We just shared £140,000 between 61 authors to support new work

22 December 2017

Established and debut authors share in this year’s second round of literary grants for works in progress.

(from left: Nazneen Ahmed, Sarah K Marr, Muhammad Khan, Eli Goldstone, Sam Riviere and Wendy Moore)

Over the past six months we have received more applications than ever before for our biannual round of literary grants for works in progress. We have now distributed cheques to 61 authors totalling more than £140,000.

Recipients of this round of grants include Nazneen Ahmed, Sarah K Marr, Eli Goldstone, Sam Riviere, Muhammad Khan (winner of the John C Laurence Award), Jay Bernard and Rachel Boast. Wendy Moore has become the first recipient of the new Antonia Fraser Grant, to support her work on the story of Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett, two doctors who ran a Military Hospital in London throughout World War One.

What are the grants for?

Each application is different and there is no single use for the funds. They aim to ensure that financial realities don’t get in the way of writers completing their work. The grants are typically used to assist with research costs or to buy writers the time they need to focus on their work.

The 61 grants awarded this week will support an enormous breadth of work by authors from a wide range of backgrounds.

Meet some of our December 2017 recipients

Nazneen Ahmed

‘I am thrilled and honoured to have been awarded an Authors' Foundation grant for my first book in progress, The Strange Children of Spittlefields. Between care responsibilities and an academic career, I have been struggling to find the time to write. The grant will give me that most precious of gifts: time, time to focus on the revisions to my novel, which is being developed as part of the Penguin Random House WriteNow Live scheme. I am so grateful that the Foundation exists and that in particular that it supports uncontracted, debut works. The Foundation enables emerging writers to finish their books: books which might otherwise never get published due the pressures of work and daily life. It is helping to open up publishing to new voices, and in supporting books like mine, contributing to industry efforts to produce more diverse books.’

Sarah K Marr

‘The Society of Authors has been there for me, providing advice and community, throughout the publishing of my first novel, All the Perverse Angels. I am delighted that they have chosen to build on that support with the awarding of this grant, which will be of immense assistance as I begin work on my second book.’

Jay Bernard

'The support of the K Blundell Trust means time to work on my first collection, Surge, which is forthcoming in 2019. The purpose of the book is to explore the historical strait between two huge social / political events: the New Cross Fire in 1981 and Grenfell in 2017. I will use the award to spend more time in the archives, undertaking research and understanding our current historical moment. It's a simple idea but with intense subject matter, so I appreciate the support.'

Rachael Boast 

'As a writer with a chronic disability, living in an era of austerity, to receive an Arthur Welton award feels like a godsend. I am one of many who have to manage the impact of long-term health difficulties – difficulties which have an adverse effect on vocational opportunities – and I am aware that many will be struggling over the festive period and beyond. So I send gratitude to the Society of Authors for this award, and to those who supported my application. It affords me a little financial security and renewed self-confidence for my work.' 

Eli Goldstone

'I’m absolutely overjoyed to find out that the Society of Authors is helping me fund a very important trip back to a place that means so much to me. I hoped to return to Mexico to write about, in particular, communities of women, and recovery in the wake of natural disaster. This grant makes it possible and I cannot overstate my gratitude.'

Muhammad Khan

‘I would like to thank the Society of Authors for awarding me the John C Laurence award. This award means I can continue to work on books that reflect the young people I teach in South London. As a BAME author this award is gratefully received as it helps to increase the diverse voices in writing today.’

Wendy Moore

‘I am thrilled and honoured to receive the first ever Antonia Fraser Grant through the Society of Authors. The funds will be extremely useful in enabling me to research my book and to tell the story of a marvellous but forgotten chapter in women's history.’

Congratulations to all 61 authors. It is a privilege to be able to support you.

The deadline for the next round of applications is 30 April 2018. Visit our grants pages for more information