38 Writing Grants in India

Writing Grants

One of the dreams of anyone aspiring to write is that they don’t have to worry about keeping a job to pay the bills. Writing grants allows one to do that.

In the last two years, the pandemic situation has affected many writing grants / fellowship programs. However, some writing grants have risen beyond that and offer online mentoring.

And then, there are also other writing grants who are asking applicants to reach out in 2022 or 2023. Their reason is common across universities and colleges. The year 2021 has been reserved to accommodate the shortlisted applicants’ from 2020.

Contents

But, guess what? We have just found out a list of writing grants, fellowships and scholarships that are available for Indian writers within the country and abroad.

Before we share the list of writing grants /scholarships / fellowships, some disclaimers:

  1. We have classified these writing grants/ scholarships / fellowships into Indian and international.
  2. This list does not include writing grants/ scholarships / fellowships that need citizenship and/or residency of any country other than India.
  3. As always this list is dynamic. We will keep adding to it as and when we come across any new writing grants/ scholarship/ grant in India.
  4. If you have been a part of any writing grants/ scholarships / fellowships in India which is not a part of this list, do let us know in comments below. We would love to add it to the list.

Introduction to Writing Grants / Fellowships / Scholarships in India

Let’s start off with a quick comparison between writing grants, scholarships and fellowships:

Basis for comparison Writing Grants Writing Scholarships Writing Fellowships
MeaningWriting grants imply a sum of money given by the government or any other entity to an individual or entity to carry out a specific purpose.
Writing Scholarship refers to a monetary aid awarded to the student, so as to help him undergo high-level education. It is a type of grant provided to the students on their academic achievement, to encourage them for doing better.
Writing Fellowship implies the financial aid awarded to individuals willing to research further on a specific subject after they qualify for the prescribed exam.




Based on
NeedNeed, merit and category



Merit
Conferred onAny person or entity, fulfilling specific criteria.Students onlyResearch fellows




Performance
Certain standard is required to be met, and reporting should be done properly. The usage of the grant should be according to the purpose specified or else; the recipient will lose the aid. Needs to be maintainedCertain outcomes for which the fellowship has been granted need to be achieved – e.g. delivering a manuscript, research report and so on.
PurposeAwarded for a prescribed purposeEducational purpose
Undertaking research
Funded byGovernment, corporation, trust or foundationGovernment, or any other organization.Government, research organization, private companies etc.
Writing grants

Indian Writing Grants / Scholarships / Fellowships

Sangam House Fellowships

  • Duration: 2-3 months in the UK
  • Eligibility: Open to all, while there are conditions to fulfil in each of the 11 fellowships – e.g. The Bianca Pancoat Patton Fellowship supports the work of young women writers from India and The Eternal Vada Fellowship supports the residency of an American writer.
  • Format: Sangam House is an Indian residency for writers with the aim of bringing together writers from around the world to live and work in a peaceful haven in Bengaluru and provide a safe network of writers to collaborate.
  • Deadline: Sangam House is not accepting new applications for this season as they are taking in previous year awardees who couldn’t get in last year due to the pandemic. One can check back in March 2022 for information regarding the 2022-2023 application cycle.

New India Foundation Fellowship

  • Duration: One year
  • Eligibility: Open to Indian nationals, including those currently living abroad. Fellowship awardees are required to devote themselves full-time to the book project during the 1 year period. The proposed work should contribute to the fuller understanding of independent India. 
  • Format: The core activity of the New India Foundation is the New India Fellowships, awarded to scholars and writers working on different aspects of the history of independent India. 
  • Deadline: Applications open on January 1st of each year and close in August. Their 2021 fellowship program has not been announced. They don’t seem to have released a fellowship program every year

