How to Find a Grant to Sponsor Children's Books

Writing a children’s book is very time consuming and will require a writer’s full attention. Writers often find that they will need additional income to sustain the period from writing the book until it is published. Fortunately for writers, there are many institutions and organizations that cater to this particular need. The money from these grants can provide writers their much needed financial assistance. Most of these institutions have websites which allow would-be applicants to get all the information they need.

Step 1

Learn about the Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship from PEN. The PEN American Center is one of the oldest recognized literary institutions that offer grants to aspiring writers. For authors who have not yet achieved a wide audience, the Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship offers $5,000 annually. This grant was named after Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, an author of over 100 books who has made a substantial contribution to make the grant possible. This grant aims to help writers who cannot yet support themselves solely from writing. Applicants must be children’s fiction authors who have published at least two books rated highly by fellow writers and critics, but has yet to earn a substantial income from them. An applicant must be nominated by fellow editors and writers to qualify.

Step 2

Apply, if appropriate, for the Barbara Karlin Grant. This grant was established by The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), which aims to encourage children’s fiction book writers. Grant applicants must be members of SCBWI who have never published a children’s book and who are not under contract to write one. It awards a $1,500 grant annually, as well as a $500 grant to the runner-up. It also specifies the acceptable uses for the grant money, such as using it to attend writing courses, workshops and seminars, as payment for rent and other writing supplies, as well as using it for child care.

Step 3

Check out Lee & Low Books' grants for African American writers. Lee and Low Books is an award-winning publisher of children’s books. Its New Voices Award was established in 2000 with an aim to encourage writers of color to publish their literary works. It will grant $1000 to a children’s picture book writer. It will also award a standard publication contract including royalties for a first-time author. Applicants must be African Americans who have never previously published a children’s picture book.

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