The Amazon Literary Partnership opens for 2021 grant applications

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After making a round of donations to writing groups in the UK in 2020, the Amazon Literary Partnership is now accepting applications for support in 2021 from non-profit literary organisations.

Since their beginnings as a business, Amazon has always helped writers tell their stories and find readers. This year, they are delighted to announce that the Amazon Literary Partnership will be providing grants to UK literary organisations that empower writers, helping them create, publish, learn, teach, experiment and thrive.

By funding organisations that champion the voices of underrepresented writers, they hope to encourage people to write (and read) about a greater variety of perspectives on the world we live in today.

In the US, Amazon Literary Partnership has provided more than $13 million in funding to hundreds of organisations since 2009. This year in the UK, they supported writing groups from local and national organisations that run after-school clubs, writers’ retreats and creativity workshops, as well as non-profits that campaign on freedom of speech and to protect authors’ rights.

A headshot of Nidaa Raoof
Nidaa Raoof

Nidaa Raoof took part in the Young Writers Programme run by First Story at the Nottingham Academy, and as a result won a place on their year-long Rathbones Folio Mentoring Programme. Nidaa was mentored by author Lucy Caldwell and together they visited major art exhibitions, plays and literary events to bring new energy and ideas to her writing.

Inspired by a new generation of young, female ‘Instapoets’, Nidaa set up her own Instagram account (@worlds_to_come) to share her work online.

This included a live online reading hosted by the Arvon Foundation and the Folio Academy for an audience of more than 70 people. Nidaa said: “I could not have done any of this without First Story. They gave me the confidence to share my writing and go for things I would never have even dreamed of when I first started. I am where I am today because of First Story. They inspired me to start writing.”

Supporting diverse voices from a range of backgrounds, particularly those traditionally under-represented in the literary world, is a key aim of the Amazon Literary Partnership. This year, they’re particularly proud of working with organisations who help them to champion writing, self-expression and stories that are more reflective of the world we live in now.

The Amazon Literary Partnership is now inviting applications from non-profit literary organisations for grants to support their work in 2021. Details of how to submit an application and the criteria for entering can be found at the end of this article.

Headshot of Hannah Hodgson
Hannah Hodgson

Poet and novelist Hannah Hodgson from Cumbria is a member of The Writing Squad, which involves receiving mentoring and also helping other aspiring writers.

She said: “The Writing Squad has been a massively important social and professional group for me. As a writer with disabilities living in a very rural area, before the Squad I missed out on hanging out with writers my own age. The professional mentoring has been a game changer for me. It hasn’t just been advice on specific poems; I have learnt what I need to do to improve my writing as a whole. It also provides me with a social and creative community, offering as much or as little input as I need.”

Applications for the Amazon Literary Partnership 2021 grants

How do the grants work and how can I apply?

Amazon Literary Partnership provides grants to nonprofit literary organisations on an annual basis. Applications for 2021 grants are being accepted between 9th November 2020 and 29th January 2021. Grant recipients will be notified by 14th May 2021. Due to the volume of requests, they are unable to respond personally to each inquiry, nor can they provide guidance on applications.

Please find the online application here.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must be a registered nonprofit organisation in the UK, whose core mission is to develop emerging writers, support diversity, celebrate storytelling, and/or build authors’ careers. Organisations should be structurally and financially sound; display energy, passion, and reach; have an online presence and an enthusiastic membership or readership.

What is the submission period?

9th November 2020 and 29th January 2021.

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