Sadly, our own funding is drawing to a close – our last ever schemes are now open for applications on Hiive. But while it's an incredibly tough time for arts funding, there is support out there. We've pulled together a list of some of what's available to help you get your project off the ground. Good luck!

Writing & publishing

The Asham Award
Deadline(s): September

Biennial short story prize for unpublished women writers set up in 1995 to encourage and promote new writing.


The Bridport Prize
Deadline(s): May

The richest annual competition for short stories, poems and flash fiction in the English language. Unpublished work only. The Bridport Prize has an award specifically for Dorset writers. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of The Book Shop, there will be an extra bonus for the highest placed Dorset writer in the Bridport Prize each year.


Clore Poetry and Literature Awards
Deadline(s): April

The spiel: "Enabling children and young people to develop their enjoyment of, and way with, words."

What they fund: The Clore Poetry and Literature Awards fund initiatives that encourage people under the age of 19 to interact with the written word. Grants are between £1,000 and £10,000. 


Costa Book Awards
Deadline(s): June

The spiel: “one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes”

What they fund: Formerly the Whitbread Book Awards, this caffeine-powered competition gives £5,000 to the best first novel, novel, biography, poetry and children's book, and an additional £30,000 to the best book overall.


The Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Competition
Deadline(s): January

Annual competition open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially with a first prize of £700.


The David St John Thomas Charitable Trust Competition

The DSJT Charitable Trust sponsors an annual short story competition for the Nairn Book and Arts Festival, and a competition for the best transport book of the year which is run by The Railway & Canal Historical Society.


The Desmond Elliott Prize

Launched in 2007, The Desmond Elliott Prize has quickly become established as the premier prize for new fiction.

Every year, a panel of three judges are asked to look for a novel which has a compelling narrative, arresting characters and which is both vividly written and confidently realised. Books from all fiction genres are considered. Worth £10,000 to the winner, the Prize is intended to support new writers and to celebrate their fiction. 


Dewar Arts Awards
Deadline(s): Ongoing

Aims to assist anyone under the age of 30 living or working in Scotland whose financial circumstances make it difficult to progress fully in their chosen field. 


Escalator Literature
Deadline(s): Autumn

Annual competition run by Writers’ Centre Norwich on behalf of Arts Council England which offers writers a year-long programme of support including mentoring, help with applying to Grant for the arts and opportunities to hone their skills and extend their contacts. Open to writers in the East of England only. 


The Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize
Deadline(s): July

Annual award set up by The Poetry Trust with support from The Fenton Arts Trust for the best first collection of poetry published in printed book form in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Includes cash prize and an invitation to read at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival.


Fish Publishing Short Story, Flash Fiction, Poetry and Short Memoir Competitions
Deadline(s): Various

Annual writing contest set up with the aim of getting new authors and poets into print. The shortlisted stories and poems are published in the annual Fish Anthology. Entry fee for submissions.


The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

Annual award set up by the Poetry Society for young writers aged between 11 and 17. 


The Harry Bowling Prize for New Writing and Flash Fiction
Deadline(s): September

Biennial award to encourage unpublished writers of adult fiction. 


Kelpies Prize
Deadline(s): February

Annual prize set up by publisher Floris Books to encourage and reward new Scottish writing for children over three categories; Young Kelpies (6-8 year olds), Kelpies (8-11 year olds) and Kelpies Teen (11-14 year olds).


Literature Wales
Deadline(s): Dec/Jan for Welsh Book of the Year

The spiel: “is the National Company for the development of literature in Wales.”

What they fund: Made up of Yr Academi Gymreig / The Welsh Academy and Tŷ Newydd Writers’ Centre, Literature Wales is responsible for developing and promoting literature. Alongside their focus on maintaining a strong tradition of literature with the Wales Book of the Year, the National Poet of Wales, Writers on Tour funding scheme and writing courses, the organisation works to develop a focus on writing in socio-economically deprived areas across the country and is committed working with young people and first-time novelists. Check the website for other competitions.


The London Magazine Short Story / Poetry Competition
Deadline(s): Various

Their competitions provide emerging literary talent with an opportunity for publication and distinguished recognition along with cash prizes. Check the website for other competitions.


New Welsh Writing Awards
Deadline(s): November

New Welsh Review, in association with WWF Cymru and the CADCentre, is thrilled to announce the New Welsh Writing Awards, which will celebrate the finest non-fiction writing in the new and increasingly popular 'short' form. We're looking for brand new work of between 8,000 and 30,000 words on the theme of nature and the environment. 

