Help for writers in the Coronavirus crisis: £330,000 Authors' Emergency Fund


20 March 2020
The Society of Authors has joined forces with partner organisations to offer help to self-employed writers affected financially by Coronavirus

Many self-employed workers are facing a hard financial hit as a result of the deepening Coronavirus health crisis. Writers across all sectors are affected, with book tours, lectures, talks and performances cancelled, and commissions indefinitely postponed.

In the face of this, the SoA has joined up with The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society, the Royal Literary Fund, English PEN with the TS Eliot Foundation and Amazon UK to support affected self-employed writers.

The SoA annually distributes £95,000 to authors facing hardship through its contingency fund. The partner organisations have generously contributed a further £235,000. The SoA is in talks with further organisations to increase this fund.

SoA Chief Executive Nicola Solomon said: 'The financial challenges facing authors had become acute even before the current health crisis, with an increasing number approaching us for financial support. But now, they’re seeing unmanageable losses – some seeing thousands of pounds worth of lost contracts in a single day. It was clear that current levels of funding would fail to meet need. We are extremely grateful to the organisations that have contributed so far. We’ve been distributing emergency funds to authors since 1960, and our approach is far more agile than most organisations, aiming to turn around applications within weeks not months.'

Any professional author resident in the UK may apply, including writers, illustrators, journalists, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets and any others for whom author-related activites make up a substantial part of their annual income. Membership of the SoA is not a requirement.

Grants to authors may be  up to £2,000 and are designed to meet urgent need.

Applications are open now.

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