Financial resources for writers impacted by COVID-19

I normally compile a holiday gift guide for authors and writers in late November.

I’m not doing it this year because it doesn’t feel right. So many have lost so much that a gift guide feels inappropriate.

I’ve replaced it with today’s article offering links to a few organizations that are helping writers and authors suffering from COVID-19’s impact.

Interested in helping?

Donating to one of these financial resources for writers can help fund a lifeline for a fellow author who’s struggling.

You might help with a donation, or share this information with a struggling author or writer who can apply for aid.

Here are the programs that are still accepting applications and funding. Each program name links to its information page; I’ve added donation links at the end of each description.

Artist Relief

Artist Relief is distributing $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. It also serves as an ongoing informational resource and is collaborating on a survey designed to better identify and address the needs of artists.


Artist Relief Tree

This is a relief fund for artists affected by cancellations due to COVID-19.


ASJA Writers Emergency Assistance Fund

(NOTE: As of November 23, the site is down but I’m assured it will be back up soon.) The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) is granting emergency funds to established freelance writers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds are specifically for those “who cannot work because they are currently ill or caring for someone who is ill.”

ASJA established the Writers’ Emergency Assistance Fund (WEAF) in 1982 to help writers financially when they are unable to work due to illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis. To date, WEAF has given more than $400,000 to more than 160 writers.


Authors League Fund

For more than a century, the Authors League Fund has helped professional authors, journalists, poets, and dramatists in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income, or other challenges. Today, these include writers struggling with income loss due to COVID-19.

The Fund helps professional writers continue their careers with dignity by providing no-strings-attached “loans” to pay for pressing expenses. Writers don’t have to repay the emergency support.


Dramatists Guild Foundation (DFG) Emergency Grants

Saying, “It is vital to support writers in times of need so that they can get back to doing what they do best,” DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.


PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund

After funding and distributing pandemic grants to more than 500 writers, the organization has secured additional funding to resume grant-making for a limited period. The fund is open again on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible applicants. It will accept applications until available funds are gone.


In addition, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has created an extensive list of organizations providing assistance on a regional level. Explore its COVID-19 Emergency Resources list for additional opportunities to make a difference.

Have I missed any programs that are still accepting applications or funding and isn’t in the NYFA list? Please let us know in a comment and I’ll update the article as needed. 

Tip of the Month

financial resources for writers 2I like to share a “Tip of the Month,” a free resource or tool for authors, on the last Wednesday of the month.

This month it’s Read Club Hub, a site that connects book lovers with local book clubs and indie bookstores.

The “Find a Club” function asks you to select club genre and goals (pro tip: the less specific you are, the more likely you are to find a club) and “Find a Bookstore” leads you to a local indie retailer. If there isn’t one, you can order books through indie bookstore online hub

Whether you connect to an existing club or create your own, you’ll be supporting authors and indie bookstores through Read Club Hub.

Like what you’re reading? Get it delivered to your inbox every week by subscribing to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter. You’ll also get my free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” cheat sheet immediately!


  1. Since you ask – I’m thankful for your daily marketing tips (best $1 I ever spent), and also for Zoom. I’ve made more new writing friends across the country – even in Canada and Mexico. I’d never have met them had it not been for the pandemic forcing everything online. And Zoom is the only place I can see people without masks. They keep me writing, and keep me going.
    Have a great (if small) Thanksgiving.

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