1) Fill out the online form. (Strongly preferred)
2) If you cannot use our online form for any reason, download the application. The link to download the form is at the bottom of the Apply page. You can then a) submit it as an email attachment / paste into the body of an email, or b) print a copy to send by mail. Our contact information is on the application form and the Contact page.
If you are submitting your application by mail, please contact the office to let us know.
Please review our eligibility guidelines before applying.
Initially, all that we require is the application form. Feel free to use additional pages or attachments to list your published work and explain your emergency. A CV or resume is always helpful.
During our review, we might send an email with a list of follow-up questions. We may request copies of tax forms, overdue bills, eviction notices, documentation of medical emergencies, or other items that can help explain your emergency.
Please do not send writing samples or books.
If you apply using the online form, you will receive an auto-reply with information about the process. If you submit an application by email, we will confirm receipt by email as soon as possible. If you do not receive confirmation of receipt, check your spam folder or email [email protected]
If you submit an application by mail, and do not have email access, we will follow up by phone.
The review process typically takes 10-14 business days. Approved aid can be sent to the recipient by check, Zelle, or PayPal, all no-fee. (Check if your bank uses Zelle using this link.)
Your information will be kept secure and confidential within the organization.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, as they come in.
Unfortunately, we cannot expedite requests, as all applicants are facing urgent crises. In many cases, the review process is completed in 7-10 business days.
Let us know the extent of your need so that we have a full understanding of your situation. Aid amounts are determined almost entirely internally. They are typically based on the applicant’s professional credentials, the severity of the emergency, and the Fund’s budget.
The term “loan” emphasizes the Fund’s mission dating to its incorporation in 1917: Writers Helping Writers.
Our “loans” are no-strings-attached, interest-free, and are not earned income, unlike most professional writing grants. They are not taxable and do not have to be reported to the IRS. Our assistance does not affect your ability to receive help from local or federal programs, including Social Security, Disability, SSI, and Medicare/Medicaid, and does not affect Unemployment/PUA benefits.
We do not follow up for or require repayment. We gratefully accept donations of any size, or repayment, all of which goes toward our work helping other writers in times of need.
Recipients must wait at least 12 months before applying again. Additional support is not guaranteed and the Fund is not in position to provide long-term support.
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 costs, starting a business, theater production costs.
For that type of assistance, we recommend reaching out to any number of professional grant organizations. A good place to start is the Poets & Writers Awards & Grants directory.
Note: If you are under contract to complete a book for which you received an advance and are struggling to meet your deadline because of a medical crisis or other unforeseen financial emergency, please apply.
We would like to again emphasize the emergency nature of our support. We cannot help in anticipation of an emergency or to allow an applicant to avoid drawing from their own emergency savings.