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Recommender Grants for Writers

Grants to Ontario Professional Writers to
Create New, High-Quality Literary Works

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Ontario Arts Council

Deadline Date:

01/31/18 1:00 PM ET


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Grants ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 to Ontario published professional writers to create new literary work in fiction, poetry, young adult, graphic novels, and nonfiction genres. Funding will cover personal expenses, travel, and living expenses while creating new work.

The program supports Ontario writers in the creation of new work and creates and strengthens connections between Ontario writers, publishers, and literary organizations.

This program funds:

- Artists' living expenses when creating new work in eligible genres
- Eligible projects may vary in scale from chapbook-length poetry projects and feature magazine articles to full-length books.
- In most cases applicants will use grants to provide time away from other kinds of paying work to develop a project. Expenses can include travel and other personal expenses incurred while researching a new work.

The following types of work are eligible for consideration:

- Comics and graphic novels, that are visual in nature; unified in narrative, style, theme, and/or concept; and intended for professional publication as a book, series of comics, or web comic. Most projects will include both text and visual elements. Wordless projects intended solely or primarily for publication, with a strong sequential structure or narrative direction, are eligible.
- Fiction.
- Illustrated writing for children, including children's picture books.
- Literary non-fiction, including but not limited to biography, memoir, history, cultural commentary, and arts criticism.
- Poetry.
- Young adult literature, including both fiction and non-fiction.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164735

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant is $1,500; the maximum is $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The activities for which you are requesting funding:
- Cannot finish before you receive your grant results, which may be sent up to six weeks after the program’s closing date; and
- Must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant results. You may continue to work on your funded manuscript after this date, but your grant must be fully spent by this time.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

You must be an Ontario resident with a permanent physical address in Ontario and have a recent professional publishing history with:

- At least one traditionally published book (minimum of 48 pages) for which you have a publishing contract and receive royalties; or
- At least three traditionally published short stories, comics, poems or other works for which you have received payment. Works can appear in magazines, newspapers, websites, and anthologies. Contest-winning work is considered publication; or
- At least three years' professional presentation of comics work through work-for-hire creation jobs (editorial cartooning, creation for commercial comics franchises), sales at curated comics festivals, or gallery exhibitions; or
- At least two recent production writing credits for non-text media (radio, television, film, interactive digital media, and theatre).

If you are applying as an individual or individual co-applicant, you must:

- Be a professional artist/arts professional,
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, or have an application pending for permanent resident status,
- Be a resident of Ontario who has lived in the province for 12 consecutive months immediately prior to applying to this grant program’s application deadline,
- Live in Ontario no less than eight months a year.

If you have a conflict of interest with a particular recommender you may not apply to that recommender. Conflicts of interest include:

- Anyone who is an intern, volunteer, employee, publisher, editor, board member (including governance, advisory, and editorial boards), or director of a recommending organization.
- Anyone who has served as contract or permanent staff of a recommending organization, or has served on the board of that organization, within the last year.
- Immediate family members of anyone described above.
- Any writer described above may not make and receive a recommendation from another writer/recommender in the same program cycle; reciprocal recommendations are not allowed.

The following types of work are not eligible:

- Projects for which the author and/or illustrator do not own the intellectual property rights to their characters and/or narrative.
- Commissioned adaptations of works in other media.
- Play, film, broadcast, or interactive digital media scripts.
- Projects that are written primarily for an educational or scholarly market or are part of educational or academic programs, including textbooks and curriculum materials.
- Projects that are to be ghost-written or for which the author is to be uncredited (including books where the applicant will not be identified as the author under their own name or a pseudonym that they use only for their own work).
- Activity books, directories, index compilations, bibliographies with minimal critical content, travel guidebooks, instruction or self-help materials, manuals, cookbooks, exhibition catalogues.
- Commissioned industrial or business histories, or commissioned biographies.
- Professional reference materials aimed at a specialized audience.
- Calendars, daybooks, agendas or almanacs or other projects with minimal written content, except as provided for in eligibility criteria for comics.

This program does not fund:

- Writing for film, radio, television, theatre or interactive digital media.
- Manuscript evaluation.
- Editorial services.
- Publication expenses.
- Expenses incurred after the publication of a completed work.
- Works in languages other than English.
- Works in other ineligible genres

Ineligible applicants:

- Organizations.
- Ad-hoc groups/collectives.
- Non-professional applicants.
- Applicants with a conflict of interest with a specific recommender may not apply to that recommender. See "Conflict of interest" under "Program-specific definitions" for details.
- Student or academic publications, including scholarly monographs and articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals, may not be used to establish eligibility.
- Self-published work may not be used to establish eligibility.
- Work that you have done as part of your employment may not be used to establish eligibility, unless you are a professional journalist or a professional writer of narrative content or visual artist/illustrator for the comics, film, television, or interactive digital media sectors.

More on eligibility:

Pre-Application Information:

This is a third-party recommender program. Applications are made to and funding recommendations are made by the publishers and organizations designated as recommenders for the program.

This program runs from September 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018. Recommenders will set their own schedules for review of applications.

To complete the application, fill out and sign the attached application form. Send the application package (pages 4-11) directly to the recommender(s) you have selected.

All applicants must create and activate a profile in Nova to apply to the program.

The process for notifying applicants of grant results has changed. OAC will email applicants to notify them that their notification letter is available in Nova. Notifications of recommended grants will be sent as soon as OAC has received and processed the recommendation. Notifications of declined grants may be sent as late as summer 2018. See the application form for further details.

Applicants are encouraged to begin by searching the database of recommenders by literary genre to find those that may be suitable for your work. You may view the recommender’s priorities and contact information by expanding their listing using the down arrow button. Applicants should review recommender’s priorities and websites to determine which recommenders are the best match for a particular project.

Recommenders marked as “regional” have an additional granting allocation that is only available to applicants who live in Ontario but outside of the city of Toronto. All recommenders have a general allocation from which they are able to recommend grants to writers who live anywhere in Ontario.

Once OAC is informed that a recommender’s allocation has been fully awarded, their record will be adjusted to indicate that they are no longer accepting applications.

Searchable database of recommenders for this program:

Support for Deaf Artists and Artists with Disabilities:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register for the online application system:

Renee Lottridge, Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7440

Ontario Arts Council1
151 Bloor Street West
Fifth Floor
Toronto ON M5S 1T6

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario