With increasing social deprivation and barriers to opportunity, Arvon believes it is vital to support writers facing such obstacles and enable them to attend our courses. Each year, we award between 100 and 150 grants to writers on low incomes. We work hard to ensure that the Grant Fund benefits as many people in need of assistance as possible. The circumstances of beneficiaries vary enormously, from those living with an illness and in receipt of benefits; to unemployed young people at the start of their writing career; to single parents juggling work and childcare; to carers of elderly relatives.
Hear why Mark Haddon has made a donation to help writers on a low income develop their craft:
£50 – every little helps. Your donation will help support low income writers attend an Arvon course.
£200 – would enable a low-income writer to attend a course they otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend
£500 – would cover the full cost of our most commonly awarded grant (£835 is the full cost of a course)
£1,000+ – would make a substantial contribution towards our goal of doubling the number of writers we support
If you would like to hear more about our Grant Fund please contact Dean Stigwood, Head of Development: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0204 529 4970.
PAST GRANT APPLICANTS
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- Runner-up in the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2016, which is awarded every two years to an outstanding unpublished fiction manuscript by a BAME woman writer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 mean
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”