Writing Grants Galore!


I have been learning a few things since I embarked on the freelance writing route.  Did you know that there are wealthy people out there who are just dying to pay me to do things and go places that churn their butter (but don’t churn mine)?  I’m talking about grant money for writers.

Some grants are quite specific, and I would not qualify in the slightest.  They go something like this: “The Reebok Foundation is awarding a $5,000 grant to three women under twenty-five who have a desire to write biographies of current great basketball players.  To qualify, the writer must have lived on government assistance for at least two years and not be able to afford Reebok athletic shoes.”

My family should be very grateful right now that I am a homebody to the core, because there’s a rich someone who wants to throw money my way to sit in a cabin in West Texas and have nothing more strenuous to do than write whatever I’d like for three solid weeks.  I imagine the rules allow for a few strolls through the countryside each day (to improve the flow of inspiration).  I could get into that, especially if they’ve got a horse all saddled and at my disposal.  I could don my Stetson and chaps (purchased with my grant money), mosey on over to the local cattle ranch and gawk at the longhorns, chat with a tumbleweed here and there, and hunt rattlesnakes and fry them for dinner.  It sounds like fun.  I’d settle back in the evenings with my Sons of the Pioneers music in the background (that is, if the cabin had electricity) and I’d start my illustrious career as a western writer.  Just call me Lady Zane Grey.

There’s a grant that will let me live in a mansion somewhere out East for a couple of weeks.  I would have to share it with a few other writers, but hey, with dozens of rooms at our disposal and a front lawn the size of my home town, who cares?  I’m sure we could all stay out of each other’s hair.  We’d probably have to put up with sharing the butler at mealtimes, but I’m good with that.  We would all be useful to each other, too.  Other people’s eating quirks are very inspirational.  My own eating quirks are very inspirational.  An etiquette-based mystery could emerge from the depths of my grant-motivated brain — Who Stole the Vichyssoise? 

I would jostle the aplomb of my fellow grant winners with lively table conversation: “Escargot’s OK, but have any of you folks ever sampled bratwurst?  No?  Make sure your next grant settles you in Wisconsin for a week or two.  You haven’t lived until you’ve had a brat — succulent little section of piglet, nestled in a bed of meticulously aged cabbage … artistically surrounded by cheese curd rosettes ….”  At that point I’d be grabbing for my hankie, overcome with emotional memories of the cuisine back home.

There are residencies to be had with prestigious colleges.  Author in Residence.  Sounds good.  All I’d have to do is hobnob with the students, tell them cool anecdotes about my buddy Edna Ferber and the big bestseller that got away, and drop a few political harangues here and there.  I suppose I might have to do a lecture or two on the similar writing styles of Kurt Vonnegut and Charles Dickens, and I might have to write something, but hey, none of that would be difficult.  The hard part would be living somewhere other than home-sweet-home.  I could probably bring the family along, but the bratwurst — what about the bratwurst?

There are some grants that aren’t at all attractive — unless you are an Indiana Jones wannabe.  How many people really have a yen to go to Tehran to write?  If I did that, I might end up being Lady Jane Grey instead of Lady Zane Grey!  I’m known for being sensible and not losing my head here in Wisconsin, but I’d be certain to do something taboo there, and … well!

Postscript: I’m getting some questions from folks who seriously want to get writing grant money.  C. Hope Clark has a couple of wonderful weekly e-mail newsletters that will tell you what you need to know.  Sign up at Funds for Writers.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi LeeAnn,
    I too am a homebody! Also hoping that someone, somewhere out there will want to also pay me from my seat here in Corning, NY. In return I would love to provide them with all sorts of ways to locate, apply for, and obtain all sorts of grants & scholarships to fund their dreams! Just one problem… How do you get the word out to the world from your cozy corale? My hoewdown is down and out right now? Any suggestions? JennyLynn


  2. […] who are just dying to pay me to do things and go places that churn their butter but don??t churhttps://leeannrubsam.wordpress.com/2008/04/19/writing-grants-galore/Owner of dead bison files lawsuit vs. neighbor Rocky Mountain NewsThe owner of 32 bison slaughtered […]


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