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Woodcock Fund Grant

Writers' Trust of Canada
February 16, 2024
Job Type


Application Guidelines

The Woodcock Fund is a quick-access emergency resource for Canadian writers. It is a lifeline to many with sudden and unforeseen financial hardship. The program aims to distribute more than $100,000 each year in grants ranging from $2,000 to $12,000, depending upon the severity of the emergency.

We have designed a quick and efficient application process recognizing that writers in precarious positions may feel they are at capacity with respect to time and emotion. All writers considering applying are strongly encouraged before submitting an application to reach out the program director and provide a summary of their situation so that we can confirm their eligibility, guide them through the application process, and provide advice on how to compose the strongest application.

Please note that the Woodcock Fund is a unique grant program. It is not intended to finance the creation of a work-in-progress. An emergency of some nature is an eligibility requirement.


Who is Eligible?

An applicant must be:

  • A professional writer engaged in the production of literary work who previously generated income from writing and writing-related activities.
    *Two books previously published* is the minimum requirement;
    * Exceptions may be made for writers with one book or less provided they have a body of published creative work and can cite professional accomplishments (publications, award nominations, contracts) that indicate they are on a career trajectory to achieve that two-book requirement. Contact the program director to confirm your eligibility.
  • Facing a financial emergency of some kind, such as confronting physical or mental illness, injury, job loss or temporary loss of income, urgent dental issues, separation, or other misfortune. Emergencies stemming from caretaking responsibilities are also eligible. Applicants should demonstrate that this one-time grant will be meaningful in helping them stabilize or alleviate their situation.
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Actively working on a literary project of some kind.

    Accommodation will be made to those applying to the program in languages other than English. Please contact the program director for assistance.

    * Applicants should base their eligibility on publication with traditional publishers, ones with an independent editorial review process that provide advances/royalties and do not charge authors as clients. The Writers’ Trust does not at this time recognize self-published titles on an equal footing, though we recognize that for some individuals and in some genres the decision to self-publish is advantageous. Our ruling is periodically reviewed. Writers that are exclusively self-published are ineligible for this program.

Canadians Abroad

All professionally published writers who hold Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status are eligible to be considered for the Woodcock Fund, regardless of where they live in the world. However, Canadian writers abroad should understand that the program’s mandate is to respond to an emergency with support through a modest grant within a Canadian paradigm. Challenges faced by Canadian writers living outside Canada, such as in cases with healthcare costs, can often go beyond our scope and ability to support. Woodcock Fund grants are given in Canadian dollars converted to the currency of the grant recipient.

Who is Not Eligible?

The program is not intended to be a means of support for writers facing an ongoing, chronic problem of making a living. A precipitating condition of some nature is necessary to apply.

The program is intended for writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and literature for young readers. (Playwrights will also be considered provided the applicant has previously published their work in book form) The program does not support screenwriting, journalism, academic works, educational or technical texts, travel guides or other service-focused texts, or formulaic romance writing.

Applicants approaching the program requesting loans, grants for research or travel, or support to cover publication costs (such as printing, editing, translation) will not be considered. Nor will applicants requesting “time off to write” be supported.

What Are Grants Meant to Provide?

They are intended to provide a short-term financial bridge for applicants to assist them through a hard period. The size of the grant is determined by the individual circumstances of the writer. Grants typically range between $2,000 - $12,000 and are given with no strings attached. In evaluating an applicant’s needs, the program will consider all legitimate expenditures relating to an applicant’s professional work, personal living, and medical expenses. It is recommended that applicant’s provide a rationale behind the amount of their request rather than seeking the maximum allowable.

What is Required in an Application?

  1. Application Form. Provide basic financial information and state amount requested.
  2. Cover Letter. Address eligibility criteria, particularly the circumstances behind your application. Be specific and concise. Recommended length: 1-2 pages.
  3. References (2). Include contact information for two individuals that can speak to your situation and vouch for you as a contributing member of the literary community. References should ideally be fellow writers. We will only contact references if we think it is necessary, and will alert you prior to contacting them. We do not accept current publishers or literary agents as references. Applicants are no longer required to supply reference letters, though we encourage them as an optional element to strengthen an application.
  4. Resume
  5. Project Summary. Describe your current work-in-progress in one paragraph. Include projected date of completion and plans for publication, if known.

Upon review, we may request additional support material relevant to your application.

How Are Applications Assessed?

A committee of 7 writers from across the country assesses applications and makes recommendations to Writers’ Trust. The committee is composed of a range of writers working across multiple genres. Consideration is given to an applicant’s financial need, their publication track record, and the strength of statement in the letters of reference, among other variables. The application process takes 2-3 weeks.

Are Recipients Publicly Identified?

Writers’ Trust keeps all information about grants and grant applicants confidential. We do not publicize a list of past recipients. Successful applicants, however, may choose to acknowledge being beneficiaries of the program.


Applications are accepted throughout the year. There are no deadlines. As mentioned above, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the program director to discuss their application prior to submitting and to receive advice on how to compose the strongest application.

Should I Apply?

If you’ve read to the end of these guidelines and still aren’t certain whether your situation qualifies, we encourage you to send us a query note at the contact below. The Woodcock Fund is there to support writers facing major upheavals. We are also there to support writers confronting relatively minor blips that may unfortunately cascade into something larger without support. The program was created by an author to support working writers, irrespective of the region of the country they work in and how well known they are for their work.


Amanda Hopkins, Program Director

Only registered members can apply for jobs.
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