Professional Guidelines

The Authors League Fund helps authors, dramatists, journalists, and poets. Recipients must be career writers with a substantial body of work in one of more of the following categories:

  • Book authors with at least one title published by an established traditional publisher. Authors with multiple titles are given priority.
  • Dramatists whose full-length plays have been produced in mid-size or large theaters and/or published by established dramatic presses.
  • Journalists, critics, essayists, short story writers, and poets with a substantial body of work in periodicals with a national or broad circulation. Whether print or online, these periodicals must have strong editorial oversight and a sizable readership. This category does not include copywriting, blogging, public relations, and writing for non-periodical websites and corporate clients.

The Fund does not typically assist self-published writers unless they have a record of critical and financial success with their publications.

While it is not necessary that the applicant subsists solely on his or her income from writing, or have published in recent years, the applicant’s status as a professional writer is vital. Please list awards, fellowships, and other forms of recognition in your application.

The Authors League Fund helps writers living in the United States, regardless of citizenship, and American writers living abroad.

Please review our FAQ page before applying.

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Emergency Circumstances

Common applicants include:

  • Writers of any age in ill health, or supporting a dependent family member in ill health.
  • Writers facing overwhelming medical or dental expenses.
  • Writers suffering financial crises unrelated to health, such as unexpected loss of income, temporary unemployment or underemployment, eviction proceedings, or similar.
  • Writers struggling after a natural disaster.

Priority is given to sick and/or older authors in need. Family members or close friends of writers suffering from cognitive decline may assist with the application process; please contact the office for guidance.

Because we seek to help as many qualified applicants as possible, our assistance is modest and temporary in nature. Recipients may apply again after a period of twelve months has passed, but additional support is not guaranteed.

We cannot provide “time to write” and our support cannot be used for professional expenses, e.g., a new computer, book publicity, hiring an editor, airline tickets to a residency, book tour transportation, starting a business or non-profit, theater production costs.

We encourage applicants to review our Emergency Resources Guide and the Artists at Risk Connection website and apply to other charitable organizations simultaneously.

More information can be found on our FAQ page.

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