Speculative Literature Foundation: Grants for Creative Writing

OVERVIEW:  The Speculative Literature Foundation prioritizes science fiction, fantasy, and horror writing. It funds four creative writing grants: for writers over 50, travel support, working-class writers, and emerging writers from underrepresented groups.

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

PROFILE: Founded in 2004, the Speculative Literature Foundation prioritizes science fiction, fantasy, and horror literature. The foundation seeks “to promote literary quality in speculative fiction” and has more than 30 volunteers working under the direction of Executive Director Mary Anne Mohanraj. Its grants support travel costs, older writers, working class and poor writers, and writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups.

This foundation supports promising new writers and established writers working for quality magazines and small presses. This funder seeks to achieve a greater appreciation for these types of genre fiction by connecting 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, grantseekers need to write 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.

The Older Writers Grants support writers 50 or older; two $500 grants are awarded 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 $1000 each and are meant to be used for airfare, lodging, and other travel expenses.

Working Class Writers Grants support “working-class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers” who have limited resources. These grants are $750 each and applications are 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 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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