Speculative Literature Foundation: Grants for Creative Writing

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

FUNDING AREAS: Creative writing for science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature

IP TAKE: This is a great funder to know for economically disadvantaged, women, ethnic minority, and LGBTQ creative writers.

PROFILE: The Speculative Literature Foundation is an arts funder that is specifically focused on science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature. This foundation was established in 2004 and has more than 30 volunteers that work under the direction of Executive Director Mary Anne Mohanraj.

This foundation supports promising new writers and established writers working for quality magazines and small presses. The goal of this funder is to achieve a greater appreciation for these types of fiction. It is a genre arts foundation working to connect writers, editors, readers, and academics. To this end, SLF awards cash “gateway grants” with an easy application and no application fees.

To be eligible for an SLF grant, you’ll need to be working within the realm of fantastic literature, such as hard science fiction, epic fantasy, ghost stories, horror, folk tales, fairy tales, slipstream, magical realism, modern myth-making, and more. Essentially anything with a fantastical or speculative element could qualify for an SLF grant. It also seeks to support under-represented writers in this genre, including women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.

There are currently four grant opportunities at SLF. Older writers’ grants are awarded to writers 50 or older; two $500 grants are offered each year, and the submission period is January 1 to March 31. The Gulliver Travel Research Grant is awarded to assist writers of fiction, poetry, drama, or creative nonfiction with their research. In the past, the open grant period has been July 1 to September 30. These grants are $800 each and are meant to be used for airfare, lodging, and other travel expenses.

Working Class Writers’ Grants are given to “working-class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers” who have limited resources to contribute to the literary community. These grants are $750 each, and applications have been accepted between December 1 and February 28 in the past. Finally, Diverse Writers Grants go to writers of color, women, LBGTQ, and other marginalized groups of writers who have encountered obstacles in the process of writing and publishing. These are due between May 1 and July 31.

This is a global funder with no specific regional focus. However, only works in English are considered for grants at this time. Mohanraj is based in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. General questions and grant-specific questions can be directed to Mohanraj at director@speclit.org.

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