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.

The Authors League Fund helps 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. This includes regional/local news outlets. Whether print or online, these periodicals must have strong editorial oversight and a sizable readership. (This category does not include copywriting, blogging, public relations, technical writing, 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 about COVID-19.)

The Fund cannot assist writers whose sole credits are self-published or released by a press that charges for publication. However, if you are a self-published writer with a record of financial or critical success, we will review your request.

Emergency Circumstances

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

  • Significant income loss, including due to COVID-19.
  • Illness, or supporting a dependent family member in ill health.
  • Overwhelming medical or dental bills.
  • Imminent eviction and other forms of housing insecurity.
  • Struggling after a natural disaster.

Priority is given to sick and/or older writers. 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 twelve months have passed, although additional support is not guaranteed.

Our support cannot be used for professional expenses, e.g., time to write, computer, book publicity, hiring an editor, airline tickets to a residency, book tour costs, starting a business, theater production costs.

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.

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 on Twitter and Facebook. The Authors League Fund is working with other relief groups during the COVID crisis and together we are committed to helping as many writers as possible.

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