Emergency Funds for Writers

Below is a listing of national and regional emergency grants available to writers in acute financial crisis. Please contact the organizations directly for more details. Self-published authors or those published by vanity presses are generally not eligible. We hope this is helpful.


Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation
(212) 226-0581
The Emergency Assistance Program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified artists whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency, examples of which are fire, flood, or emergency medical need. http://gottliebfoundation.org/grants/emergency-grant/

Aid for AIDS
(323) 656-1107
Los Angeles-based organization provides a number of programs and services for children and adults living with HIV/AIDS. There are several financial aid programs offering rent, grocery, medical, and/or general living assistance. See web site for details: www.aidforaids.net

American Society of Journalists and Authors Writer’s Emergency Assistance Fund
(212) 997-0947
Fund which offers first-time grants of up to $3,500 for established nonfiction writers in crisis situations. In extreme situations writers may apply for a second grant of up to $2,500 six months after the first grant. Applicants need not be ASJA members. Application and details available on web site: http://www.asja.org/for-writers/weaf/

American Poets Fund- Emergency Funds
The Academy of American Poets
584 Broadway Suite 1208
New York, NY 10012
The fund assists poets of demonstrated ability who are in a state of urgent financial need. Grants cannot be used to promote or otherwise enhance literary talent or reputation, and applications are not accepted. Academy Chancellors, Fellows, and prize winners must bring the circumstances of qualifying poets to the attention of the American Poets Fund committee by sending a letter of nomination, including specifics about the nominee's current financial situation, to the Executive Director of the Academy. For more information, please visit: www.speculativeliterature.org/Writing/medical.php

Artists' Fellowship, Inc.
(212) 255-7740 Ext. 216
The Artists' Fellowship aids professional fine artists in the event of an emergency. It cannot aid every artist who applies, nor does it award scholarship funds or fellowships for study, projects, art supplies, schooling, travel, or exhibitions. See website for details: http://www.artistsfellowship.com/financial.html  

A Room of Her Own
(505) 867-5373
A Room of Her Own supports women who have a commitment to their art and who are also making a substantial effort to be self-sufficient. Fellowships of $50,000 are awarded to bridge the often fatal gap between a woman's economic reality and her artistic creation. One fellowship is awarded biennially. The successful applicant must have a well articulated creative project concept and a clear plan for how it may accomplished. The grant competition is currently on hiatus due to financial constraints. http://www.aroomofherownfoundation.org

Author’s League Fund
31 East 32nd Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Fund offers interest-free loans of between $2,000 and $3,000 to writers with severe medical/health-related problems and other serious misfortunes. No membership necessary. Application and details available on web site: www.authorsleaguefund.org

Book Industry Charitable Foundation
(866) 733-9064
To apply for assistance from the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, a bookseller must be a regular full-time or part-time bookseller, currently employed for a minimum of 90 days, at a bricks-and-mortar bookstore. A bookseller can receive one charitable financial assistance grant in a 12 month period and no more than three grants in a rolling five year period. See website for details: http://www.bincfoundation.org/request-assistance/

Carnegie Fund for Authors
The Carnegie Fund offers grants to published writers who are in need due to an emergency, whether medical or otherwise. The fund does not award grants for work projects.
Individuals wishing to apply can write to the following address to request an application:
Carnegie Fund for Authors
Post Office Box 409
Lenox Hill Station
New York, NY 10021

Change, Inc.
(212) 473-3742
Change, Inc. provides one-time emergency grants of up to $1,000 to artists of any discipline. Applicants must be professional artists who can demonstrate need. Each applicant must submit a detailed letter describing the financial emergency, copies of outstanding bills, medical fee estimates and current financial statements, along with a career resume, reviews, exhibition or performance announcements, and two letters of reference from someone in affiliated field. For more information, write to:
Change Emergency Funds
Change, Inc.
P.O. Box 54
Captiva, FL 33924 

Craft Emergency Relief Fund
(802) 229-2306
CERF+ is a national artist service organization whose mission is to safeguard and sustain the careers of craft artists and to provide emergency resources that benefit all artists. Assistance includes grants, no-interest loans, access to resources, waivers and discounts on booth fees, and donations of craft supplies and equipment. See website for details: http://craftemergency.org/artists_services/emergency_relief/

