The details no one tells you about: Provincial Grants

When you become an author, there are little tips and tricks you pick up along the journey, at different times and from different people.

Some of these tips and tricks actually effect your pocketbook, so rather than assuming everyone knows about these, we wanted to provide a short list of things you should sign up for as soon as you have that first book out there in the real world.

This is the second of two posts about this subject (here’s a link to the first), and is not meant to be an exhaustive list, we’re just sharing our knowledge in the hopes no author gets left behind. Each of these grants have their own rules, deadlines and submission requirements, so please go through each website carefully to see if it can benefit you and your writing.

And Joyce and I are from Ontario, so we’ve only every applied for Ontario and Toronto grants. It’s totally possible that we’re missing provincial grants from our list, so please tell us about them in the comments below!

  1. Toronto Arts Council Grantshttp://www.torontoartscouncil.org/grant-programs
    This is a grant you can apply for every year for a work in progress. Amounts depend on whether you are a new writer ($5,000) or an established writer ($10,000).
  2. Ontario Arts Council Grantshttp://www.arts.on.ca/grants
    Called the Literary Creation Project, this is a grant you can apply for every year that has different levels of funding and different types of projects they fund. From the website:  “Eligibility for this program has been expanded to include writers who have been self-publishing on a professional basis or working professionally in newer artistic disciplines or creative industries. Existing eligibility criteria for traditionally published writers, comics creators, and creator/performers of performance literatures remain unchanged.”
  3. The Alberta Foundation for the Arts:
     https://www.affta.ab.ca/funding/find-funding/literary-individual-project-funding
    The AFA provides funding “Up to $15,000 to support the development of individual Alberta artists, arts administrators, or an ensemble of artists by providing funding for a specific literary arts project.”
  4. The Calgary Arts Development:  http://calgaryartsdevelopment.com/programs/arts-for-all/
    The CAD has a few options for literary folks to apply for grants and support, which they call investment programs.
  5. The British Columbia Arts Council:  http://www.bcartscouncil.ca/guidelines/organizations/publishers/literary_organizations_prof_project_assistance.html
    The BCA has a grant called Project Assistance for Creative Writers that is for individual authors that gives two levels of grants – one for $6,000 and one for $12,000, depending on your experiences level.
  6. The Manitoba Arts Council: 
    http://artscouncil.mb.ca/apply-for-a-grant/grants-for-artists-and-individuals/#writing-publishing
    The MAC has at least 10 different options for individual authors with varying grant amounts.
  7. The Winnipeg Arts Council: http://winnipegarts.ca/grants-artists
    The WAC has two levels of grants for literary artists, up to $2,000 for emerging writers and up to $5,000 for established writers.
  8. Saskatchewan Arts Board:  http://www.saskartsboard.ca/menu/apply/artists/independent-artists-program.html
    The only literary grant we could find on the SAB site was for one called the Independent Artists Program, which supposedly doesn’t have an upper grant limit ?!?
  9. Yukon Government: http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/af
    The Yukon government has an Arts Fund that writers can tap into.

The details no one tells you about: Programs

When you become an author, there are little tips and tricks you pick up along the journey, at different times and from different people.

Some of these tips and tricks actually effect your pocketbook, so rather than assuming everyone knows about these, we wanted to provide a short list of things you should sign up for as soon as you have that first book out there in the real world.

This is the first of two posts on the subject, and is not meant to be exhaustive, we’re just sharing our knowledge. Each has its’ own details and requirements and deadlines, so please, read over the websites carefully to see if you can benefit.

If you have other National programs you think we should include, please add them in the comments below!

  1. The Public Lending Rights program: http://www.plr-dpp.ca/PLR/
    A Canada Council for the Arts program, the PLR program “distributes annual payments to Canadian authors through the Public Lending Right (PLR) Program as compensation for the free public access to their books in Canadian public libraries.”
  2. The Access Copyright program and Payback:  http://www.accesscopyright.ca/
    This is an educational payback program, to compensate you for your published work that may be used in a classroom. Instead of tracking and paying for every book and article a teacher uses to teach, you register as an author and get paid a percentage every year. From their website:  “You will be eligible to receive our annual Payback payment. Each year, all eligible affiliates receive a share of the Payback payment depending on how much they contributed to the repertoire of works licensed by Access Copyright.”
  3. National Public Readings program:
    https://www.writersunion.ca/content/national-public-readings
    Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, this is one of the ways you can get booked and paid to present in schools. There are provincial versions of this program as well.

Googling yourself

In every webinar and one-on-one session we give, Joyce and I talk about the importance of controlling your presence on the internet. One of the steps in that process is to Google yourself once in a while from different computers. Personally, I have a timer in my calendar that prompts me to Google myself once a month, but you obviously don’t need to be that prescriptive.

This time when I Googled my own name, I found nothing surprising, but Googling the titles of my books, I came out with an interesting finding.

Google: Jewel of the Thames, the title of my first book.

Google: Jewel of the Thames, the title of my first book.

When I clicked on that top link for the Pickering Library, I found that Jewel of the Thames is one of the books in their 2017 ‘Battle of the Books‘ competition.

Long-story short, I emailed the library and thanked them for including Jewel, and am now making arrangements to come by for a visit to these fine students who will be participating in the Battle of the Books.

The Pickering Library Battle of the Books page

The Pickering Library Battle of the Books page

Why Google yourself? This is why:

An important connection is made, the Library gets the thanks they deserve, and maybe some kids get a bit of a real-life thrill meeting a local author.

This is to say nothing of the value to your brand and your book sales.

CANSCAIP Prezi and Notes

canscaipThis is our Prezi that we made for the CANSCAIP members on November 9th, feel free to peruse it online.

It’s just a bunch of well-laid out slides, but it could inspire your future presentations.

In the meantime, we talked about a lot of different marketing and digital strategy techniques in our short presentation, and we wanted to make sure we provided further links in case you are interested.


TOOLS of the TRADE (these are linked to the official sites):
Canva.com  |   Hootsuite  |   Dropial   |  Buffer.com  |  GoodReads Author pages  |

Added Value = Added Sales

By now you know that the words that become your precious published novel are not the only ones you’ll need to actually sell your book.

You know there is blogging and tweeting and marketing that needs to be done.

But isn’t everyone else doing that?

Not everyone, but yes, authors are learning and adapting to the new techniques of self-marketing.
Separate yourself from the pack with value-added content:

  • Create an amazing teacher’s guide
  • Design workshops and handouts for events
  • Release a monthly podcast about the genre you write in
  • Create posters for events so venues don’t have to

You don’t have to do all of these, but picking one thing that you can produce well can differentiate you from the crowd, and bring attention to your books.

What are your value-added ideas?

Some value-added content to this blog post:
Here’s a good article on “how to write a teacher’s guide.”

A simple “How to podcast” tutorial.

If you want to create a poster or handout for your event but don’t know what design software to use, try Canva — it’s easy, it’s online and it’s free (well, freemium, anyway).