If you’re struggling to pay your bills as a writer in the UK, we have just the solution for you. The Royal Literary Fund offers a range of hardship grants to professional writers needing short-term to long-term financial support.

Founded in 1790, the Royal Literary Fund (RLF) is a UK charity that helps writers in financial need. We annually deliver over £5 million in grants, education, and outreach programmes.

Whether you are facing an unexpected bill, reduced income or unable to write due to a change in circumstances, sickness, disability, or age, the RLF Grants team can help. They can guide you through a confidential application process to see if you or your family qualify for assistance.

In addition to general grants, the RLF has a selection of specific grants for writers of particular genres, regions or stages in their careers. These award are not open for direct applications, but are selected by the Grants Committee through the standard grants review process. See these specific ones below:

Robert Holman Award

The Robert Holman Award was created in honour of the British dramatist and RLF beneficiary Robert Holman who died in December 2021. The award supports professional playwrights who may be struggling and in financial need who come from or are based in the North of England, in the counties of Merseyside, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland.

Grants will be made available to playwrights of any age or background who have at least two eligible works performed professionally.

J. B. Priestley Award

The J.B. Priestley Award is given to writers of promise and named after the English novelist, playwright, and social commentator J.B. Priestley. Priestley was a trustee and long-time supporter of the RLF, and requested funds from his estate should go towards helping a new generation of writers after his death.


To be eligible for a grant, you must:

  • Hold UK or Irish Citizenship OR reside in the UK or Ireland
  • Have a minimum of two works which meet the following criteria:
  • You are the sole author of the work
  • The work has been professionally published or produced in the UK or Ireland
  • Poems, articles, short stories or essays must be published as part of a collection
  • Or be the dependant of a writer who meets the eligibility criteria above
  • Please note that self-published works or works derived from journalism are not eligible for consideration.
  • The RLF is not able to provide grants for the following:
    • Creative practice, i.e., grants for projects, work in progress or publication costs
    • General fundraising appeals or letters requesting donations
    • Academic research, scholarships, bursaries, student or private education fees, courses or retreats

Apply for a grant here.