Directors Guild Foundation
The DGF provides no interest, confidential loans to Guild members in good standing who are in need of emergency financial assistance. See website for details:

Dramatists Guild Foundation
The Dramatists Guild Fund awards one-time emergency grants to individual playwrights, lyricists and composers in need of temporary financial assistance due to unexpected illness or extreme hardship. To be considered for personal grant, you must have had a play or musical either presented for a paying audience anywhere in the United States or Canada, and/or published by a legitimate publishing/licensing company; or be an active member of The Dramatists Guild. See website for details: http://www.dramatistsguildfund.org/

Foundation for Contemporary Arts
These grants are administered by a confidential nomination and selection process. Applications and informal nominations are not accepted. FCA awards Grants to Artists in the following fields: dance, music/sound, theater/performance art, poetry and the visual arts. Artists are suggested and selected by their peers in a two-stage process.  See website for details: http://www.foundationforcontemporaryarts.org/grant_programs.html  

The Haven Foundation
The Haven Foundation gives financial assistance to provide temporary support needed to safeguard and sustain the careers of established freelance artists, writers and other members of the arts and art production communities who have suffered disabilities or experienced a career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or personal catastrophe. Grants are awarded and renewed at the discretion of the Haven Foundation Board. See website for details: http://www.thehavenfdn.org/about 

Hellman/Hammett Grants
(212) 290-4700
Human Rights Watch administers the Hellman/Hammett grant program for writers who have been victims of political persecution or are in financial need. Hellman/Hammett grants typically range from $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000. In addition to providing much needed financial assistance, the Hellman/Hammett grants focus attention on repression of free speech and censorship by publicizing the persecution that the grant recipients endured. See web site for details: http://www.hrw.org/hhgrants/nominations 

Joan Mitchell Foundation
The Joan Mitchell Foundation provides emergency support to visual artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and/or drawing, who have suffered significant losses after natural or manmade disasters that have affected their community. See website for details: http://joanmitchellfoundation.org/artist-programs/artist-grants/emergency 

Mayer Foundation
300 East 74th Street, Suite 35A
New York, NY 10021
Has grants of up to $5,000 available to individuals who find themselves in severe economic turmoil due to natural or civil disasters. Students may also seek scholarships to aid in the completion of a graduate or undergraduate degree. Funds are not limited to artists. See web site for details: http://foundationcenter.org/grantmaker/mayer/about.html

Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund
(888) 994-3863
Provides aid for veterans of the theatrical community (exhibition, distribution, and production) who are encountering an illness, injury, or life-changing event. Services and qualifications vary by program. All assistance is intended to provide support during a recovery or adjustment period. Complete list of programs and qualifications online: http://www.wrpioneers.org/assistance_programs.aspx

New York Foundation for the Arts
(212) 366-6900
Each year, the NYFA provides over $1 million in cash grants to individuals and small organizations pursuing artistic excellence in all forms. In 2009, the organization extended their programs and services throughout the United States and the international community. See web site for details: https://www.nyfa.org/Content/Show/About%20NYFA

NYFA Emergency Relief Fund
Email: rfund@nyfa.org
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, this Fund was established to assist artists with damages and losses as a result of the storm. Additional informatin on their assistance and application process can be found online: http://www.giarts.org/article/nyfa’s-sandy-emergency-relief-fund

PEN Writers’ Fund
Email: arielle@pen.org
Grants of up to $2,000 available to published writers in acute financial crisis. No membership necessary. Application and details available on web site: www.pen.org/writersfund

Pollack-Krasner Foundation
(212) 517-5400
The Foundation welcomes, throughout the year, applications from visual artists who are painters, sculptors and artists who work on paper, including printmakers. There are no deadlines. The Foundation encourages applications from artists who have genuine financial needs that are not necessarily catastrophic. Grants are intended for a one-year period of time. See website for details: http://www.pkf.org/grant.html  

The Rema Hort Mann Foundation
(212) 966-8444
Thid fund offers unrestricted grants, by nomination only, to promising artists who demonstrate an ability and commitment to making substantial contributions to the arts, but require financial support to do so. It also provides grants for travel, accommodations, child care and related expenses to help strengthen the emotional and familial support for cancer patients while they are undergoing treatment. rhmfoundation@gmail.com

