ALCS offers additional financial support to writers through the Society of Authors’ Emergency Fund

Updated 7 April 2020: Arts Council England has donated £400,000 to the Authors’ Emergency Fund. The fund has been set up to support writers affected by COVID-19.

ALCS – alongside the Royal Literary Fund, TS Eliot Foundation, English PEN, Amazon UK and, as of 7 April, Arts Council England – has contributed to the Society of Authors’ fund that will be paid out in grants to writers who have found themselves financially affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak.

ALCS is a collecting society set up by writers, for writers. Paying money to writers through licensing when their works have been used is at the core of what we do. Later this week, we will pay £24 million to over 89,000 writers – and since 1977 we’ve paid over £500 million to writers – but these are difficult and unique times, so we wanted to see what else we could do to support all writers. While there are so many people struggling in lots of different ways from the current situation, financial support for writers is what ALCS is all about and financially the current climate is particularly worrying for those who are self-employed, which we know many ALCS members are.

We have a broad and varied membership, so it was important to us that we help all types of writer and that any financial assistance offered was open to all. Our Board of Directors has made a decision to focus our financial assistance on one centralised area and make a significant donation to the SoA Authors’ Emergency Fund which will help writers in financial need.

About the Fund

Applicants do not need to be ALCS or SoA members; the fund is open to all professional authors who are resident in the UK or British subjects for whom author-related activity makes up a substantial amount of their annual income. The SoA have run this fund since 1960, so they have a great deal of experience in assessing applications and their approach is broad, agile and fast; aiming to turn around applications within weeks.

The Emergency Fund is open to all types of writer including:

  • Scriptwriters
  • Novelists
  • Non-fiction writers
  • Poets
  • Illustrators
  • Literary translators
  • Journalists

If you’d like to apply, the criteria for applications can be found on the SoA website:

About the Society of Authors

The Society of Authors is the UK trade union for all types of writers, scriptwriters, illustrators and literary translators, at all stages of their careers. It has more than 11,000 members and has been advising individuals and speaking out for the profession for more than a century.