Professional Guidelines

The Authors League Fund typically helps authors, dramatists, journalists, and poets.

Unfortunately, we cannot help dramatists enduring income loss due to COVID-19 cancellations. If you are a playwright, composer, or lyricist, our friends at the Dramatists Guild Foundation are taking applications for immediate aid:

If you are a dramatist experiencing a medical emergency, please submit an application to both the Authors League Fund and the Dramatists Guild Foundation.

Recipients of Authors League Fund assistance 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.
  • 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.)
  • Dramatists whose full-length plays have been produced in mid-size or large theaters and/or published by established dramatic presses. (See note above concerning COVID-19 income loss.)

The Fund cannot assist writers whose sole credits are self-published. However, if you are a self-published writer with a record of financial success, we will review your request.

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.

Emergency Circumstances

The Authors League Fund provides assistance in times of emergency, when a writer is struggling to afford necessities. Common circumstances include:

  • Writers of any age facing significant income loss from job/event/article cancellations, including due to COVID-19, and who cannot now afford basic expenses.
  • Writers of any age in ill health, or supporting a dependent family member in ill health.
  • Writers facing overwhelming medical or dental bills.
  • Writers facing an unexpected loss of income, temporary unemployment/underemployment, eviction, or similar crises.
  • 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.

More information can be found on our FAQ page.

Please submit your application via the online form or email. We are working remotely and ask that you refrain from mailing your application. Thank you!

Apply Online
Download the Application

We encourage applicants to review our Crisis Advice Guide and apply to other charitable organizations simultaneously. For updates on COVID-19 relief for writers, follow us at

We will provide you with individualized recommendations for aid after you have applied. The Authors League Fund is working with other relief groups during this crisis and together we are committed to helping as many writers as possible.

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