Awards, Grants and Paid Opportunities – The Bombay Review

  • Duration: Multiple, there are six types of fellowship programs available for individual writers
  • Eligibility: 
    • CPB Young writing fellowship: Age 20-25, Fiction/ Poetry – 30th April
    • 20 Under 30 – Writers from South Asia (print, 2022) – Age 18-30, short fiction/ Short story – 16 June
    • CREATIVE WRITING AWARDS
      2021 – Short Fiction – 31 December
    • New Dalit Writing – Fiction/ Essays/ Poetry/ Reviews – 15 December
    • LGBTQ  – Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, essays, photo-essays, art, and more. Open currently 
    • Student writing – will open soon. All entries published in the magazine’s Student Writing section (Below 21) is directly considered for the Award.
  • Format: Mentorship is provided through online sessions during the pandemic 
  • Deadline: Applications open on January 1st of each year and close in August. Their 2021 fellowship program has not yet been announced.

South Asia Speaks 

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Eligibility: To be eligible writers must be working on a long-term project. This could be a book of fiction or non-fiction, a translated work or a series of reported pieces. Writers who have already published a book, or graduated from a journalism school, creative writing program or literary internship outside South Asia are ineligible to apply. Self-published writers and those who have so far only contributed chapters/essays to books don’t count under published writers
  • Format: The project has 20 mentors who will each mentor one writer over Zoom. The mentors would review and give feedback on the project. 
  • Deadline: The program commencing January 2021 was the first pilot mentorship under this platform. Deadline for that program was December 10, 2020 so one can expect deadlines around the same time.

Write Beyond Borders

  • Duration: 5 months, May to October
  • Eligibility: Must be 18 or older, of South-Asian origin and reside in the UK, Bangladesh, India or Pakistan. Must be an un-agented writer who has not yet published a full-length work of fiction or non-fiction. Previously self-published writers may apply.
  • Format: Two online one-to-one sessions with assigned mentor. Feedback on a new piece of writing (of up to 2500 words). A set of thirteen masterclasses, also online, the majority on Saturdays at 2pm (UK time)
  • Deadline: April 30

Katha Utsav

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Eligibility: As such no criteria specified. 
  • Format: The Grand Finale is a four-day workshop in December for the students selected from the regionals, wherein they will experience an advance mentoring process and each student will participate in the challenge grounds. The jury-selected stories will be awarded the KATHA National Writers’ Workshop Certificate and will also win a chance to get their stories featured on Katha’s digital platforms.
  • Deadline: No details on this as yet

International Writing Grants/ Scholarships / Fellowships

AWP: Writer to Writer Mentorship Program 

  • Duration: 3 months
  • Eligibility: Open to all AWP members. Membership fees for international residents is 85USD annually
  • Format – The mentor will review the applicant’s writing, listen to concerns, and help problem solve. 
  • Deadline: January for spring session. Deadline for fall session that commences in September not yet put up on site

Civitella Ranieri Foundation

  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Eligibility: Civitella Ranieri Foundation invites about 12 to 15 Fellows for each session for a residency Fellowship of 6 weeks. The Fellows are chosen through a competitive nomination and jury process for each discipline; visual arts, writing, and composing. 
  • Format: Fellows are given free time and space to work at Civitella, and are also encouraged to participate in excursions through the Umbrian countryside, take Italian classes, and give presentations about their work while at the castle. The Fellowship, paid for in full by the Foundation, includes travel, room and board, studio and work space. 
  • Deadline: Invitation seems to be at the foundation’s end, deadline for self-application not put up on site

David TK Wong Fellowship – School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing – About – UEA

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Eligibility: Applications for the Fellowship will be considered from established published as well as unpublished writers of any age and any nationality. The Fellowship will be awarded to a writer planning to produce a work of prose fiction in English which deals seriously with some aspect of life in East and Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Peoples’ Republic of China, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam). The successful candidate will be selected by a distinguished international panel. There will be no interviews, and candidates will be judged entirely on the quality and promise of their writing and the project they describe.
  • Format: The David T. K. Wong Fellowship is a unique and generous annual award of £26,000 to enable a fiction writer who wants to write in English about East and Southeast Asia to spend a year in the UK, at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. 
  • Deadline: February 12

Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship in Creative Writing

  • Duration: 3 months
  • Eligibility: Indian citizen, domiciled and resident; who has completed university-level education in the field of literature and/or has between 5-7 years of professional experience;
  • Format: The successful applicant will be based in the English and Creative Writing Department on Bishop Otter campus for up to three months. The institution has a thriving literary community, with an annual programme of talks by leading writers, editors and agents. 
  • Deadline: September 30
Writing Grants

Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library Fellowship

  • Duration: 2 months
  • Eligibility: open to any citizenship although the candidate should be located in North America
  • Format: The Hodson Trust – John Carter Brown Library Fellowship supports work by academics, independent scholars and writers working on significant projects relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. The fellowship is also open to filmmakers, novelists, creative and performing artists, and others working on projects that draw on this period of history.  
  • Deadline: The deadline for the 2021-2022 Hodson Trust-John Carter Brown Library fellowship has ended. One can check back in February 2022 for the next year’s application.

Hodder fellowship and Princeton Arts Fellowship

  • Duration: 1 year (Hodder) and 2 years (Princeton arts)
  • Eligibility: Artists whose achievements have been recognized as demonstrating extraordinary promise in any area of artistic practice and teaching. Applicants should be early career composers, conductors, musicians, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, poets, novelists, playwrights, designers, directors and performance artists–this list is not meant to be exhaustive. Holders of a Ph.D. degree from Princeton University are not eligible.
  • Format: The idea is to spend two years teaching and working in an artistically vibrant university community. The normal work assignment is to teach one course each semester or take on an artistic assignment in lieu of a class, such as directing a play or creating a dance with students
  • Deadline: Applications for the next round of Princeton Arts Fellowships open on July 1, 2021. The deadline for applications is September 14, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (ET). 

The SLF (Speculative Literature Foundation) $1000 Older Writers Grant

  • Duration: One year
  • Eligibility: The SLF $1000 Older Writers Grant is awarded annually to a writer who is fifty years of age or older at the time of grant application. Speculative literature is a catch-all term meant to inclusively span the breadth of fantastic literature, encompassing literature ranging from hard science fiction to epic fantasy to ghost stories to horror to folk and fairy tales to slipstream to magical realism to modern myth-making — and more. Any piece of literature containing a fabulist or speculative element would fall under our aegis, and would potentially be work that the foundation would be interested in supporting.
  • Format: The Foundation is currently offering a $1000 grant annually, to be used as each writer determines will best assist their work.
  • Deadline: The application form for the SLF Older Writers Grant is only active during the open submission period 12:00AM May 1, 2021 – 11:59PM May 31, 2021. Winners are announced by July 15th.

The SLF $1000 A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian Speculative Literature

  • Duration: One year
  • Eligibility: The A.C. Bose Grant will annually give $1000 to a South Asian / South Asian diaspora writer developing speculative fiction. It supports adult fiction, but work that is also accessible to older children and teens will be given preference in the jury process. This grant, as with all SLF grants, is intended to help writers working with speculative literature.
  • Format: The grant of $1000 is provided with the aim that it will help develop work that will let young people imagine different worlds and possibilities. 
  • Deadline: Applications open in the window 12:00AM January 1, 2022 – 11:59PM January 31, 2022, announcement by May 15th

The SLF $500 Diverse Writers and $500 Diverse Worlds Grants

  • Duration: One year
  • Eligibility: The $500 Diverse Writers grant is intended to support writers of speculative fiction who are from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, etc. — those whose marginalized identities may present additional obstacles in the writing / publishing process. The $500 Diverse Worlds grant is intended for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background.
  • Format: The SLF annually offers, since 2014, two diversity-centered grants: Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds, both intended to foster the creation of speculative fiction work rich in diversity. are looking for writing that offers deep characterization, complex cultural landscapes, and strong literary quality overall. The submitted project, however, must be a work of speculative fiction.
  • Deadline: The application form for the SLF Diversity Grants is only active during the open submission period 12:00AM July 1, 2021 – 11:59PM July 31, 2021. Winners announced by September 15th.

The SLF $1000 Gulliver Travel Grant

  • Duration: Annual
  • Eligibility: This grant, as with all SLF grants, is intended to help writers working with speculative literature. You may apply for travel to take place at any point in the following year (from October to the following October). Travel may take place from any country to any country, or internally within a country; the grants are unrestricted
  • Format: We are currently offering one $1000 travel grant annually, to be used to cover airfare, lodging, and/or other travel expenses.
  • Deadline: The application form for the Gulliver Grant is only active during the open submission period 12:00AM November 1, 2021 – 11:59PM November 31, 2021. Winners are declared by January 15th.

The SLF $1000 Working Class Writers Grant

  • Duration: Annual
  • Eligibility: The SLF Working Class Writers grants are awarded annually, since 2013, to assist writers of speculative literature to working class, blue-collar, poor, and homeless writers who have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction, due to the financial barriers which have made it much harder for them to have access to the writing world.
  • Format: The SLF awards this grant to those eligible, and would like to assist in finding more of these marginalized voices and bringing them into speculative fiction.
  • Deadline: Open for submissions September 1st to September 30th, 2021

The Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers

  • Duration: 3 months (Sep-Dec)
  • Eligibility: Nationality not restricted
  • Format: The fellow is provided with accommodation, a stipend of $5,000 to cover costs of transportation, food and other incidentals. Fellowship recipients are encouraged to take an active role in the community and to meet informally with students and local residents interested in writing. The fellow will work with the McCullers Center director to plan a presentation near the end of the residency.
  • Deadline: April 1

Camargo core program

  • Duration: 8 to 11 weeks (Fall and spring sessions available)
  • Eligibility: Writers should have a track record of publications, credits, awards, and/or grants. Looking for artists who have a fully developed, mature artistic voice. 
  • Format: A residency in Europe, the Camargo Core Program welcomes both open-ended exploration, or more focused works.
  • Deadline: October 1

Hedgebrook Women Writers Residency

  • Duration: 2- 4 weeks
  • Eligibility: Open to women writers across the world
  • Format: the retreat hosts writers from all over the world for residencies of two to four weeks, at no cost to the writer
  • Deadline: June 28. Our 2022 residency cycle will be primarily dedicated to honouring the residencies that were awarded in 2020 and cancelled due to Covid-19. Our regular cycle will resume in 2023. 

Story rebels writers retreat

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Eligibility: women writers across the world
  • Format: The fellowship covers a 5-day retreat focusing on writing, wellness, and cultural immersion. Accommodations include lodging, a travel stipend, meals, activities, and ground transportation for the 2019 retreat in Sicily, Italy.
  • Deadline: Not put up on the site yet

Pen Center Emerging voices fellowship 

  • Duration: 5 months
  • Eligibility: Applicants do not need to be a U.S. permanent resident and/or citizen but must be residing in the United States at the time of applying for, and during the duration of, the fellowship.
  • Format: The five months of the fellowship are designed for fellows to connect with mentors and the cohort and refine their writing project while learning new skills and building relationships with publishing industry instructors, PEN America staff, and the literary community.
  • Deadline: February-March.

Stanford Wallace Stegner Fellowship

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Eligibility: Anyone may apply, regardless of nationality. If accepted, for visa purposes the applicant would be considered a non-matriculated graduate student at Stanford; the university would work with you to obtain a J-1 visa.
  • Format: Stanford offers ten two-year fellowships each year, five in fiction and five in poetry. All the fellows in each genre convene weekly in a 3-hour workshop with faculty. Fellows are regarded as working artists, intent upon practicing and perfecting their craft.
  • Deadline: December 1

