SoA announces £600k Hardship Fund for authors in Scotland

The Society of Authors (SoA) has partnered with Creative Scotland to distribute £600k in hardship grants to authors in Scotland.

The SoA has been confirmed as one of five delivery partners – alongside BECTU, Crafts Council & Craft Scotland, Help Musicians and Visual Arts Scotland – to work with Creative Scotland on the distribution of the Scottish Government’s £5 million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers.

The grants for authors will be processed and distributed by the same team responsible for the Authors’ Contingency Fund, which has given over £1 million in hardship grants to authors since the start of the health crisis. Since March, over £1.1 million in combined funds have been made available from ALCS, Arts Council England, the Royal Literary Fund (RLF), The Literary Consultancy, as well as many private donors.

Commenting on the Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers, SoA chief executive Nicola Solomon said:

This funding will be invaluable to the many Scottish writers, illustrators and translators who have fallen between the gaps in financial support during the health crisis. The grants we will now be able to distribute through the Authors’ Contingency Fund will enable some authors to keep working in spite of financial losses, others to stay afloat while dealing with their own ill health, others to fulfil caring responsibilities – and others simply to keep a roof over their heads. We are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference for Scottish authors.

The news of the Scottish hardship fund comes only a few days after the SoA released the results of its third Authors in the Health Crisis survey, which showed that 65% of professional writers, illustrators and literary translators have suffered a loss in income since March, with less than a third being eligible for government help.

Eligibility criteria for the fund will be published on 22 October, followed by the fund opening for application at 12 noon on 26 October.

Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers is one of a series of Scottish Government emergency funds for creativity and culture being administered through Creative Scotland.

These funds have been put in place to help mitigate the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sector. There are five new emergency funds which were announced by Scotland’s First Minister on 28 August and which are being delivered through Creative Scotland.