The Authors' Contingency Fund

Hardship grants for authors in financial difficulty.  

From 26 October 2020 we have partnered with Creative Scotland to help distribute £600,000 in grants from their Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers.

To apply for a hardship grant, please take the quick questionnaire below so we can direct you to the right fund and application forms.


If you have any questions about the process, please email

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

How to apply

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.

To apply, complete the Eligibility Questionnaire so we can direct you to the correct application.

  • The application process for the Authors' Contingency Fund is competitive and we receive more applications than we are able to support.
  • The application process for Creative Scotland's Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers is not competitive. Grants are awarded on a first come first served basis.
  • 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 or email

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)

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, unless you are applying for a Creative Scotland Freelance Grant.

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

About the Fund

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.

Throughout 2020, a wide range of organisations came forward to contribute over £1.7 million in combined resources to the Fund to enable us to keep supporting authors impacted financially by the health crisis. These included the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), Creative ScotlandThe Literary Consultancy, the Royal Literary Fund (RLF), the T S Eliot Foundation in partnership with English PEN, and Amazon UK, alongside many general donations from authors and their supporters.

To donate, fundraise or give while you shop, click here.

Charity numbers 277018 / 327482 / 259845 / 212406