Writers Program

Application deadline: June 15, 2021

For questions about this program, contact Catalina Fellay-Dunbar, Literary Program Manager.


WHAT DOES THIS PROGRAM SUPPORT?

Toronto Arts Council (TAC) Writers Program supports the creation of new literary works or works-in-progress in the genres of fiction (including novels, short stories, children’s literature, graphic novels, etc.), literary non-fiction, poetry and oral traditions such as storytelling, dub, rap and spoken-word.

The program provides two levels of support for writers. The following fixed amounts are available:

LEVEL ONE: $5,000 – for writers in the early stages of their career.

LEVEL TWO: $10,000 –  for writers with an established writing career.


Projects involving Deaf artists and artists with disabilities may apply for an additional TAC grant by completing the Accessibility Expenses section of the application and including the requisite information in their budget. A TAC Accessibility grant will provide up to a maximum of $5,000 towards accessibility costs for artists incurred during the project. Accessibility costs include but are not limited to: ASL interpretation, audio description, closed captioning, communications assistants, attendant care (including helpers for Elders), support workers and equipment rentals or other supports required to meet artists' accessibility needs.


WHO CAN APPLY?

All applicants to this program must be published by a professional publisher. Only publishers that have an independent editorial selection process are considered professional. Self-publishing and writing in newsletters or student magazines do not qualify as professional publishing.

  • Level One – Applicants must have a minimum of one professionally published work to their credit (i.e. one article, poem or short story). Those with one or more professionally published books must apply in the Level Two category. Artists working with oral traditions must have a history of public performance.
  • Level Two – Applicants must have a minimum of one of the following:
    • 1 professionally published book;
    • 20 pages* of published poems;
    • 60 pages* of short stories, articles or non-fiction published in literary magazines, periodicals or anthologies;
    • Artists working with oral traditions must have a substantial history of public performance and be recognized as established artists by their peers.
    • *If required, use 400 words/page calculation.
  • TAC recognizes that due to systemic barriers within the broader arts community (e.g. limited mainstream presentation opportunities for artists from equity-seeking communities) some flexibility may be required in interpreting eligibility criteria to take into account equivalent professional experience and contexts. Potential applicants from equity-seeking communities are encouraged to discuss their eligibility with the Program Manager in advance of submitting an application
  • Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents or have an application pending for Permanent Resident status or be a Protected Person (approved refugee claimant) and, if requested, be able to provide documentation to verify this.
  • Applicants must be residents of the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to the application deadline. Temporary absences of up to 12 months may be considered, subject to written explanation and special permission; please contact the Program Manager. Neither a Post Office Box address nor a studio address can be used to meet the residency requirement.
  • Undergraduate students cannot apply.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Professional artists pursuing graduate studies may not apply for work related to their program of study. A letter from the graduate program director specifying that the project is not related to the graduate student’s program of studies must be submitted with the application in the CV/Biography section.
  • Writing projects in languages other than English or French are accepted if the writing sample is accompanied by an accurate English translation.
  • Applicants may submit an application to either the Playwrights or the Writers Program, but not to both.
  • Applicants may apply for funding for only one project per deadline.
  • Applicants may receive a grant through TAC’s Playwrights or Writers Program only once every two years. Those who received a grant in 2020 are not eligible in 2021 but may reapply in 2022.
  • Reports on previous projects must be submitted to TAC before you are eligible to apply for another grant.
  • Projects cannot be funded more than once in this program. Writers who receive a grant may not reapply to continue or finish the same project.
  • Collaborative proposals (involving a co-applicant) are eligible. For these proposals, one of the applicants must identify a principal applicant. Co-applicants are subject to the same eligibility criteria as single, individual applicant.  If the application is successful, the grant payment will be payable to the principal applicant, as listed in the application. Similarly, a T4A slip will be issued to the principal applicant.

THIS PROGRAM DOES NOT FUND

  • Projects that have been completed prior to the announcement of results. Toronto Arts Council does not fund retroactively.
  • Project funding solely for the purpose of publishing, including the cost of printing.

Ineligible projects include, but are not limited to:

  • film, video or television scripts;
  • anthologies or collections that include a number of writers’ works;
  • children's activity books; directories;
  • index compilations or bibliographies of minimal critical content;
  • travel or food guides;
  • instruction or self-help books or manuals;
  • cookbooks;
  • catalogues of exhibitions;
  • commissioned works, including industrial or business histories or biographies;
  • academic textbooks or books designed primarily for an educational/scholarly market;
  • professional reference books aimed at a specialized audience;
  • calendars, daybooks, agendas or almanacs;
  • promotion or book launches;
  • translation 
  • tuition fees.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Applicants are required to register and submit the Writers application, including support material, on Toronto Arts Council Grants Online at https://tac.smartsimple.ca.

Applications must be submitted on Toronto Arts Council Grants Online no later than 11:59 pm on the deadline date. TAC does not accept applications by any other means of delivery. You will receive a confirmation email when your application is submitted.  Check your spam/junk mail folder if it doesn’t arrive in your in-box.

The Writers Program assessment process is blind, meaning peer assessors are not given access to applicant names and resumes. Peer assessors access the other application sections directly through the online system; therefore, applicants must not identify themselves within the project description or support materials. Failure to comply may result in disqualification.

APPLICATION ACCESSIBILITY SUPPORT FOR DEAF PERSONS OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Applicants who are Deaf or have a disability and need support to complete their grant applications can apply for funds to cover the costs of assistance from Application Support Service Providers. Up to $500 is available per eligible applicant in each calendar year. Please contact your Grant Program Manager at least six weeks before the grant program deadline to determine eligibility, request application support funding, and to review the process for payment to be made to your Service Provider. Requests for application support require approval from the Grant Program Manager. For additional information please contact Catalina Fellay-Dunbar, Literary Program Manager


 

QUESTIONS? 

Contact Catalina Fellay-Dunbar, Literary Program Manager (she/her)

416-392-6802 extension 224, catalina@torontoartscouncil.org 


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