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Play on Words Day 4 Part Two - Funding Routes for Writers

Play on Words Day 4 - Part 2


ArtfulScribe delivered a presentation about funding routes for writers at Forest Arts Centre on Thursday 26th October. With only 13.7% of authors earning a living solely from writing, the event was created to offer clarity on funding and accessible pathways.

The panel consisted of Matt West, Director of ArtfulScribe, and Alice Flynn, Co-Director of Women of Words, Dorset, a project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Kate Offered (Relationship Manager for Arts Council England) was unable to attend, but provided a set of slides on the Arts Council strategy for culture and creativity, Let’s Create. These were well received.

Before the talk officially started, the participants explained what they hoped to get out of the forum. The 17 in attendance questioned how to make their work visible: how to set their artists rates; how to determine if work was successful enough to add to a CV.


In response, Matt offered two examples of successful DYCP (Developing Your Creative Practice) grants as case-studies. The DYCP’s purpose is to encourage a step-change in artistic practice, helping artists to change their direction of travel. It is a simpler funding application in contrast with Arts Council England’s Project Grants.


Alice discussed a successful grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and how, by drawing on the heritage of female domestic abuse victims in Dorset, she was able to amplify the voices of the disempowered women to a wider community. The NLHF grant was presented as a potential funding route for writers looking to work with local heritage.

The presentation closed with some top-tips from Alice: ask for help and advice from funders of the work you’re interested in; have a cheerleading buddy for when you complete small and large tasks relating to the bid; celebrate completing a bid and sending it off.

While this forum opened with expressions of uncertainty around funding routes, it ended on a more positive note, with participants grateful for the session’s clarity and enthused with a new-found confidence in their ability to tackle funding applications for projects of their own.


Carla Hall - Breakthrough Apprentice



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