Writers Program

Application deadline: June 15, 2021

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


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).


  • Applicants must be Canadian Citizens, or Permanent Residents (Landed Immigrants), 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 current residents of the City of Toronto and must have lived in the City for at least one year prior to the application deadline. A post office box address cannot be used to meet the residency requirement.
  • Full-time undergraduate students are not eligible.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TAC does not fund retroactively. Projects for which the final draft has been completed prior to notification of results are not eligible. Projects must be completed within two years of the date of your grant notification letter.

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.

All applicants to this program must be published by a professional publisher. Only publishers that have an independent editorial selection process are considered professional, and the author must receive financial compensation for the work. 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.


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; publishing, translation or tuition fees.

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