Funding for writing, at any level, can be a challenge. While philanthropy supporting creative writing is not abundant, several opportunities exist for funding. This guide offers funding opportunities for those seeking institutional or individual support for projects related to creative writing, nonfiction writing, poetry, and literary scholarship. In contrast from other areas of giving, grants related to creative writing often come in the form of individual grants or fellowships.

If you’re seeking funding for scholarly or educational programs centered on K-12 or higher education, look instead at our Higher Education and ECE funding guides. All the funder profiles below are updated regularly and we often add new ones. Only paid subscribers can access these resources (subscribe here).

FUNDERS

ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES

This funder supports projects that encourage filmmaking, promote the film industry, and contribute to an understanding and appreciation of motion pictures.

AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY

AAS funds fellowships that improve the American people’s understanding of pre-twentieth century history.

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN

This funder makes grants to women academics and supports women and girls through activism and empowerment. The AAUW funds varies projects related to the arts and writing.

THE ANDERSON CENTER

The Anderson Center is an artist community in rural Minnesota that provides opportunities for residencies and retreats. It supports the arts in the upper Midwest.

ARCH AND BRUCE BROWN FOUNDATION

This foundation’s literary grantmaking focuses on works (primarily plays) that support and project LGBT life in a positive way. It also awards grants that can be used to offset writing and theater production costs.

ARIZONA COMMISSION ON THE ARTS

The Arizona Commission on the Arts supports arts projects and organizations across the region.

ARTSKC REGIONAL ARTS COUNCIL

ArtsKC supports arts projects and organizations within a five county region that includes Missouri and Kansas.

ARTS WRITERS

Arts Writers grants support established and emerging writers who write about visual art.

ASTRAEA LESBIAN FOUNDATION FOR JUSTICE

Astraea funds grants for lesbians and queer women, trans and gender non-conforming people, intersex people, and people of color. The foundation also supports rights organizations that advance racial, economic, and gender-related justice.

THE AWESOME FOUNDATION

The Awesome Foundation is a collection of autonomous chapters, each tasked with promoting the cause of awesome. It offers micro-grants of $1,000 each to projects it considers ‘awesome.’

BOGLIASCO FOUNDATION

The Bogliasco Foundation, near Genoa in Italy, provides short residencies to scholars and creative artists from all over the world.

THE BROWN FOUNDATION

The Brown Foundation prioritizes supports both large and small arts organizations in Texas, but conducts some work across the United States.

WITTER BYNNER FOUNDATION FOR POETRY

Bynner supports a variety of grant programs to support poetry, including its translation and proliferation. 

AMON G. CARTER FOUNDATION

This funder makes grants to promote and strengthen Tarrant County, Texas, which includes Fort Worth; however, it funds writing nationwide.

CINTAS FOUNDATION

The Cintas foundation prioritizes grantmaking for creative artists with Cuban citizenship or who have a Cuban parent or grandparent. Its funding areas include architecture and design, music composition, the visual arts, and writing.

CREATIVE CAPITAL

Creative Capital awards grants of up to $50,000 for individual writers and artists while also offering career development services like professional development workshops, industry contact development, marketing and public relations services and fundraising workshops.

COMPTON FOUNDATION

This funder supports creative writing focused on the intersection of art and social or environmental change. It is open to creative journalistic approaches, new ways of sharing data, and training organizations in strategic ways to tell their stories.

BARBARA DEMING MEMORIAL FUND

Deming is one of the oldest grantmakers for feminist artists. Most grants fund writers and visual artists who live in the U.S. and Canada.

MAX AND VICTORIA DREYFUS FOUNDATION

The foundation was established after the death of famed music publisher Max Dreyfus, who worked with American greats like George Gershwin and Cole Porter. This funder is interested in providing smaller grants that can make a big difference. 

FORD FOUNDATION

With more than $11 billion in assets, the Ford Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States. It prioritizes addressing inequality and fostering social change across its programs, including writing.

FOUNDATION FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS

Creative writing grants from FCA go to poets. The organization doesn't shy away from provocative or controversial material.

FOUNDATION FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE

The Foundation for Middle East Peace supports educational, humanitarian, public affairs, and civil rights organizations seeking to contribute peaceful solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

JOHN SIMON GUGGENHEIM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

One of the most prestigious awards in its field, the Guggenheim Fellowship is considered a mid-career award for those who are well established in their area of expertise.

