.

How exactly do you use these search engines? It's simpler than you may think. Start by typing in specific keywords related to your writing style, genre, or the type of grant you're seeking. For example, if you're a poet looking for a fellowship, you could use keywords such as "poetry grants," "fellowships for poets," or "literary grants for poetry."

Once you've got your search results, it's time to get down to business. Sift through the list, read the grant descriptions, and make a note of those that align with your writing goals. And remember, the more specific your search, the higher your chances are of finding the perfect grant.

There are several popular literary grant search engines you can explore. These include GrantForward, GrantWatch, and FundsforWriters. Each platform offers a wealth of information on a variety of grants and fellowships tailored for writers just like you.

So, to recap: using literary grant search engines isn't just a wise first step, it's an effective strategy on how to find grants for literature. Armed with the right keywords, a little patience, and a dash of perseverance, you'll be one step closer to securing funding for your literary pursuits!

Network with Other Writers

Now that we've talked about digging into literary grant search engines, let's move on to tip number two: networking with other writers. When it comes to finding out how to find grants for literature, who better to ask than fellow writers?

Connecting with other writers can open up a world of opportunities. Think of it as joining a club where everyone shares the same goal — to find grants to fund their literary pursuits.

So, how do you go about networking? Well, it's not as formal as it sounds. It could be as simple as joining a local writing group or participating in online writer's forums. Don't be shy to ask others about the grants they've applied for or any tips they might have for the application process.

And remember, networking is a two-way street. Be generous with your own experiences and insights. You never know — the advice you give to a fellow writer today could come back to you tenfold in the future.

So, get out there and start networking! It's a great way to learn from the experiences of others, discover new opportunities, and get the inside scoop on how to find grants for literature. And who knows? You might make some lifelong friends along the way!

Apply for Grants that Match Your Writing Style

Alright, let's move on to the next tip. Once you've started networking and have got some potential grants on your radar, it's time to be a bit picky. Not every grant will be a good fit for you, and that's okay. It's all about finding the grants that match your writing style.

If you're a poet, a grant geared towards non-fiction writers won't be your best bet. Similarly, if you're an emerging writer who mainly writes short stories, you might want to steer clear of grants specifically designed for established novelists. It might seem like a good idea to apply for every grant under the sun, but trust me, it's far more efficient to focus your energy on the ones that truly align with your writing style.

So, how do you figure out if a grant is a good match? Start by reading the grant's guidelines thoroughly. Look for any mention of the type of writing the grant supports. Some might explicitly state they're looking for experimental poetry, while others might be open to all forms of fiction. If you're still unsure, don't hesitate to reach out to the grant organization for clarification.

Remember, the goal is to find a grant that not only funds your writing but also values and appreciates your unique writing style. So, take the time to find the right match — it could make all the difference in your grant application journey.

Create a Strong Writing Sample

Let's move forward. Once you've found some grants that match your style, the next step is to work on your writing sample. This is the part of your application where you truly get to shine. It's your audition, your interview, your chance to show off what you can do. So, how can you create a writing sample that will stand out?

First and foremost, make sure it's your best work. That might sound obvious, but it's easy to rush this step, especially if you're dealing with a tight deadline. Resist the urge to just throw something together. Remember, this is your chance to show the grant committee what you're capable of, so it's worth putting in the extra effort.

Next, make sure your sample aligns with the grant's requirements. If they ask for a 10-page sample, don't send in a 20-page one. If they want a piece of fiction, don't send in a poem. It's important to follow the guidelines exactly. Not doing so could get your application tossed out before it’s even read.

Finally, make sure your writing sample is a good representation of the project you're hoping to fund with the grant. If you're applying for a grant to write a novel, for example, you'll want to submit a sample that shows you can handle long-form narrative. Whatever your project, make sure your sample demonstrates your ability to successfully complete it.

In conclusion, creating a strong writing sample requires time, effort, and attention to detail. But remember, this is your chance to shine — to show the grant committee why you deserve to be funded. So take the time to create a sample that you're proud of. It's one of the best ways to increase your chances of securing that grant.

Write a Compelling Proposal

Moving on to the next step, writing a compelling proposal can be likened to crafting a persuasive sales pitch. This is where you sell not only your project, but also yourself. So, how can you pen a proposal that convinces the grant committee to invest in your literary pursuits?

Start by providing a clear, concise overview of your project. The committee members are busy people, so you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. Make sure your project description is engaging, and that it quickly communicates why your project is unique and worth funding.

Next, explain why you're the right person to carry out this project. Have you published other works in the past? Do you have a unique perspective or expertise that makes you especially suited to this project? This is your chance to show the committee that you're not just passionate about your work, but that you're also capable of seeing it through to completion.

Now, let's not forget about the budget. Make sure you provide a detailed, realistic budget that aligns with your project plan. This shows the committee that you've thought through the project and understand what it will take to complete it.

Lastly, remember to keep your proposal focused and free of jargon. You want to make it as easy as possible for the committee to understand your project and see its potential. So, use plain language and avoid unnecessary technical terms.

In a nutshell, a compelling proposal is clear, concise, and convincing. It clearly communicates what your project is about, why it's unique, and why you're the right person to carry it out. By focusing on these elements, you can increase your chances of standing out in the sea of applications.

Research Past Recipients

Up next in our guide on how to find grants for literature and increase your chances of securing them is researching past recipients. Why is this important, you ask? Because it gives you a clearer understanding of what the grant committee is looking for.

Start by looking up who has won the grant in the past. Typically, you should be able to find this information on the grant's website. From there, you can delve into these writers' profiles. What kind of work do they produce? What themes do they explore? How does their writing style compare to yours?

But don't stop there. Try to get your hands on their winning proposals if possible. Some organizations post samples of successful applications on their websites. These can be incredibly useful to see what a winning proposal looks like and what kind of projects get funded.

Moreover, if any of these authors have a public presence—say, a blog or social media platform—consider following them. You never know, they might share tips or insights about their application process. Plus, it's always good to expand your network with writers who have successfully navigated the grant application process.

Remember, the goal here isn't to copy someone else's ideas or proposal. Instead, it's about understanding what has been successful in the past and using that information to refine your own application. By doing your homework and researching past winners, you are taking an important step towards your own literary success.

Seek Feedback Before Submitting

Now, let's talk about a step that's easy to overlook when you're trying to find grants for literature: seeking feedback before you submit your application. This might seem like extra work, but trust me—it can make a world of difference.

Think about it. You've spent hours crafting your application, fine-tuning your writing sample, and polishing your proposal. You're so close to it all that it's hard to see it objectively. That's why a fresh set of eyes can be a game-changer.

So, who should you ask for feedback? Well, fellow writers are a great start. They understand the craft and can provide valuable insights into your work. But don't limit yourself to just writers. Friends, family members, mentors—anyone who's willing to give your application a read could provide valuable feedback. They might pick up on something you missed or suggest improvements you hadn't considered.

One important point here: make sure you give your reviewers enough time to read and evaluate your work. Don't hand it over the night before the deadline. Plan ahead and allow for at least a week of review time. This way, you'll have ample time to make revisions based on their feedback.

In conclusion, seeking feedback before submitting your application is a significant step when figuring out how to find grants for literature. It can help you refine your application and increase your chances of success. So, don't skip this step—it's worth the extra effort!

Apply for Multiple Grants

So, you've found a few literature grants that seem like a perfect fit. Great job! But don't stop there. Here's a tip that might surprise you: apply for multiple grants. Yes, you read that right. Cast a wider net, and you'll increase your chances of catching something.

Why is this a smart move? Well, think about it. The more grants you apply for, the better your chances of landing at least one. It's like buying more raffle tickets—the more you have, the higher your chances of winning.

But here's an important note: applying for multiple grants doesn't mean you should lower the quality of your applications. Each application should be as strong as if it were your only one. This might mean putting in more time and effort, but remember, the reward could be a grant that supports your literary pursuits.

Another thing: applying for multiple grants doesn't mean applying for every grant under the sun. Be selective. Choose grants that match your writing style, your project, and your goals. Tailor your application to each specific grant. This not only shows that you've done your homework, but it also demonstrates your commitment and passion—which can only boost your chances of success.

In conclusion, if you're trying to figure out how to find grants for literature, remember to apply for multiple grants. It's a strategy that can increase your chances of success and help you fund your literary dreams.

Stay Organized and Meet Deadlines

When you're applying for multiple grants, it's easy to get lost in a sea of requirements, deadlines, and application forms. Staying organized is key. Think of it as your secret weapon in your quest on how to find grants for literature.

How do you stay organized? Start by keeping track of all the grants you're applying for. A simple spreadsheet can do the trick. List down the name of the grant, the application deadline, the requirements, and the date you submitted your application. This way, you have all your information in one place. A quick glance can tell you what's due next and what's already done.

Meeting deadlines is just as important. Remember, no matter how perfect your application is, if it's late, it won't get considered. Mark your calendar, set reminders, do whatever it takes to submit your applications on time.

Keeping everything organized and meeting deadlines might seem like small things, but they can make a big difference in your grant application process. By staying on top of your applications, you can apply to more grants, avoid last-minute stress, and increase your chances of getting funding for your literary pursuits.

So, the next time you're wondering how to find grants for literature, remember these tips: stay organized and always meet your deadlines. They might just be the keys to funding your next big literary project.

Follow up after submission

Now, you've hit the submit button on your grant applications. You've done all the work of crafting a compelling proposal, organizing your applications, and meeting your deadlines. So, what's next on the journey of how to find grants for literature? It's time for the follow-up.

Following up after submission is like the cherry on top of a well-baked cake. It shows your commitment and eagerness. But remember, it's not about pestering the grant committee. It's about showing your genuine interest and appreciation.

Wait for a couple of weeks after the deadline before you follow up. You can send a brief, polite email to confirm that they received your application and to express your gratitude for the opportunity to apply. If you met someone from the grant committee during any events or networking, you can mention that as a gentle reminder of who you are.

Do remember though, every grant organization is different. Some might appreciate the follow-up, while others might prefer not to receive additional communication. It's always a good idea to check their guidelines or ask during any informational sessions.

Following up after submission is an often overlooked step in the process of how to find grants for literature. But it's a simple and effective way to stand out from the crowd, and possibly tip the scales in your favor.

If you're eager to find grants to fund your literary pursuits, consider checking out the workshop 'Applying for Your MFA (Masters in Fine Art)' by Ciarra K. Walters. While the workshop primarily focuses on the application process for an MFA, it also covers valuable information on funding opportunities and grants that can help support your literary journey. Don't miss out on this informative workshop!