Leon Levy Center for Biography Fellowships

  • Duration: One year
  • Eligibility: Preference is given to those who have not yet published a biography or received fellowships for the writing of a biography. Also welcome applications from published and accomplished writers who are undertaking their first biography. 
  • Format: This program offers writing fellowships at CUNY’s Graduate Center. These fellowships include a $72,000 stipend, in addition to writing space and research facility access.
  • Deadline: January 4

A Public Space Writing Fellowships

  • Duration: Six months
  • Eligibility: ​Only writers who have not yet published or been contracted to write a book-length work are eligible. International applicants are encouraged to apply.
  • Format: It offers six-month writing fellowships that includes editorial support from the magazine’s editors to help you prepare a piece for publication in the magazine, a $1,000 honorarium, plus the opportunity to meet agents, editors and published writers in the publishing community
  • Deadline: January 31

Grubstreet Emerging Writer Fellowship

  • Duration: One year
  • Eligibility: Anyone above 18 years with a  passion for writing, preference to writers of color, ethnic minorities, those who identify as LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and other members of communities historically underrepresented by the literary community to apply.
  • Format: Throughout the year, writers will attend seminars, multi-week courses of their choosing and conference sessions to learn more about the craft of writing and the publishing industry. Typically held in Boston, sessions are currently online owing to the pandemic.
  • Deadline: February 22

American Antiquarian Society Fellowship

  • Duration: Around 4 weeks
  • Eligibility: Successful applicants are those whose work is for the general public rather than for academic or educational audiences, and who work to produce imaginative, non-formulaic works dealing with pre-twentieth-century American history.
  • Format: The fellowships will provide the recipients with the opportunity for a period of uninterrupted research, reading, and collegial discussion at the Society, located in Worcester, Massachusetts.
  • Deadline: October 5

ASJA WEAF Grant

  • Duration: NA
  • Eligibility: The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund helps established freelance writers who, because of illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work. A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant. However, applicants must establish a record of past professional freelance nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years, which means qualifications generally similar to those of ASJA members. Writers who apply do not have to live in the United States but must submit books or articles written in English.
  • Format: Since 1982, WEAF has awarded more than 160 grants totaling approximately $400,000. Among the recipients have been writers of diverse backgrounds and interests, with an impressive list of honors and credentials among them.
  • Deadline: NA, can apply any time

STIFTUNG Scholarship

  • Duration: 2-6 months
  • Eligibility: Open to all writers across the world although there are some requirements on residency
  • Format: The foundation provides a scholarship. All scholarships amount to 1500,00 Euro per month, minus approx. 100,00-200,00 Euro rental costs (depending on the size of the apartment/studio), electricity and telephone costs.)
  • Deadline: September 15

NYPL Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman center Fellowship

  • Duration: 9 months (Sep-May)
  • Eligibility:  The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers is an international fellowship program open to people whose work will benefit directly from access to the collections at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building—including academics, independent scholars, and creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets). Visual artists at work on a book project are also welcome to apply. 
  • Format: The Center appoints 15 Fellows a year for a nine-month term at the Library, from September through May. In addition to working on their own projects, the Fellows engage in an ongoing exchange of ideas within the Center and in public forums throughout the Library.
  • Deadline: September 24

PEN-Heim translation fund Grant

  • Duration: Annual
  • Eligibility: There are no restrictions on the nationality or citizenship of the translator, but the works must be translated into English.
  • Format: The PEN/Heim Translation Fund provides grants to support the translation of book-length works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or drama that have not previously appeared in English in print or have appeared only in an outdated or otherwise flawed translation.
  • Deadline: June 1

Macdowell Fellowship

  • Duration: 4 months
  • Eligibility: Open to all
  • Format: MacDowell provides time, space, and an inspiring environment to artists of exceptional talent. A MacDowell Fellowship, or residency, consists of exclusive use of a studio, accommodations, and three prepared meals a day for up to eight weeks. There are no residency fees.
  • Deadline: Summer deadline – January 15. Fall deadline – April 15.

