To help writers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be highlighting emergency funds available to writers. For more sources of support, read our running list of resources for writers in the time of coronavirus.
The Authors League Fund assists poets, writers, dramatists, and journalists who are “experiencing unexpected hardship.” Writers with an established record of publication that live in the United States or who are American writers abroad are eligible to apply for a no-strings-attached, interest-free loan. The loan amount is based on the fund’s budget as well as the writer’s professional background and financial need; the fund requests the writer pay back the loan “when and as one is able.”
Writers with a demonstrated record of success are eligible. Eligible writers include authors who have published at least one book with a traditional publisher, dramatists whose full-length plays have been produced in mid-size or large theaters or published by an established press, and poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and journalists who have published “a substantial body of work in periodicals with a national or broad circulation.”
The fund typically disburses funds to writers who are ill or supporting someone who is in poor health; writers facing overwhelming medical or dental expenses; writers struggling after a natural disaster; and writers suffering financial crises unrelated to health, such as unexpected loss of income or temporary unemployment.
Using only the online application system, fill out the required entry form. Writers are asked to describe the nature of their emergency, detail their publication record and writing projects, and provide personal information regarding income, employment, rent, assets, and health insurance. Writing samples are not required. Visit the website for complete guidelines and eligibility requirements.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and are typically processed in ten to fourteen days.
Novelist Ellis Parker Butler established the Authors League Fund in 1917; the fund has since disbursed millions of dollars to writers in need. Major donors to the fund include Suzanne Collins, James A. Michener, Kenneth Patchen, the Haven Foundation, and the Amazon Literary Partnership.