By Jennifer Ward
March 1st marked the beginning of Women’s History Month in the United States. In recognition of women’s contributions to our society, I thought this would be the perfect time to share a list of alternative funds for women writers. If you are an unknown writer and just starting out, money doesn’t come as easily as it might for established authors like Margaret Atwood, Gillian Flynn, or J.K Rowling. Considering this, how will you fund your next book? You could look into applying for a grant. Let’s look at a few foundations that offer exciting opportunities for women.
The Barbara Deming Memorial Fund is a foundation that offers grants between $500-$1500 to women writers and artists. Barbara Deming was a feminist, writer, teacher, and advocate for social change in the twentieth century. The foundation accepts applications from January 1-31 on an annual basis. They award fiction, mixed genre, and visual art annually, and nonfiction and poetry in odd years.
2. The National League of American Pen Women
Did you know that The National League of American Pen Women is an organization that dates back to 1897? Their headquarters, pictured here, can be found in Washington, D.C., and is one of many branches across the United States. In the late 19th century, women were still prohibited from joining male-only professional organizations. This league became a source of hope and a place where women and their talents could be seen and heard.
Today NLAPW has a literary publication called The Pen Woman Magazine which features art, writing, and music. They also award grants and scholarships to women on an annual basis. If you are interested, you can apply to become a member. Check out their website for requirements and details.
Located in Wyoming, UCROSS offers writers a rent-free, uninterrupted space to work. This organization, founded in 1981 by Raymond Plank, has continued to provide a welcoming, respectful, calm, and inviting place for writers to work beneath the big, beautiful sky. UCROSS has a culinary chef who makes lunch and dinner for writers at the ranch. If you live in the area, you can apply to be a volunteer to greet visitors and attend public events. They also run an art gallery that features work created by former guests, open to the public, free of charge.
Which one interests you most? I suppose it depends on what you are looking for. I wouldn’t mind leaving New York City to explore the west. I think the pictures of the UCROSS landscape are absolutely breathtaking. Let’s start a conversation in the comments below!
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