Grants for Professional Writers: Creative Writing
The Canada Council for the Arts is committed to equity and inclusion, and welcomes applications from diverse Aboriginal, cultural and regional communities, including people with disabilities.
- English-Language Grants: 1 October
- French-Language Grants: 1 April
If one of these dates falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day.
Please refer to the Program Guidelines for detailed information.
The Grants for Professional Writers program covers subsistence, project and travel expenses. The Creative Writing Grants component gives Canadian authors (emerging, mid-career and established) time to write new literary works, including novels, short stories, poetry, children’s and young adults’ literature, graphic novels, exploratory writing and literary non-fiction.
Exploratory writing is writing that uses technology to present literature in an innovative manner and (or) explores forms of literature outside the conventions of the novel, short story or poem.
To apply to the Canada Council for the Arts, you must be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status, as defined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. You do not need to be living in Canada when you apply.
You must also meet the Canada Council’s definition of a professional artist, which is an artist who:
- has specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions)
- is recognized as a professional by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition), and
- is committed to devoting more time to artistic activity, if possible financially.
To meet the definition of a professional creative writer, you must also have:
- at least one literary book published by a professional publishing house, or
- for fiction, a minimum of four texts of creative literary writing (e.g. short stories, excerpts from a novel) published on two separate occasions in literary magazines, recognized periodicals (including general interest magazines), or anthologies published by professional publishing houses, or
- for poetry, a minimum of 10 published poems is required, or
- for literary non-fiction, a minimum of 40 pages (10,000 words) of literary articles published in literary magazines, recognized periodicals or anthologies published by professional publishing houses.
Applicants determine the amount of the grant, taking into consideration their needs, the period covered and the maximum allowable.
Applicants must intend to work on a new literary writing project, normally planned for book-length publication, unless they are applying for a grant of $5,000 or less (for feature articles).
Grants for emerging writers are intended for writers who have published one literary book with a professional publishing house or the minimum of past literary publications required, as detailed in the eligibility criteria. The grant amounts offered are from $3,000 to $12,000.
Mid-career writers must have published between two and five literary books (all genres included) with a professional publishing house. The grant amounts offered are from $3,000 to $25,000.
Established writers must have published at least six literary books (all genres included) with a professional publishing house. The grant amounts offered are from $3,000 to $25,000.
Writing and Publishing Section
Canada Council for the Arts
350 Albert Street, P.O. Box 1047
Ottawa ON K1P 5V8
Marion Vitrac or Suzanne Keeptwo
1-800-263-5588 (toll free) or 613-566-4414 ext. 5537 or 5482