Yesterday I went to an event run by the Arts South Australia on grants from their Independent Makers and Presenters Program (IMPP).
My thanks to Jennifer Sando on Writers in Adelaide for the tip-off!
It was an open panel discussion about project and professional development funding opportunities for independent writers. About fifteen of us got to learn more about IMPP funding categories, and we got inside tips on how to present a competitive application.
The session focused mainly on Project Grants, for – you guessed it – specific projects and on Individual Development Grants for mentoring opportunities. A lot of the advice was along the lines of “read the handbook and do what it says”; a handbook or guide is available on the website for each grant category and the ones I read were clear and helpful.
Good Advice on Grants
However, there was also lots of other good advice, for example:
- You can’t apply for funding to do things that are part of an existing course;
- Include a one-paragraph synopsis of your intended work;
- What is your inspiration? What are you exploring?
- How are you pushing (your) boundaries? Why is this work a strategic choice for you?
- The Arts SA staff encourage applicants to get in touch with them (contact details on the IMPP website) – indeed few applications succeed without this;
- The Arts SA staff will read applications for first-time applicants (but NOT in the final week before the submission deadline;
- You should begin writing your application at least six weeks before the deadline; and
- About one in three applications succeed!
I felt greatly encouraged to “give it a shot” and apply, even dare I say to try something out of my comfort zone – why not? Peter Grace and Julia Moretti of Arts SA were excellent, as were Arts South Australia peer assessors Dr Cameron Raynes and Dr Danielle Clode, who had themselves won such grants in the past. I also know some un/published writers who have won these grants, so there is hope for us mere mortals!
Dr Cameron Raynes is an Adelaide based writer and educator. His published works include First Person Shooter, The Last Protector and The Colour of Kerosene, for which he received the prestigious Josephine Ulrick Literary Prize in 2008. Cameron currently teaches Aboriginal History, Contemporary Aboriginal Issues and Creative Writing at the University of South Australia.
Dr Danielle Clode is the author of numerous literary non-fiction publications, including Voyages of the South Seas, A Future in Flames and The Wasp and the Orchid. She is the recipient of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction, Whitley Award for popular zoology and has been shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia award. Danielle is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University.
For further information contact Julia Moretti, Arts Development Officer, Independent Makers and Presenters Program on firstname.lastname@example.org