Incognito Press

truth. knowledge. freedom. passion. courage. Promoting free-thinking, activism & rogue writing.

I got a grant from the Arts Council!!

Posted by E on September 22, 2008

!Yay! Just to show you that it never hurts to fill out the papers and send in a proposal – you never know when you might strike gold. This past week I received notice that I was awarded a Level One writing grant from the Toronto Arts Council. Level One grants are $2000 and aimed at emerging new writers. There were a total of 276 applications, out of which 28 people received level one funding.

This couldn’t be better news delivered at a better time; the $2000 amount definitely tops even the highlight of my summer so far – getting my scholarship to the Humber school for writers workshop. I’m on a roll. Nanowrimo is around the corner, and I intend to write at least 65,000 words during November alone. Hopefully I can be right on target, what with my completion date being around spring/summer 2009, right around the Humber course anniversary.

I’ve never received more than a few bucks here and there for my writing, from publishing a poem here and there. This year I thought I’d go after cash rather than just publication credits. To be honest, I was entirely convinced my application would be rejected, but when I touched the envelope, it felt bulkier than a regular rejection slip, and that’s when I thought “Holy shit, maybe I DID get it!” Really though, I never thought I’d actually be handed a cheque for two grand for doing what I love – it really moved me to know that there were jury members out there, unknown, faceless people who don’t know me and whom I don’t know, who saw some value in my work and understood the scope and vision of what I aim to create.

A funny note: one of the recently-published writer panelists who spoke in July at Humber, Shari Lapena, who encouraged participants to stay on track, is also a Level One TAC recipient. It’s neat to see a familiar name; hopefully I will come to know more of the other artists in this city.

Next up: more applications for grants, provincial, federal, whatever. As long as it keeps me afloat, I will use any grants, awards and donations from this site to keep writing full-time. I still have a couple of editing and private tutoring gigs throughout the GTA, though the commuting issues are driving me crazy.

But for right now, I still can’t believe it. I think I’ll just walk over to the Starbucks on Church and celebrate with a caramel macchiatto.


4 Responses to “I got a grant from the Arts Council!!”

  1. loyal fan said

    Congrats! OMG, how exciting for you – keep it up, you definitely deserve this. I can’t believe that you still doubt yourself these days, your writing’s fantastic! 😀
    Wish I could join you for that coffee, but I’m working till after five. Have an extra biscotti for me!

  2. Elisa said

    I will, lol. Thanks for that. It honestly came as a surprise. Anyway, it’s such a beautiful day today, I think I’m going to head out right now. Call me later, k? Maybe we can still meet up downtown. I’ll be around UofT later.

  3. Congrats on your grant. It’s a huge lottery here in Ireland and a closed shop so you’ve no idea who slept with who to get the dosh. (Obviously the guy I slept with who promised me my application would be accepted was not only bad in bed but also a liar!) What did you have to send in to get it?

  4. Elisa said

    Great sense of humour you got there! 🙂 I wobbled over to your blog and it looks like it’s even rougher to get some cash in Ireland than here.
    What did I have to send in? Not poetry, obviously. I had some absolutely fantastic (if I may sound smug for a second) poetry, some of which had already appeared in literary publications, that I’d tried to get a grant with a couple years back, but they rejected that application. This time I went with literary prose (creative non-fiction, to be precise), and it bit. Just my own opinion, but between you and me I think poetry judges tend to go for very experimental, non-mainstream stuff, while the ones judging prose mainly look for decent writing and a fab plot.

    I sent in 15 pages of my manuscript, plus an application form, plus a detailed resume, plus an extremely detailed outline of the plot – not only the ideas per se, but also expected word length, chapter number (as if I know that at this point! but you had to have a guesstimate) as well as target completion rate. A lot of technical hoops to jump through, but in a way it turned out very good because it forced me to put together a really good outline that I can now sell to other funding committees or agents.

    Keep trying. It eventually works out. A lot is just odds – number of people entering vs how many grants they can allocate. (This is the only venue I’m trying to get money from. I just can’t be bothered to try places where they ask for money up front, so I’m staying away from competitions – can’t afford them.) So anyway, sorry to be redundant, but you’ve got to keep trying for the govt grants, and keep trying different formats – maybe submit poetry into prose, or viceversa.

    Lastly, make sure you paint a bold and brilliant vision of what you are attempting to accomplish. My book has a very unique and risky subject matter – and they recognized that.

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