World of Books Group fund new award for writers with the power to change the world

World of Books Group, the UK’s largest retailer of used books, have partnered with the Society of Authors to launch a new grant to support writers as they work on books of any genre that have the power to inspire progressive behaviour change.

The World of Books Impact Award will be granted twice a year and offers winning authors a sum of £5,000 to support them as they complete their work. The award criteria is linked to World of Books own guiding values and are aligned with the UN sustainability goals of Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action and Quality Education.

Applications for the first World of Books Impact Award are now open until July, with the first award due to be granted in October 2021. They will be processed as part of SoA's Authors' Foundation grants for work in progress, so there is no additional application process.

Support for writers facing financial hardship

In addition to this support, the company have also committed to providing additional contributions to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to support writers experiencing financial difficulty, also managed by the Society of Authors.

The additional support for writers comes just as authors need it most. According to a report from the the Society of Authors, two-thirds of authors have suffered a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the majority losing more than half. Furthermore, over 60% have received no financial support from the government. The sharp increase in applications for support to the Society for Authors prompted the organisation to source emergency funding from industry partners, government and individuals, enabling them to award £1.3 million in hardship grants to writers facing financial difficulty during 2020.

Graham Bell, Chief Executive of World of Books Group said:

We understand that words have the power to change the world. Writers play a vital role in inspiring necessary changes in behaviour that go far in protecting the planet and making society a better place. We were founded on an ethos to support communities and protect the planet – and we’re delighted to be able to provide support to writers who are working on exciting books that align with this purpose.

The last year has been difficult for everyone – but especially those in creative industries. Over the last year, many writers and other arts professionals who dedicate their lives to providing entertainment, escapism and knowledge have missed out on the government support provided to others. We’re proud to do our bit to help The Society of Authors continue to provide the vital support to authors who need help now more than ever.

Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of The Society of Authors said:

We award many grants for work in progress each year, but the World of Books Impact Award uniquely acknowledges the profound difference the written word can make to the way we think about the environment and the action that can inspire.

There is an urgent need for forward-thinking, transformative books to lead positive environmental and societal change. Authors feel passionately about these issues, but those books can only happen when authors have the time and space to create them. That can be a challenge at the best of times. But with so many authors hit financially by the health crisis, the World of Books Impact Award is a very positive opportunity at a critical time. We are excited to see what new books this funding might help to make possible- and the change they will inspire in our world.

We are extremely grateful to World of Books for understanding the value of supporting authors and the difference they can make.

Applications for the first World of Books Impact Award are now open until 1st July, with the first award due to be granted in October.