The Authors' Contingency Fund

Hardship grants for authors in financial difficulty.  

From 11 December 2020, applications to the Creative Scotland Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers, previously administered by the SoA, will be handled by Creative Scotland. We will continue to process applications until Friday 18 December 2020 (including those already received).

The Authors’ Contingency Fund and associated funds remain open to new applicants. Grants are likely to be up to £2,000 and designed to meet immediate need.

If you have any questions about the process, please email

How to apply

Applications are open to all professional authors who are resident in the UK or British subjects – including all types of writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others – for whom author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income.

We are unable to offer grants for:

  • Publication costs/those who are in difficulty because they have contributed towards publication costs
  • Those who are not yet receiving income from writing/writing-related activities
  • Student tuition fees
  • A specific writing project (see the Authors’ Foundation)

To apply for a hardship grant from the Contingency Funds, please complete the application form and return it with the equalities monitoring form to Applications are usually assessed within two weeks of receipt.

Please note:

  • The application process for the Authors' Contingency Fund is competitive and we receive more applications than we are able to support.
  • You do not have to be a member of the SoA to apply.
  • We cannot at present accept applications from authors who have already received a grant from the Contingency Funds (including the ‘Authors’ Emergency Fund’) since March 2020. We are keeping this under review as we balance the availability of funds with the continuing demand from new applicants.

Please feel free to contact a member of staff in confidence for an informal chat on 020 7373 6642 or email

If you are in need of urgent support with your mental health, visit our help pages for immediate support options or call Samaritans for free on 116 123.

About the Fund

As the COVID-19 health crisis deepens across the UK, the incomes of self-employed workers from all sectors continue to be hit hard. Many writers, illustrators, journalists, translators, scriptwriters and other authors are among them. Book tours have been cancelled, along with lectures, talks, performances and school visits.

Throughout 2020, a wide range of organisations came forward to contribute over £1.7 million in combined resources to the Fund to enable us to keep supporting authors impacted financially by the health crisis. These included the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), Creative ScotlandThe Literary Consultancy, the Royal Literary Fund (RLF), the T S Eliot Foundation in partnership with English PEN, and Amazon UK, alongside many general donations from authors and their supporters.

To donate, fundraise or give while you shop, click here.

Charity numbers 277018 / 327482 / 259845 / 212406