The Authors' Contingency Fund

Contingency funding for authors in financial difficulty.  

As the COVID-19 health crisis deepens across the UK, the incomes of self-employed workers from all sectors continue to be hit hard. Many writers, illustrators, journalists, translators, scriptwriters and other authors are among them. Book tours have been cancelled, along with lectures, talks, performances and school visits.

In response, the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), the Royal Literary Fund (RLF), the T S Eliot Foundation in partnership with English PEN, and Amazon UK generously contributed financial resources to the Authors’ Contingency Fund (‘Authors’ Emergency Fund’), to help support authors impacted financially by the growing health crisis, and we continue to fundraise

Applications are open to all professional authors who are resident in the UK or British subjects – including all types of writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others – for whom author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income.

Grants are likely to be up to £2,000 and designed to meet urgent need.

Please note that if you were awarded a grant from Arts Council England’s (ACE) Emergency Fund we are unable to accept your application – you may only apply to one of these funds. This is because ACE contributed to the Authors’ Emergency Fund.

We cannot at present accept new applications from authors who have already received a grant from the Emergency Fund. We are keeping this under review as we balance the availability of funds with the continuing demand from new applicants.

How to apply

Please download and complete an application formAt the end of the form, please include a covering letter which briefly sets out the circumstances that have prompted the application. This can be as long or as short as you feel is necessary to give the assessors a sense of your current situation and needs.

Please return as one complete document to

The Fund is competitive and we receive more applications than we are able to support. We are usually able to notify applicants of the outcome within around two weeks. Membership of the SoA is not a requirement.

Please feel free to contact a member of staff in confidence for an informal chat on 020 7373 6642. 

Please note that we are unable to offer grants for:

• Publication costs/those who are in difficulty because they have contributed towards publication costs
• Those who are not yet receiving income from writing/writing-related activities
• Student tuition fees
• A specific writing project (see the Authors’ Foundation)

If you are in need of urgent mental help or support, visit our help pages for immediate support options or call Samaritans for free on 116 123.

Charity numbers 277018 / 327482 / 259845 / 212406