Grant FAQs

Writing NSW has indefinitely suspended its grant program.

Here you will find answers to questions regarding applying for grants we once offered, for archival purposes:

  • Eligibility
  • The Application Process
  • Access for Regional Writers Grants


[accordion clicktoclose=true tag=h4]

I have a current application pending for a writing residency. Can I still apply for a Writing NSW Grant?

Yes – you are eligible to apply for a Writing NSW Grant as long as there is no cash prize awarded as part of the residency. However, you cannot apply for a Writing NSW Grant if you have a current grant application pending with Create NSW or State, Territory or Federal governments or their agencies.

The Early Career Writer form asks for my project start and end date. How do I answer this if I’ve already started my novel and don’t know when I will finish?

It is a requirement for proposed projects to fall between the period of 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020. However, if applying for an Early Career Writer Grant to fund the creation of new work, it is acceptable to start or finish the writing component of your project outside of this time period.

What classifies an organisation, group or collective as ‘emerging’?

To be considered an emerging organisation, group or collective, you must have started operating no earlier than 1 January 2016.

Our organisation is creating a project for writers, but we are not primarily a writing organisation. Can we still apply for a Writing NSW Grant?

No – the primary purpose of the organisation must be writing-related. In addition, the organisation, group or collective must have successfully delivered at least one activity to support writers and writing culture.

Can an individual or group apply for a grant to fund the publication of a book or anthology?

Yes, both individuals and groups are eligible to apply for a grant to fund the production or publication of new work. However, the application must be able to demonstrate how the project will foster a vibrant, diverse and innovative writing culture in NSW.

Can I apply for more than one grant?

Applicants may apply for both an Early Career Writer Grant and a Writer & Scientist Grant. However, if successful, the applicant will only be eligible to receive one of these grants. Applicants cannot make more than one application for the same grant.

I don't know my Writing NSW member number. How can I proceed with the application form?

Your Writing NSW membership number can be found within your latest membership renewal email. If you have recently signed up to be a member but haven’t yet received your member number, please write ‘unknown’ into the member number field on the application form. This will let you proceed and our grants officer can manually check your membership status after the grant closing date.

The Application Process

How do I apply?

Applications can be made online via Smarty Grants by midnight on the closing date. If it is the first time you have used Smarty Grants, you will need to create a login. You can save and edit your application before submitting, but once submitted, you will not be able to make any further changes to your application. For any questions regarding submitting your application, consult the Help Guide and Applicant FAQs available on the Smarty Grants website.

Can I preview the form before applying?

Yes – you can preview the Smarty Grants application form after the grant opening date. You will need a Smarty Grants login. 

How will my application be assessed?

Applications will be assessed by a panel appointed by Writing NSW. Panel recommendations will be submitted to Create NSW for formal approval by the Minister. Assessors’ decisions are final and will not be reviewed. For more information on how the assessors will reach their decision, refer to the specific selection criteria for the grant you are applying for.

When will I find out if my grant application has been successful?

Applicants will be contacted and an announcement will be made once we have received approval from Create NSW. Normally this is by 17 December.

If my application is successful, will the grant affect my taxable income?

Writing NSW Grants may be considered part of your taxable income. We recommend consulting your accountant or contacting the Australian Taxation Office for specific advice on your taxation liabilities.

Will I receive feedback on my application?

Unfortunately, due to the amount of applications we receive, we are unable to supply feedback.

What are Create NSW ACDP priority areas?

Each application form will require you to select which ACDP (Arts & Cultural Development Program) priority areas you/your project might belong to. These questions are for Create NSW purposes only and will not affect the outcome of your application. While the questions won’t be relevant to every project, you will be required to answer them to the best of your abilities. Find out more about the Create NSW ACDP priorities.

How do I complete the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) questions?

If applying for an Emerging Writing Organisation Grant, you will be asked to complete compulsory KPIs for Create NSW. These projected figures for your project will include the number of activities/events involved in your project, where these activities occurred and the number of participants involved in these activities. If a field is not applicable to your project, please enter a 0 (zero). For example, if your project is creation of new work then there would be no attendance or participation in the activity/event. For more information about completing the KPI section of the application, refer to the Create NSW KPI & Data Instructions 2017.

If successful, how will I be required to acquit the grant funding?

If successful, you must submit a completed acquittal report through Smarty Grants within four weeks of completion of the project. As part of this acquittal, you will be required to outline how the grant funds have successfully helped you to achieve your project goals, and how the project has fostered a vibrant, diverse and innovative writing culture in NSW.

Access for Regional Writers Grants

Do I qualify as living in a regional area?

This grant is available to residents of regional NSW areas as defined by Create NSW.  This definition classifies regional NSW as the areas or regions outside of Sydney and Western Sydney. You can download a PDF of these regions here.

What is an acceptable professional development opportunity?

Professional development opportunities can include activities such as courses, workshops and seminars designed to further the applicant’s writing skills or career as a writer. Eligible professional development activities must be run by approved not-for-profit organisations. Applications cannot be for an activity associated with a university or other educational institution if it involves a studying for a formal qualification.

Please contact us if you are still unsure whether your professional development opportunity meets our requirements.

What is an approved not-for-profit?

Approved not-for-profits can include organisations such as:

  • Writing NSW
  • Regional NSW writers’ centres funded by Create NSW
  • Professional associations such as the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), the Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG) and Playwriting Australia
  • TAFE and universities (if the professional development opportunity is not associated with a qualification)
Do I need to enrol in a professional development opportunity before applying for the grant?

Applicants can apply for the grant before enrolling in a professional development opportunity. However, successful applicants must supply proof of enrolment prior to receiving the grant.

I am enrolled in two professional development activities within the current course period. Can I apply for two grants at once?

No. Applicants can only apply for one Writing NSW Access for Regional Writers Grant during each round. There are two rounds each year. The first covers courses running from January–June and the second covers courses running from July–December.

When will I find out if my grant application has been successful?

Applicants will be advised in June for Round One and December for Round Two.

I have previously received an Access for Regional Writers Grant. Can I apply again?

Yes, successful applicants are welcome to apply for another grant. However, priority is given to applicants who have not previously received the grant.

Do you have a question that we haven’t answered here? Contact us with your enquiry and we will endeavour to respond to you as quickly as possible.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop