FUNDING KNOWHOW Works in Progress

In the last piece in the Funding KnowHow series, KnowHow editor Eleanor Pender takes a closer look at funding for works in progress.

Back in March, key organisations came together to help support authors affected financially by the coronavirus with The Authors’ Emergency Fund. You can see the details of this here.

One of these organisations, the Society of Authors, administer a number of grants over the year, including grants for works in progress – The Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust Award Grants.

Both grants are awarded twice a year to writers whose book project is for a commercial UK publisher and are designed to assist writers with research costs or to buy them time to write.

The second round of funding closes on 1 September 2020. With July just starting, this might be a good time to see if you’re in a position to apply. More information on each award and eligibility is laid out below.

What is The Authors’ Foundation?
The Authors’ Foundation was set up from donations by authors in 1984 and has received contributions from authors, charitable trusts, and the Royal Literary Fund.

You can apply to The Authors’ Foundation if:
  • You have been commissioned by a commercial British publisher to write a full-length work of fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, and
  • You need funding (in addition to any publisher's advance) for important research, travel, or other general expenditure.
  • You are without a contractual commitment with a publisher, but
  • You have had at least one book published commercially by a British publisher, of which you are the sole author, and there is a strong likelihood that your next book will be published in Britain.
In both cases, you must have a contract, either currently or for a previous publication, where you, as the author, did not pay funds towards publication costs.

What is the K Blundell Trust?
The K Blundell Trust was endowed by the late Kathleen Blundell. The trust gives grants of up to £6,000 to British authors under the age of 40 whose work of either fiction or non-fiction and aims to increase social awareness.

Authors must meet the same criteria as the Authors' Foundation above and at Miss Blundell's request, applicants must also satisfy the following conditions:
  • The author must be British by birth, ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, and under the age of 40 on the closing date for applications.
  • Debut authors are not eligible.
  • The author must submit a copy of their latest published book in digital form as an attachment to an email.
  • The work must 'contribute to the greater understanding of existing social and economic organisations'. Fiction is not excluded.

How can I apply?
Details on how to apply for either award can be found on the Society of Authors website. If you have any further questions, do take a look at the Grants FAQs page which may help you. You do not need to be a member of the Society of Authors to apply to either grant.

* Main image by Kat Stokes

Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic
Based in Bristol, Eleanor lectures in digital communications and chairs YA and middle-grade events at festivals including Bath Children's Literature Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, and YALC. She is currently working on a young adult fantasy novel. Find her on Twitter at @eleanor_pender.


Do you have any suggestions for KnowHow? If there's something you'd like to know how to do or know more about, tell us. Email KnowHow editor, Eleanor at

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