The Working Class Writers Grant

OPEN SEPTEMBER 1, 2022 – SEPTEMBER 30, 2022

Award: $1,000 USD.

Winner announced November 15, 2022.

Since 2013, the Working Class Writers Grant has been awarded annually to speculative fiction writers who are working class, blue-collar, financially disadvantaged, or homeless, who have been historically underrepresented in speculative fiction due to financial barriers which make it hard to access the writing world. Such lack of access might include an inability to purchase a computer, books, and tuition, or to attend conventions or workshops. Often, these writers, many of whom work more than one job, have less time to write. The SLF seeks to bring more of these marginalized voices into speculative fiction.

This grant, as with all SLF grants, is intended to help writers working with speculative literature. Speculative literature spans the breadth of fantastic writing, encompassing literature ranging from hard science fiction to epic fantasy, including ghost stories, horror, folk and fairy tales, slipstream, magical realism, and more. Any piece of literature containing a fabulist or speculative element would fall under our aegis.

Unlike our other grants, you may choose to receive this grant anonymously or pseudonymously.

Please note that the goal of these grants is to help as many writers as possible, so recent winners can reapply but will be considered low-priority within a 2-year window of winning. Given our limited funds, we will prioritize applicants currently in financial need. 

Grant Eligibility

We mean to cast a wide net for this grant, so if you think you might be eligible, you probably are.

While we are based in America, and some of our language below reflects that perspective, this grant is available to international writers; please assess your own situation as appropriate for your home country.

You would potentially be eligible for this grant if any of the following apply:

  • you qualify for government assistance (food stamps, Medicaid, tax credits, free school lunch) for a significant period of time
  • you live paycheck-to-paycheck
  • your parents did not go to college
  • you rely on payday loans
  • you’re currently being raised in a single parent household
  • you’re supporting yourself and paying your own way through college
  • you’ve lived at or below 200% of the poverty line for your state for at least one year
  • you’ve experienced stretches of time when food was not readily and easily available

Grant Application Process

Complete the Application Form. The application form for the Working Class Writers Grant is only active during the open submission period 12:00AM September 1, 2022 – 11:59PM September 31, 2022 (All times UTC -4). Required materials include:

    • A cover letter: Please include a personal statement (not to exceed 750 words) explaining why you qualify for and what you hope to accomplish with the help of this grant. A bibliography of previously published work may be included if applicable and will not count toward the requested word limit. Applicants need not have prior publishing credits to apply. Applicants need not have prior publishing credits to apply.
    • A writing sample: Please send your best work — up to 10 pages of poetry, 10 pages of drama, or 5,000 words of fiction or creative nonfiction. If you are sending a segment of a novel, novella, or novelette, include a one-page synopsis as the first page of the document. The submitted work must be speculative, as defined above.
 
Jurors will deliberate with the goal of announcing winners by November 15th, 2022.

Accessibility

If you are unable to use the form for accessibility reasons, please use the form on the right or send an email to catherine@speculativeliterature.org, and an alternative means of submission will be provided for you.