THE YIP HARBURG FOUNDATION

The Yip Harburg Foundation makes grants in support of social and political activism in keeping with its founder’s legacy.

HAVEN FOUNDATION

Established by author Stephen King after he was hit by a car and couldn't work for nearly a year, Haven provides grants to writers, audio readers and other freelance artists in need.

DAVID CHARLES HORN FOUNDATION

The David Charles Horn Foundation supports unpublished works of playwrights around the world.

RONA JAFFE FOUNDATION

This funder supports women writers in the early stages of their careers who are working on literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Unsolicited applications and nominations are not accepted.

JEROME FOUNDATION

The Jerome Foundation supports literary organizations with ongoing programs and services for early career artists.

THE KENTUCKY FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN

The Kentucky Foundation for Women prioritizes feminist artists and writers in Kentucky.

KRESGE FOUNDATION

No specific creative writing grant program here, but Kresge supports community development through the arts, with focus on disenfranchised communities. Grants go to organizations, not individuals.

THE HAMBIDGE CENTER

The Hambidge Center’s residency program supports science and scholarship, architecture and design, culinary artisans, and artists of all disciplines.

JAPAN-UNITED STATES FRIENDSHIP COMMISSION

This funder is an independent federal government agency that supports projects that highlight the cultural, educational, and intellectual exchange between the United States and Japan. The commission conducts grantmaking to support creative writing across the United States.

LANNAN FOUNDATION

Grants range between $50,000 and $150,000 and are awarded to organizations and tribes. However, the foundation also grants fellowships and awards to individual scribes ranging from $25,000 to $150,000.

LEEWAY FOUNDATION

The Leeway Foundation supports women and trans artists who create art for social change.

LOFT LITERARY CENTER

One of the leading literary organizations in the country. Manages six programs with funding up to $40,000. It also offers resources for writers at various stages of their careers.

MID-AMERICA ARTS ALLIANCE

The Mid-America Alliance makes grants to individual artists and arts organizations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

MID ATLANTIC ARTS FOUNDATION

This funder awards organizational grants and creative writing fellowships to help artists work in an uninterrupted, connected, and inspiring way. A couple spots per year are saved for individuals who reside in the Mid Atlantic states.

MIDWEST WRITING CENTER

Midwest Writing Center supports writers and literary projects across the region, which includes several states.

MINNESOTA STATE ARTS BOARD

Minnesota State Arts Board supports arts projects and organizations within the state, where it is the largest arts funder.

MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION

The Mississippi Arts Commisson supports artists and arts organizations working in the state.

MISSOURI ARTS COUNCIL

The Missouri Arts Council broadly supports arts projects within the state.

NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION

The National Book Foundation oversees the prestigious National Book Awards and funds various programs, honors, and awards related in some way to books, reading, and writing.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

NEA is an independent government organization that funds art projects that celebrate artistic American excellence.

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

NEH is an independent government organization that funds projects to promote research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. NEH supports writing across several programs.

NATIONAL HOME LIBRARY FOUNDATION

NHLF supports projects that distribute books and other forms of reading materials to libraries, schools, and community groups with limited resources.

NATIONAL LEAGUE OF AMERICAN PEN WOMEN

National League of American Pen Women seeks to increase the visibility of women artists in the art world. Its funding priorities include music, visual arts, and writing.

NATIONAL YOUNGARTS FOUNDATION

The National YoungArts Foundation (NYAF) seeks to nurture accomplished 15- to 18-year-old emerging artists in cinema, dance, design, music, photography, writing, theater, and the visual arts. The NYAF provides a variety of mentorship and scholarship programs, master classes, national recognition, and other opportunities in order to further learning and encourage pursuit of careers in the arts.

NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL

The North Carolina Arts Council supports artists and arts organizations working in the state.

OHIOANA LIBRARY ASSOCIATION

The Ohioana Library Association prioritizes the work of Ohio creators.

OPEN MEADOWS FOUNDATION

Open Meadows grants support women and girls leading and benefitting from projects that address activism and social justice.

