Professional freelance writers who are unable to work and financially support themselves due to extraordinary circumstances can apply for a grant through the Writers Emergency Assistance Fund (WEAF). The American Society of Journalists and Authors (est. 1948), the nation’s trade organization of independent nonfiction writers, established the fund in 1982 and has since awarded over 160 grants amounting to over $400,000.
Freelance writers can apply for a WEAF grant if they meet these requirements:
- The writer’s regular workload must be significantly reduced or non-existent due to: 1) health problems, 2) disability, 3) a natural disaster (such as a fire or hurricane), or 4) an extraordinary professional dilemma (such as a lawsuit or needing to support a seriously ill spouse).
- Proof of past professional nonfiction writing over a continual period of years.
- Applicants do not have to be members of ASJA, but they must have credentials that would entitle them for ASJA membership.
- Writers need not reside in the United States but must submit books or articles written in English.
(WEAF does not allocate grants to beginning freelancers pursuing funding for writing projects or works-in-progress projects.)
Writers can complete and submit a grant request application online at ASJA’s website.