Rhythm & Blues Foundation
(215) 985-4822
The Rhythm & Blues Foundation provides financial and medical assistance to Rhythm & Blues artists of the 1940s through the 1970´s, as well as a support system to help identify other sources of assistance. Foundation grants have helped artists and their families cover the costs of emergency needs such as prescription medications, dental work, hearing aids, hospital stays and homecare, as well as assistance with burial expenses. See website for details: http://www.rhythmblues.org/programs.php

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Emergency Medical and Legal Fund
SFWA, Inc.
PO Box 877
Chestertown, MD 21620
Medical fund offers interest-free loans to members facing unexpected medical expenses. Also makes loans available to authors who must take a writing-related dispute to court. Details and application online: http://www.sfwa.org/org/funds.htm

Society of Singers
(818) 995-7100
Any individual who has derived his/her primary income as a professional singer for 5 years and more may qualify for services. See website for details: http://www.singers.org/programs/

Sweet Relief Musicians' Fund
(714) 626-0447
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. See website for details: https://www.sweetrelief.org/get-help/eligibility/

Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights
(415) 523-0360
Urgent Action Fund’s Rapid Response Grants support the resilience of women’s and trans* movements by providing flexible and responsive support to women’s and trans* human rights defenders who face immediate threats and by supporting advocacy when unanticipated opportunities emerge to set new legal or policy precedents. See website for details: https://urgentactionfund.org/what-we-do/rapid-response-grantmaking/ 


These resources are set up for artists and writers from specific regions of the country. Each resource has its their own criteria for qualifying as a resident. These groups are not affiliated with PEN so please direct all inquiries to the individual organizations.

Actor's Fund (NYC) (LA) (IL)
(800) 221-7303 - NYC / (888) 825-0911 - LA / (312) 372-0989 - IL
The Actors Fund is a nonprofit, nationwide human services organization providing programs that support the unique, essential needs of all who work in entertainment and the performing arts - on stage or camera and behind the scenes. The Actors Fund offers a broad spectrum of programs including comprehensive social service, health care services, employment and training, and housing. Administered through their offices in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, these programs help people solve problems and make positive changes in their lives. See website for details: http://www.actorsfund.org/services-and-programs  

Artist Trust (WA)
(206) 467-8734
Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. See website for details: http://artisttrust.org/index.php/about/mission

Clayton Memorial Medical Fund (Pacific Northwest)
Medical Fund
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228
The fund helps professional science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery writers living in the Pacific Northwest states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska deal with the financial burden of medical expenses. For more information, please visit: www.osfci.org/clayton/

Helping Hands (Los Angeles)
(818) 279-6580
This Los Angeles-based non-profit organization offers a free care planning service to seniors of any income, insurance and/or health condition. Their staff will help individuals learn about great healthcare resources, housing with assistance for low income/disabled seniors and many other programs to help seniors improve their quality of life.

Max's Kansas City Project (NY)
(845) 679-2593
Max’s Kansas City Project provides emergency funding and resources to professionals in the creative arts who live in New York state. Individuals who have made their living through their art form, either professionally or personally, and demonstrate a financial need for medical aid, legal aid, or housing. The maximum grant is $1,000. See website for details: http://www.maxskansascity.org/grants.html

Springboard for the Arts (Midwest)
Artists living in MN, IA, ND, SD or WI may apply for up to $500. Artists must provide a copy of the outstanding bill and the Emergency Relief Fund payment will be made directly to the business to whom the artist owes money, not to the artist applicant. The fund does not cover anticipated bills such as rent/fees to landlords, utilities, home mortgage, and dues to credit cards, banks, and other financial institutions. For more information, please visit:  http://www.springboardforthearts.org/health/emergency-relief-fund/

Strategic Investment Grants for the Arts (MT)
(406) 444-6430
The Montana Arts Council Strategic Investment Grants provide up to $1,000 in matching funds to professional artists, nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organizations and Pre K–12 teachers in Montana for challenges and emergencies. For more information, please visit: http://art.mt.gov/orgs/orgs_sig.asp

Washington Women in Need (WA)
(425) 451-8838
Community supported non-profit organization that provides education and health care funding for women in need in Washington state. Washington Women In Need provides grants in four program areas: Education at accredited institutions in Washington; Mental Health Counseling with licensed mental health professionals; Health Care Insurance Premiums for current health coverage; Physical/Dental/Vision/Hearing exams and treatment. See web site for details: http://www.wwin.org/

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