PEN/AMERICA

One of the most well-known and respected literary organizations in the country. It gives over $150,000 each year to writers in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, and poetry.

WILLIAM PENN FOUNDATION

The Penn Foundation prioritizes organization in the Greater Philadelphia region or organizations whose projects benefit Philadelphia.

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE FOUNDATION

The Penguin Random House Foundation makes grants to support writers and readers, and to champion the cause of literature in general.

PEW CENTER FOR ARTS AND HERITAGE

The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage awards grants exclusively to organizations and individuals in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region. It supports artists and organizations with ambitious, imaginative projects.

PLAYWRIGHTS’ CENTER

The Playwrights’ Center supports playwrights in all stages of their career in Minnesota and beyond.

POETRY FOUNDATION

Many of the Poetry Foundation's awards and prizes aren't actually open to the poetic public at large, except for the Emily Dickinson First Book Award and five annual Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships.

ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION

Rockefeller doesn’t offer traditional literary grants in the form of cash; instead, it offers a two- to four-week writers' residence at its Bellagio Center. 

SAN FRANCISCO FOUNDATION

The San Francisco Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the nation and funds a broad range of equity-focused nonprofit organizations and artists in the Greater Bay Area.

SISTERS IN CRIME

Sisters in Crime supports female writers of crime and mystery fiction, and seeks to increase the visibility of women in the genre.

SOCIETY OF CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS

Members of SCBWI are eligible for support here. Awards go to authors and illustrators as community grants, diversity grants, and grants for students.

SOUTH ARTS FUND

Provides grants to organizations in southern U.S. states that present touring literary artists from out of state.

SOUTHEASTERN MINNESOTA ARTS COUNCIL

The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council supports artists and arts development in the region. Its grantmaking encompasses dance, literary arts, theatre, music, and the visual arts.

SPECULATIVE LITERATURE FOUNDATION

This funder has four grant opportunities within the realm of science fiction, fantasy, and horror creative writing. These are grants for older writers over 50, travel support, working class writers, and emerging writers from underrepresented groups.

SUSTAINABLE ARTS FOUNDATION

The Sustainable Arts Foundation awards annual grants to writers, poets, and playwrights with children under the age of 18 in order to support artists who are continuing their creative pursuits while raising a family. 

UNITED STATES ARTISTS

Gives out as many as 50 unrestricted $50,000 grants directly to artists each year, with creative writing at the forefront. These are competitive and elusive grants; you must be nominated for them, and the nominators are anonymous.

ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION

Warhol’s Arts Writers Grant Program and other initiatives award grants from between $3,000 and $50,000 to authors who write about the visual arts. 

WESTERN STATES ARTS FEDERATION

Financially incentivizes presenting organizations to bring visiting artists into the region. Its TourWest program is a "competitive grant program that provides subsidies to arts and community organizations for the presentation of out-of-state touring performers and literary artists." 

WHITING FOUNDATION

Whiting provides $40,000 to $50,000 grants to promising emerging writers to enable them to concentrate on literary work. Writers don't apply; they're nominated by a changing group of literature professionals and influencers.

HELENE WURLITZER FOUNDATION

This funder supports literary artists as part of its artist resident program in Taos, New Mexico. It provides residence grants to writers without any expectation or requirement of creative output.

WYOMING ARTS COUNCIL

The Wyoming Arts Council supports arts projects within the state. It offers support for creative writing through grants and fellowships.

Other Writing Grants and Fellowships

American Society of Journalists and Authors: Provides emergency assistance funds for writers, as well as a number of awards.

Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship: $54,000 scholarship for poets traveling abroad.

Artist Trust : $7,500 fellowship, as well as other awards and grants.

Ernest J. Gaines Book Award: $10,000 award to African-American fiction authors with exceptional talent.

Elizabeth George Foundation: Awards grants to unpublished fiction writers, poets, emerging playwrights, and nonprofit organizations benefiting disadvantaged youth. 

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation: Fellowship amounts vary.

Kerouac Project Residency Program : $800 stipend and a three-month stay at the Jack Kerouac cottage.

Sherwood Anderson Foundation Grant: Support for early-career fiction writers with one to two published works.

Writer’s Center Emerging Writer Fellowships: $250 or $500 honorarium to attend the Writer's Center celebration in Washington D.C.