SoA awards 78 writers £185k in support grants

SoA awards 78 writers £185k in support grants

The Society of Authors (SoA) has awarded 78 writers financial grants worth almost £185,000 to support their ongoing projects.

Grants are awarded twice a year as part of the Authors' Foundation and K Blundell Trust to support writers by buying them time to write or help with research costs.

Some of this year’s recipients include poets Anthony Anaxagorou and Roy McFarlane, Kerry Hudson, writer and academic Sophie Coulombeau and novelist Anietie Isong. The writing projects focus on a vast range of issues including Britain’s colonial relationship to Cyprus, the "darker side of motherhood", race and racism in the 19th century and economic inequalities in India. The grants will enable writers to take on collaborative work, archival research and allow for ground reporting.

Coulombeau said: "Since my debut novel was published nine years ago, my creative development has been hampered by pressure to pay the bills with an intensive day job, and the challenges of both baby loss and post-natal depression. The Covid-19 pandemic, as many writers will know, has made everything worse.

“My grant from the K Blundell Trust has given me the gift of space and time to work on a deeply personal project. My novel-in-progress follows nine hours in the lives of two very different women brought together by moments of madness. It investigates parallels between the psychological effects of baby loss and those of perinatal illness, and aims to contribute to a recent wave of powerful literature exploring the darker side of motherhood. Just as important as the grant itself is the vote of confidence in the quality of my writing, and the importance of my work."

Hudson commented: "I am so honoured and grateful to be awarded this Authors' Foundation grant for my forthcoming book How to Hope – a non-fiction exploration of how to seek hope and access resilience during these complex and challenging times. It feels incredibly apt that the grant – a symbol of hope in itself – has been given for this particular book. It will make an enormous difference to the focus and time I will be able to give to this project.”