Grants for unpublished writers

Updated February 21, 2017

Getting your start in writing is always difficult. But the situation isn't hopeless. There are a number of grants for unpublished writers. This allows you to put some money in your pocket and get recognition for your writing while you're getting started.

James Jones Fellowship

The James Jones Fellowship is a prize for new authors offered by Wilkes University. It is available to United States citizens who have not previously published a novel, with self-published novels counted as published works. The winning author receives an award of £6,500 as of 2010, with two runners-up receiving awards of £487 each. To enter the competition, applicants must send £16, an outline of less than two pages and the first 50 pages of a novel. Authors who pass the first round will be asked to submit the next 50 pages. Multiple submissions are allowed, but authors must also pay the £16 entrance fee for every work submitted.

James Jones First Novel Fellowship

c/o M.A./M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Wilkes University

84 West South Street

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766


Sydney Taylor Manuscript Awards

The Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award provides grants for unpublished writers of work geared toward children ages 8 to 11. The award is given to books, not short stories, that display positive aspects of Jewish culture, although the authors themselves need not be Jewish. However, the author cannot be published in the field of children's writing prior to submitting their manuscript. Award monies are £650 as of 2010. While publication is not guaranteed, many recipients of the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award have gone on to have their manuscript published by major publishing houses.

Sydney Taylor Manuscript Awards

204 Park Street

Montclair, NJ 07042-2903

Grant for Talented Youth

The Grant for Talented Youth is offered to writers under the age of 25 pursuing careers in entertainment, literature and the arts. Applicants must have no previously published paid writing work, including books, magazines and self-published work. The grant provides three awards in amounts ranging from £65 to £455 as of 2010. First-place authors will also have their work reviewed by a literary agent. Applicants must submit a biographical sketch, a photograph, a financial summary that includes plans for how the money will be used and information about any grants previously awarded. Applicants are accepted via a form available only on the website.

Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel

The Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel provides an opportunity for a first-time writer of young adult fiction to get some money as well as a book deal. Winners of the award receive £975 cash and a £4,875 advance on royalties. American and Canadian authors who have not published a work of young adult fiction are eligible.

Delacorte Press Contest

Random House, Inc.

1745 Broadway, 9th Floor

New York, NY 10019

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About the Author

Nicholas Pell began writing professionally in 1995. His features on arts, culture, personal finance and technology have appeared in publications such as "LA Weekly," Salon and Business Insider. Pell holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.