Writers’ HQ Bursaries

No money? No problem

Our MO is helping badass writers with no time or money (or both). Time is the easy part. We can all make time. The money bit? Erm yeah. What gif Cary said.

Look, if we were millionaires we’d give each of you a slice because we love you, and you, and you. But… we’re not millionaires, so we’re doing this instead:

Every time someone books a retreat or course, they’re given the opportunity to stick an extra pound in the pot. We’ll match fund that quid, and it all goes into a giant bursary cauldron, which we’ll then serve up with giant under-represented ladles, once every three months.

That means if you want to write but are struggling for cash, or are otherwise denied opportunities that a lot of us take for granted, we’ve got your back.

Some questions! Some answers!

What does a Writers’ HQ bursary give me?

What do you want? What do you need? We’ll give you everything we can! When you apply you can ask for access to a particular course, membership (in six month chunks) or a place on one of our writers’ retreats.

How do I apply?

There’s a form down there. We ask you to answer a handful of questions, submit 2,000 words of your writing and a short personal statement.

How are the applications assessed?

We read them all in-house and then spend about four weeks arguing over who should get what. In an ideal world everyone would get everything, of course. We’ll let people know if their applications are successful as soon as possible. Unfortunately we can’t enter into correspondence or give feedback on applications.

What are the deadlines and dates and things?

Round 1

Application deadline: 28 February 2019
Bursaries announced: 29 March 2019

Round 2

Application deadline: 31 May 2019
Bursaries announced: 28 June 2019

Who can apply?

You! Anyone! We prioritise the following:

  • People who are physically disabled in some way
  • People who are neurodivergent or have a mental illness
  • People from a minority or persecuted community
  • People living in a low income household (typically defined as a household earning under £15,000) and/or in receipt of social security
  • People with a criminal record
  • People who are the primary carer for another human with high needs
  • People who have just had enough of all the bullshit and just really need to write some kickass stories.

How many bursaries are there?

Ah. That depends on donations. Some periods there might be three, some there might be thirty. We’ll keep the deadlines section updated with numbers as often as possible.

Can I have the cash instead?

No mate, soz. Writers’ HQ bursaries are given in the form of course access or retreat tickets. There are no cash alternatives.

Wait but why?

The publishing industry is woefully lacking in diversity, especially for minority and working class writers, and while things are improving, we acknowledge that they’re not improving fast enough.

Often the courses and support which help propel writers to success are out of reach for a lot of people, either because of time constraints, financial limitations or systemic failures. From the beginning of Writers’ HQ we said we wanted to change that.

Diversity matters. All voices matter. We cannot have the whole story of humanity if only one person is talking.

And goddamit, we want the whole story.


Applications for Round 2 – deadline 31 May 2019.