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Writers Program Grant

Grants to Ontario Emerging and Established Writers to
Support Literary Projects in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Toronto Arts Council (TAC)

Deadline Date:

06/15/21 11:59 PM


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Grants of up to $5,000 and grants of up to $10,000 to emerging and established Ontario writers in eligible regions to support new literary projects and projects in progress. Eligible genres include fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, storytelling, dub, rap, and spoken word. Eligible applicants are residents of the City of Toronto.

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

Level One – for writers in the early stages of their career. 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 – for writers with an established writing career. 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.

TAC Accessibility Grant:

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).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167062

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Level One: $5,000
- Level Two: $10,000
- 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.

Term of Contract:

- The Project Start Date must be after you receive the notification of results (September 30). While it is understood that works in progress will have begun before the submission deadline, the period of time covered by this grant must commence after September 30.
- All projects must be completed within two years of the date that the Notification Letter was issued.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

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.

• 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.

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.

Pre-Application Information:

Application deadline: June 15, 2021

Applications must be submitted on Toronto Arts Council Grants Online no later than 11:59 pm on the deadline date.

Applicants will be notified by email when the results are available and will be able to log in to the TAC grants management system to receive their results. Notification will be received within three months of the deadline date.

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.

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.

If you are not sure your project is eligible after reading the guidelines, you can contact the Literary Program Manager before submitting the application.

Application Accessibility Support for Deaf Persons or Persons With Disabilities:
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.

Application Information:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

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

416-392-6802 extension 224,

Toronto Arts Council
26 Grand Trunk Crescent, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M5J 3A9

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

Canada: Ontario: City of Toronto;

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