EASTERN FRONTIER EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION

  • Duration: 10 days
  • Eligibility: Open to international applicants
  • Format: The residency is at Norton Island, a secluded 150-acre island. The main lodge offers a small but relevant library of books, including books on the local plant and animal life. A new and growing collection of books written on Norton Island also populate the library.
  • Deadline: March 15

Writers’ colony – 2021 Dancing in the Rain – Fellowship for Children’s Literature

  • Duration: Two weeks
  • Eligibility: The fellowship is for writers of children’s or young adult (YA) literature. Candidates should be working on a picture book or chapter book that provides inspiration and hope for those struggling with the hardships and challenges that life often metes out.
  • Format: The fellowship winner will receive a two-week residency to allow the recipient to focus completely on their work. 
  • Deadline: July 26

Writers’ colony – 2021 Real People, Real Struggles, Real Stories – Writing about Mental Illness Fellowship

  • Duration: Two weeks
  • Eligibility: The fellowship is awarded to a writer working on a short or long work of non-fiction focusing on how they (the writer or another) have managed, and continue to manage, their mental illness.
  • Format: The fellowship winner will receive a two-week residency to allow the recipient to focus completely on their work. 
  • Deadline: August 30

Writers’ colony – 2021 Emerging poet fellowship

  • Duration: Two weeks
  • Eligibility: Poets assembling their first book of poems are invited to apply for this fellowship
  • Format: The fellowship winner will receive a two-week residency to allow the recipient to focus completely on their work. 
  • Deadline: June 14

Writers’ colony – 2021 Moondancer Fellowship – Who Love the Great Outdoors

  • Duration: Two weeks
  • Eligibility: The Moondancer fellowship is awarded to an author who expresses their love of nature and concern for the environment through their writing.
  • Format: The fellowship winner will receive a two-week residency to allow the recipient to focus completely on their work. 
  • Deadline: May 31

Writers’ colony – My Time – A Writer’s Fellowship for Parents

  • Duration: One week
  • Eligibility: Writers who are also parents of dependent children under the age of 18 are invited to apply.  Work may be any literary genre: fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose, scripts or screenplays.  
  • Format: The fellowship winner will receive a one-week residency to allow the recipient to focus completely on their work. A $400 stipend is available to cover childcare and/or travel costs.  
  • Deadline: March 15

Writers’ colony – Humour me – A funny writer’s fellowship

  • Duration: Two weeks
  • Eligibility: This fellowship is open to poets, fiction writers, playwrights, essayists, columnists, memoirists, and screenwriters who use humor as a key element in their work.
  • Format: The fellowship winner will receive a two-week residency to allow the recipient to focus completely on their work. 
  • Deadline: February 22

Poetry coalition fellowship

  • Duration: 40 weeks
  • Eligibility: This fellowship is open to individuals that are 21 or older, including those who are enrolled in or have recently graduated from an MFA program in creative writing.
  • Format: Paid fellowship positions for five individuals who will each assist a different Poetry Coalition organization for twenty hours per week over the course period. The fellows will also receive professional development opportunities.
  • Deadline: July 6

Epiphany fresh voices fellowship

  • Duration: One year
  • Eligibility: A fellowship supporting one emerging Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other writer of color who does not have an MFA and is not currently enrolled in a degree-granting creative writing program.
  • Format: Outcome of the fellowship expected to be new, hospitable contacts in the literary world; and a demystified and holistic understanding of the publication process and operations of a small nonprofit literary journal.
  • Deadline: July 1

Conclusion

Whatever stage of writing you are in, writing grants are always helpful.

Apply as a beginner to see where it takes you or apply as a seasoned writer to add to your writerly skills. But apply, you should.Choose any one of these writing grants that is based your needs as a writer, where you will grow and your writing will thrive.

Apart from the financial aspect, there is another reason why these writing grants are attractive. It is the added skillset they bring to your resume. A writer who has won writing grants/ scholarships/ fellowships is always looked up to with added respect among other writers.

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