First prize is £1,000 cash; e-publication of the work; a weekend stay at Gladstone's Library, Flintshire, and a positive critique of the work by leading literary agent at WME, Cathryn Summerhayes, as well as lunch with her in London. Second prize is a week-long residential course at Tŷ Newydd Writers' Centre in Gwynedd. Both winners will also receive a year's subscription to New Welsh Review


New Writing North
Deadline(s): Various

Annual awards run by New Writing North to support writers living in the North East of England and looking to develop their careers and to move their work (prose, poetry, biography, creative life writing and creative literary non-fiction) towards publication.

The Gordon Burn Prize seeks to recognise writers whose work follows in his fearless footsteps: authors whose novels enter history to interrogate the past, and non-fiction writers brave enough to recast characters to create a new and vivid reality. The Northern Crime is a unique competition that aims to unearth and publish exciting new crime writing from writers who live and work in the north of England. The Northern Writers Awards support both new and established writers to develop their work towards publication and to progress their careers as writers. 


New Writing South
Deadline(s): Various

The spiel: “Inspiring ideas, developing writers, creating connections”

What they fund: New Writing South aims to support writers at all stages of their careers, from discovering emerging poets to offering networking opportunities to established professionals. Their New Buds Award is a bursary scheme that aims to enable writers to apply for small development grant of up to £1000The Literary Consultancy bursaries provide free manuscript assessment scheme for talented authors on low income. Their Best New Play Award in partnership with Brighton Fringe is presented to a playwright (rather than a company) in recognition of an outstanding, original theatre script produced at the Fringe.


Nick Darke Award
Deadline(s): April

The spiel: “celebrate the best writing for stage, screen and radio.”

What they fund: Established in memory of playwright Nick Darke, this award offers £6,000 to a writer who can respond to the year’s theme and who is scripting great work for the stage, screen, radio or within the documentary genre. The award is administered by the School of Media and Performance at University College Falmouth and attracts high-profile judges to evaluate the submitted work.

Peggy Ramsay Foundation
Deadline(s): Ongoing

Grants made to writers who have had at least one full-length play produced professionally for an adult audience to afford them time or facilities to write again for the stage. Rolling application programme. 


The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition
Deadline(s): November

Annual competition offering entrants the chance to win cash prize, publication by Smith/Doorstop Books and in The North magazine, and launch readings hosted by the Poetry Business. Submission fee applies.


The Poetry Society National Poetry Competition
Deadline(s): October

Annual poem competition for previously unpublished poems. Cash prize, with poems published in The Poetry Review plus invitation to read at Ledbury Poetry Festival. Submission fee applies.

Prole Books Poetry / Prose Competition
Deadline(s): Various

The annual Prole Laureate Poetry Competition and Prolitzer Prize for Prose Writing with winners receiving cash prizes and publication on the Prole website and magazine. Entry fee for submissions.


The Royal Literary Fund
Deadline(s): Ongoing

A British benevolent fund for professional published authors in financial difficulties. Help is given to writers in many different situations where personal or professional setbacks have resulted in loss of income. Pensions are considered for older writers who have seen their earnings decrease. Applications are invited throughout the year, with decisions made at meetings which are held eleven times a year.


Rhys Davies Short Story Competition

The winner of the first prize will receive an impressive £2,000. The second prize winner will receive £800, the third prize is £400 and six runners-up will receive £100 each. Also with an Under 21 Prize with the winner receiving £1,000 and one runner-up receiving £200. Administered by Literature Wales.


Scottish International Education Trust
Deadline(s): Ongoing

Aims to give financial help to Scots men and women (by birth or upbringing) at a critical stage in their development who have shown ability and promise and wish to take their studies or professional training further in circumstances where public funds are not available. Applications can be submitted at any time – trustees meet in March and September. 


The Society of Authors
Deadline(s): Various

The Society of Authors administers a number of grants and prizes for writers including the Radio Drama Awards. Check the website for more details.


Tom McGrath Trust
Deadline(s): Various

Main focus of trust is to support playwrights and translators working in Scotland. Playwrights seeking to get their work staged can apply to receive a Small Grant Award from the Trust (£300 - £500).

The Maverick Award offers up to £2000 for the best application for a new project, with writing at its heart that departs from the routine and starts to explore new and imaginative possibilities.

Scottish and international playwrights and translators can apply for a short residency in Fife, Scotland, where they can work together or independently to develop new plays, translations or working relationships. 


Welsh Books Council
Deadline(s): Ongoing

The spiel: “A key enabling institution for the publishing industry in Wales and the promotion of books and reading.”

Funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, the Welsh Books Council is a key service for publishers within the principality.


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