Helping writers in financial need since 1790.

Are you a professional writer facing financial hardship? The Royal Literary Fund (RLF) may be able to help support you through our grants programme.


If you are a professional writer and struggling with day-to-day living costs or have an unexpected bill for goods or services, we may be able to help you through our grants programme.

To be eligible for a grant, you must:

  • Hold UK or Irish Citizenship OR reside in the UK or Ireland
  • Have a minimum of two works which meet the following criteria:
    • You are the sole author of the work
    • The work has been professionally published or produced in the UK or Ireland
    • Poems, short stories or essays must be published as part of a collection
  • Or be the dependant of a writer who meets the eligibility criteria above

The RLF is not able to provide grants for the following:

  • Creative practice, i.e., grants for projects, work in progress or publication costs
  • General fundraising appeals or letters requesting donations
  • Academic research, scholarships, bursaries, student or private education fees, courses or retreats

Our committee must pass applicants for literary merit before they can consider a grant.  As part of this confidential application process, you will be asked to provide details of your publishing history, details of your income and expenditure and supporting documentation.  You may also be asked to send copies of your published work.

You will also be invited to discuss your application and circumstances with a staff member.

Grants are given as a donation towards the removal of the distress of the applicant and not as a loan, nor for the completion of any literary work.

Please see the FAQs for more details on eligibility.


If you would like to apply for a grant, please include a list of your publications, the name of the publisher and year of publication, and a brief outline of your circumstances.

Would you like to hear from the RLF by email? If you choose yes, you can subscribe to our specific newsletters below and unsubscribe at any time. You can view more information in our Privacy Policy.

Alternatively, you can contact us directly:

Justine Palmer
Royal Literary Fund
3 Johnson’s Court

+44(0)20 7353 7150


Yes, we can accept applications from legal guardians, carers (with signed, written confirmation from the author) or those with Lasting Power of Attorney.

Yes, we do support the dependants of writers. You may be asked for supporting documentation demonstrating your financial dependence on the writer. If a dependant is under 18, a parent or legal guardian must apply on their behalf.

We support writers from the following writing categories:

  • Biographers
  • Children’s and YA authors
  • Essayists
  • Non-fiction writers
  • Novelists (including ‘genre fiction’)
  • Playwrights
  • Poets
  • Scriptwriters
  • Translators
  • Writers of short stories
  • Ghost-writers
  • Graphic Novelists

Unfortunately, we are not able to currently accept the following writing categories:

  • Illustration
  • Performance poetry
  • Academic works, textbooks or technical manuals
  • Blogging
  • Work as a critic or journalist
  • Work as an editor or compiler
  • Works under contract but not yet published
  • Self-published works (including works where the author has contributed towards the cost of publishing i.e. hybrid contracts)

The Grants Committee meets 11 times a year to consider applications. The grants team will be able to confirm at which meeting your application will be considered once all relevant materials and documents have been received.

We aim to process first-time applicants within two months of receiving all relevant documents and materials, and one month for returning writers.