Writers’ Emergency Fund

The PEN Writers’ Emergency Fund is an emergency fund for professional—published or produced—writers in acute, emergency financial crisis. Depending on the situation, the Fund gives grants of up to $2,000. The maximum amount is given only under especially dire circumstances and when monies are available. It is the Fund’s preference not to give repeated grants within a three-year period. 

The PEN Fund for Writers and Editors with HIV/AIDS, administered under the PEN Writers’ Emergency Fund, gives grants of up to $2,000 to professional writers and editors who face serious financial difficulties because of HIV or AIDS-related illness.

The Writers’ Emergency Fund does not exist for research purposes, to enable the completion of writing projects, or to fund publications or organizations. The Writers’ Emergency Fund is for writers whose primary professional occupation is writing. Self-published authors or those published by vanity presses are not eligible. Writers do not have to be Members of PEN American Center to receive a grant.

In 2015, the PEN Writers’ Emergency Fund and Fund for Writers and Editors with HIV/AIDS distributed more funds than ever to U.S.-based writers who were facing acute, financial crises, allocating $60,300 to 35 applicants between ages 38 and 85. These grants are made possible by the generous support from the Lannan FoundationThe Haven Foundation, PEN America Members, and other supporters. If you would like to support the PEN Writers’ Fund, click here to make a donation.

Next deadline: June 15, 2017

How to Apply

1. Please be sure to review the fund’s full list of eligibility guidelines before applying.

2. If you meet the eligibility requirements, click here to download an application.

3. Submit your application via email, fax, or mail. The last page of the application provides instructions for how to submit the application to the PEN Writers’ Fund.

For further information, please email PEN’s Writers’ Emergency Fund Administrator at [email protected] 

Additional Resources for Writers

In an effort to provide further assistance to writers in need, PEN has compiled the following lists of resources. All organizations should be contacted directly as they are not affiliated with PEN.