charitable trusts info

Prizes, grants and awards

Charitable Trusts information

Emergency Financial Assistance for Authors

The main charitable trust providing financial help to authors is The Royal Literary Fund at 3 Johnson’s Court, off Fleet Street, London EC4A 3EA (020 7353 7150). The Secretary is Eileen Gunn.



The Society of Authors administers three charitable trusts which provide grants to authors in temporary financial difficulties.



These trusts are only open to professional freelance writers for whom writing books or full length scripts has provided a principal source of income.

The Francis Head Bequest

Mrs Head, a well-known literary agent, generously established this trust in her will with the object of making grants to professional writers (writing in the English language) who were born in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, and who are over the age of 35.



It is aimed at authors who by reason of illness or otherwise are in financial difficulty. She particularly wished to help authors who are temporarily unable to maintain themselves or their families owing to illness or an accident, but the terms of the trust are reasonably wide.

The Authors’ Contingency Fund

A number of emergency grants are made each year to professional authors who are in immediate financial difficulties or for the financial relief of their dependants.

The John Masefield Memorial Trust

The Trust provides occasional grants to professional poets or their dependants who are faced with sudden financial problems.

Applications to the charitable trusts

Application is made by completing the form (download below) and returning it, with a covering letter, to Sarah Baxter at the Society of Authors. The same form applies to all three funds.

Download application form:

Charity application form (pdf format)