Arvon’s Grant Fund breaks down financial barriers to attending Arvons’ courses. We believe that everyone deserves the freedom to explore their imagination and write. But currently we can only award a grant to the equivalent of one person per course. Will you help us to double the number of grants we can offer?
Hear why Mark Haddon has made a donation to help writers on a low income develop their craft:
Mark Haddon, Arvon tutor and author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and The Pier Falls
At a time when many more people in our society face deprivation and barriers to opportunity, it is more important than ever that a variety of voices are heard. Creative writing evokes new possibilities, new ideas, new futures. It unlocks our potential, our empathy and our hope. The circumstances of beneficiaries vary enormously, they may be a young person earning a low wage, someone who is unemployed, a carer of an elderly relative, a single parent. It is vital that those who want to explore their ideas and creativity are enabled to do so regardless of their financial situation.
Grants are judged on financial need and commitment to writing, and range from £100 to the full course fee of £760. £500 is the most commonly awarded grant.
All gifts are appreciated. Everyone who makes a donation of any size will receive a personal thank you. In addition:
For a gift of £200 you will receive a poem or piece of prose from a beneficiary
For a gift of £500, the most common sized grant awarded, you will receive a case study of a grant recipient, and hear how they have benefited from the course.
For a gift of £1,000 you will receive names and news of emerging talented writers who have benefited from the Grant Fund and can be listed by name on our website as a supporter, in addition to the above benefits.
For a gift of £5,000 you will have the opportunity to visit an Arvon Centre, by arrangement, and meet the Centre Director over tea, in addition to all the above benefits.
If you would like to hear more about our Grant Fund please contact Dean Stigwood, Acting Head of Development: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7324 2554
Need financial support to attend an Arvon Course yourself? Click here and read how to apply.
Winnie M Li
Winnie M Li is a Taiwanese-American writer who is based in London. She received a grant to attend a fiction course in 2006. Her debut novel Dark Chapter was published in June and was:
- Selected by Stylist magazine as one of their Top 10 debuts to look out for in 2017
- Runner-up in the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2016, which is awarded every two years to an outstanding unpublished fiction manuscript by a BAME woman writer
- Highly Commended for the CWA Debut Dagger 2015
- Shortlisted for the Pat Kavanagh Prize 2015
- Received media coverage in The Times, The Mail on Sunday, BBC World News, BBC Radio Ulster, RTE, Channel 5, The Pool
‘I credit my 2006 Arvon experience for giving me the initial confidence that I should actually pursue writing a novel. My tutor Bernardine Evaristo’s encouragement has been vital throughout the years, and it meant so much to see her at my launch, 11 years later, when I’d finally become a published author.’
Ella Frears, aged 25, received a grant to attend a poetry course in 2015
Ella was shortlisted for the Young Poet Laureate for London 2014/15, a position awarded annually to a poet aged between 18-25 living in London. Her poem ‘The (Little) Death of the Author’ was awarded second place in the Ruskin Prize for Poetry 2016.
“I was delighted to receive the grant as it made a course I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to attend possible.
I was both surprised and excited by the work I produced during the week. The course pushed my writing further and gave me the confidence to try big ideas and take risks in my work. It provided me with the opportunity to receive critical feedback on my poems, something I felt I have missed since leaving university. I came back invigorated and found I could not stop writing. I feel my writing since the course has been much more focussed and accomplished.
In summer 2015, I was commissioned by Tate Britain to write a piece for their ‘Late at Tate’ event – I was awarded this commission based on work I produced on the Arvon week. Following the course, I applied for a place on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring programme 16/17. I was mentored by the poet Mona Arshi and spent the year developing my pamphlet Passivity, Electricity, Acclivity, which will be published in autumn 2017 by Goldsmith Press”
Andrew McMillan received a grant to attend a poetry course in 2011.
- His debut collection Physical, was published in 2015 and became the first ever poetry collection to win The Guardian First Book Award.
- Physical was shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2015 and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
- He was shortlisted for the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser and Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2016.
- Andrew is one of the judges of the Green Carnation Prize 2017.
“It might be a cliché (what a sin as a writer!) but the Arvon course I went on really did change my life; it gave me the space to conceive a long poem I’ve never been able to match for scope or style since.”
Daniel received a grant to attend a screenwriting course in 2015:
“Growing up was always difficult. Most of my childhood was spent helping to care for my disabled mother and brothers – all of whom suffer with complex disabilities. Despite these challenging circumstances I still managed to follow my dreams, achieving a First Class degree in Drama and Creative Writing at St. Mary’s University and gaining a place at RADA where I was able to develop my writing further.
The last couple of years have been exceptionally difficult for me. In 2014, I found myself homeless and suffered a mental health breakdown. Whilst in temporary accommodation, I was living a very dark period and began to question everything from my direction in life to my sanity.
With no security, I turned to my writing and was awarded a grant to attend an Arvon screenwriting course. For me, writing acts as therapy and the course brought a lot of light. Without receiving the grant, I would never have been able to receive such invaluable feedback on my work-in-progress from the Arvon tutors. It was a truly wonderful experience.
I have now finished my first full-length play – a script that I painstakingly worked on for several years of which I am so proud.”
Dramatist Ishy Din was working as a taxi driver in Middlesbrough at the time of receiving an Arvon grant in 2011. He began writing his debut play Snookered on the course.
- Snookered, was performed at London’s Bush Theatre in 2012, and toured the UK.
- His work has been aired on Channel 4 and BBC Radio
- Ishy was one of the writers listed on the BBC’s first New Talent Hotlist 2017 ‘identifying over 200 broadcasting stars of the future’.
“Arvon was perhaps the most important piece of learning that I have taken on board as a writer. Some of the things that I picked up on my course were invaluable and I still use them in my writing today. Arvon gave me the confidence to pursue a career in writing”