Society of Authors gives £185,000 in grants to writers

Society of Authors gives £185,000 in grants to writers

The Society of Authors (SoA) had awarded grants totalling £185,000 to writers including Derek Owusu and John Mapanje for their works in progress.

Money has been paid out via the the Society of Authors’ Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust grants, enabling writers to focus on their work without the pressures of financial or time constraints.

More than 50 authors have received money, including 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize winner Owusu, poet and human rights activist Mapanje and award-winning science journalist Angela Saini.

Others to get grants included Patrice Lawrence, Tom Lathan, Jesse Bernard and Frances Bingham.

Owusu, who won this year's Desmond Elliott Prize for That Reminds Me (#Merky Books), said: “I am very grateful to the Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust for seeing the value in my project and providing more means to help me complete it. It will allow me to visit the necessary places and spend enough time there to emotionally connect, become part of my surroundings and then render it more accurately in my writing.”

Mapanje was given a grant via the Arthur Welton Award, which was set up in honour of the philanthropist and poet.

He said: “I am extremely pleased with the Arthur Welton Award which the Authors’ Foundation have offered me. I have embarked on my book about how I survived as an academic and a writer in Britain—an account of the little tales and events, including academic gossip that toughened my life at home and in exile. The K Blundell Trust once offered me small grants for three of my books. I have published six books of poems, one prison memoir, edited an anthology of African prison writing, and co-edited three poetry anthologies. My work-in-progress will be rejuvenated with this award.”

The Authors’ Foundation and K Blundell Trust award grants twice a year to writers whose book project is for a commercial UK publisher. Information on how to apply is available online