Ad Astra 2015 day 2: Paying your grocery bill: Grants and writing grant applications

Panellists: Amanda Sun, Karina Sumner-Smith, Sandra Kasturi, Chadwick Ginther, Bob Boyczuk

SK: I apply for Toronto Arts Council (TAC), Ontario Arts Council (OAC), and Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) grants for ChiZine and as a writer. OAC runs the Writers’ Reserve. There’s also the Works in Progress (WIP) grant. There are three deadlines a year. If you’re successful, you can’t reapply for two years.

KSS: The first time I applied for a grant, I did everything wrong. Reframe your application in literary or academic terms. I went from applying for a WIP grant so I could write my science fiction novel, to applying for funding to support the creation of post-apocalyptic literature.

SK: The jury changes every round. Keep applying, even with the same application. If you’re turned down in one round, you may be successful the next depending on who’s on the jury.

CG: CCA is the most open to experimental projects, I find. The OAC is the most conservative.

SK: The Writer’s Reserve runs from September to January every year. You send your manuscript to select publishers and one form to the OAC. Publishers get a set amount. ChiZine gets $13,000. That means we can publish about nine books.

KSS: The Writer’s Reserve has funds set aside for residents of Ontario outside of the GTA.

SK: The Speculative Literature Foundation offers two grants per year.

A: Actually they’re up to four now. Check them out.

BB: For the TAC, they ask for five copies of the manuscript and your name is not supposed to be on them anywhere. The judges actually sneak a peek.

SK: Guidelines may be hazy.

Q: What can you tell us about reporting?

SK: It varies between grants and organizations.

CG: There are also literary awards. The CCA runs the Governor General’s Awards. Generally you have to have a publisher to put your book forward for awards.

AS: Register for Access Copyright and the Public Lending Right programs as well.

Mel’s notes: Municipal arts councils will vary in the amount of support they can offer. TAC has money because it’s a big city (may go without saying, but . . . ). The Sudbury Arts Council has to be more selective in the projects it supports and has more limited funding. Provincial arts councils also vary widely. I’ve heard great things about the Edmonton Arts Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Other arts organizations, like the Canadian Authors Association, offer literary awards. Check out the individual sites for further details. Finally, the CCA is currently restructuring its funding programs. Check them out.

Next week: Self-publishing 🙂

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Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 10-16, 2015

Another great week for writerly goodness 🙂

The Canada Council for the Arts is changing its funding programs and simplifying its applications. This prompted a discussion on one of my professional association’s listserv. The ultimate recommendation: apply often. Persistence wins out. I’m going to have to give this some serious thought.

Roz Morris offers five tips for writers whose characters are too similar.

MJ Bush presents her usual thoughtful, and resource-full post on how to rock your first chapter.

Why your novel’s protagonist should fight a good guy. Christine Frazier’s Better Novel Project.

Chuck Wendig confesses: None of us know what the fuck we’re doing. Ultimately, process is unique to the writer. It’s good to keep in mind.

Vaughan Roycroft shares how reframing can help us keep a positive frame of mind. Writer Unboxed.

Anna Lovind posts on Anna Purna Living about needing to slow down to get more done.

“When I feel stress and, instead, take it as a sign I need to slow down and reconnect with myself, something wonderfully strange happens. Time bends and stretches around my needs. I find there actually is enough time, where a moment ago there was none.”

Then, Anna visited Elephant Journal to share her thoughts on dreams, dreaming, and having a dream-worthy life.

Alex J. Cavanaugh guests at C.S. Lakin’s Live, Write, Thrive, on the subject of writer insecurity. Alex hosts the Insecure Writers’ Support Group on her blog and Facebook group.

David Gaughran pulls back the curtain on Author Solutions. Which otherwise legitimate publishers have associated themselves with this questionable service?

The frog that jump-started Mark Twain’s career. LA Times.

Lifehack presents 30 words that are often mispronounced.

Electric Lit presents an infographic about the history of pen names.

Find out what books inspired which famous authors. The Guardian.

BuzzFeed shares 13 perfect literary descriptions of heartache.

12 reasons to date a woman who reads, from The Huffington Post.

Mental Floss shares 11 things you may not know about Lois Lowry’s The Giver. Just watch the movie on Sunday. I certainly liked it 🙂

It’s a long post, but it’s probably the best analyses I’ve seen of why Avengers: Age of Ultron fails its audience. Wired. I’m still going to watch it . . . when it comes out on demand, and I’m probably going to enjoy it, for what it is, but I will be able to appreciate it’s technical construction better, and understand why I may feel dissatisfied in the end.

Sunday night (in Canada) Outlander reached the pivotal Wentworth episode. Why it was both difficult to watch and critical to the story.

See you on Thoughty Thursday!

Tipsday

Sundog snippet: (W)rites of spring returns to Sudbury

It’s been a while since I posted on a Sunday, and I had another literary event to report on, so I thought I’d share a Sundog snippet with you 🙂

The last time the (W)rites of spring visited Sudbury was in 1997 (!). I was a part of that event as a budding poet as was my friend Kim Fahner, who was getting her first chapbook, You must imagine the cold here, published through Your Scrivener Press.

Kim’s gone on to have two further collections published, braille on water, and The Narcoleptic Madonna, both through Penumbra Press and she’s currently working on the contents of her next collection. It wasn’t a surprise, therefore, that for this year’s National Poetry Month, she decided to bring the (W)rites of spring back to Sudbury.

On Friday evening, at Marymount Academy in Sudbury, Kim, along with Sudbury’s current poet laureate Tom Leduc, its past PL, Roger Nash, Susan McMaster, and Tanya Neumeyer did a round-robin reading of their poetry on the theme of food.

The MC was Marcus Schwabe of CBC Radio Sudbury and he kept the evening moving with some humour and commentary. Here is Kim and Tanya’s interview with Marcus from Thursday morning.

The League of Canadian Poets and The Canada Council sponsored the event.

The organization to which proceeds were being donated was the Young Writers’ Guild which meets every month at the Greater Sudbury Public Library.

It was a lovely evening and the breadth and depth of poetry was wonderful.

Sundog snippet