This opportunity provides up to $15,000 to support the development of individual Alberta artists, arts administrators, or an ensemble of artists by providing funding for a specific literary arts project.
Who can apply
Individual eligibility criteria
To be eligible for individual project funding, you must be a resident of Alberta. This means you:
- are legally entitled to be or remain in Canada
- are legally entitled to work in Canada
- have had your primary residence in Alberta for at least one full year before applying
- ordinarily live in Alberta for a least six months of each year with the exception of attending a formal program of study
You must be in good standing with the AFA with no open or outstanding projects or reporting to apply. Previous grant recipients must ensure all final reporting has been approved by the AFA before new applications are accepted.
Applicants, including ensembles or collectives, must not be incorporated under either provincial or federal legislation.
Ensembles, collectives, and collaborations
Ensembles, collectives, and collaborations are eligible to apply to this program and must list all principal artists involved in the project activities as part of their application. All members of an ensemble, collective, or collaboration must meet the individual eligibility criteria.
Principal artists cannot apply and/or receive funding for multiple projects at the same time, whether as an individual or a member of various ensembles, collectives, or collaborations.
What does this grant support
To be eligible for project funding:
- the applicant must own the copyright of a proposed work
- a proposed publication must be available and accessible to the general public
Please note, AFA funding is not assured for any project.
Eligible literary genres
For the purposes of this funding opportunity, eligible projects include the below list of genres. Literary arts translation and anthology projects in any of the below genres are also eligible:
- short fiction
- graphic novels
- young adult fiction
- picture books
- literary non-fiction*
*The AFA defines literary non-fiction as a genre that uses inventive or literary techniques to produce work that is factually true and artistically elegant, and is written in a personal, identifiable voice. It can include:
- cultural, political or social commentary
- literary journalism
- personal essays
- travel writing
Types of projects
Through this opportunity, you may apply for project funding to support artistic activities in:
- art production
- training and career development
Art production includes the development, creation, of a work in literary arts.
Projects should be confined to a distinct phase of a work, such as a first or final draft, in one of the eligible literary genres listed above.
Marketing includes a program of activity for a specific period of time to disseminate a completed literary work and/or to develop audiences and markets for the artist's work.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
- promotional reading tours and book launches
- on-line marketing initiatives such as book trailers
- attendance at literary festivals, non-academic conferences, or award presentations by invitation
Research includes a program of activity for a specific period of time that supports or results in the development of new work in the literary arts.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
- research of primary materials
Training and career development includes a course or program of study to develop a writer's training in literary arts, including translation.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
- master classes
- mentorship programs
- professional development
- professional courses of study in literary arts
You can receive up to $15,000 to support your project.
You may apply for up to 100% of eligible expenses that are directly related to carrying out your proposed project.
These expenses may include, but are not limited to:
- artist fees
- commission fees
- promotion and publicity
- transportation and accommodation
- tuition or training fee
- administration and contract fees
- basic living/subsistence expenses (housing, local transportation, food, child care, dependent care) up to $3,000/month
- other expenses and supplies considered by the AFA to be reasonable and necessary
Costs for publication or production of books or periodicals in print or digital platforms are ineligible for project funding.
Additional expenses and activities that are ineligible for AFA project funding include:
- expenses for capital purchases, such as computers, printers, software, buildings or property, or for capital development and studio construction or renovations
- recreational training projects
- specific component activities undertaken as part of a course of study
- expenses already incurred prior to application submission, including grant writer fees
For the purposes of this funding opportunity, ineligible literary genres include:
- lifestyle articles
- promotional publications
- scholarly books or articles
- self-help books
- trade journals
- reference or technical works
Additionally, project funding is not available to support publications in:
- community newspapers
- weekly or daily newspapers
- student or free magazines
- newsletters of associations or other organizations
Ineligible projects also include production of:
- privately-printed, self-published, and vanity press publications
- print-on-demand or shared cost publications
How to apply
We only accept applications through the Grant Administration Tracking and Evaluation (GATE) Front Office online application system. We must receive your online application through GATE Front Office no later than 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on the deadline date, unless the deadline falls on a statutory holiday or a weekend when it will be extended until the next working day. Please give the system time to process your application so that we receive notification of your submission before the deadline falls.
- applicants may submit only one application to the AFA each deadline across all disciplines
- the AFA does not accept incomplete applications
- applications must be received prior to the commencement of the project
- projects involving more than one artist must be submitted by one individual on behalf of the ensemble or group
We do not accept separate applications for the same project.
GATE Front Office username registration
First-time applicants will require a GATE Front Office username and password. Email us at email@example.com to get your login information at least five business days prior to the application deadline.
- your legal name
- the funding opportunity to which you are applying
- your email address
Your user name and password will be sent to the email address provided.
What to include in your application
For detailed step-by-step instructions, please download the GATE Front Office user guide.
GATE Front Office online formlets:
- applicant information: Legal name and confirmation of your status (minor/Albertan)
- if you are under the age of 18 years at the time of application, a parent or legal guardian must e-sign the Applicant Agreement as the designate for the funding, and be responsible for:
- the completeness and accuracy of the application in full
- receipt and use of funding
- reporting on the use of funds
- serving as contact person for any inquiries relating to the funding
- contact information for primary applicant
- ensembles must designate one contact person for all requirements of the grant as primary applicant
- this designated individual must e-sign the Applicant Agreement
- applicant contact information: Street and mailing address for the primary applicant
- general information: Confirmation of the application category (art production, marketing, research, or training/career development) and applicant status (individual/ensemble)
- project description: A brief project description (20 words) and project start and end dates
- principal artists: A listing of the principal artists involved in the project, their position or role, and confirmation of Alberta Residence
- if you are single applicant, list yourself as artist
- individual applicant agreement: A declaration of agreement with the statement of conditions e-signed by the primary applicant or designate
- project expenses: A listing of project expenditures in Canadian dollars
- project revenue: A listing of non-AFA revenues in Canadian dollars
- the difference between expenditures and revenues will comprise the grant request to the AFA with the funding not exceeding $15,000
The GATE Front Office attachment section indicates that not all attachments are required for submission. This is because they are only required for certain types of projects (e.g. marketing plan for a marketing project). It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all attachments noted in the guidelines are submitted with their application according to project type.
Please submit the following attachments:
- an artistic resume of no more than four pages that includes literary arts activities such as level of training, readings, performances, and published works.
- the artistic resume should also include a current list of literary works professionally published and produced, if applicable, identifying the title, publisher, genre, year published/produced, and length/duration for each work
- include International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), if available
- include Public Lending Rights (PLR) registration for books in literary collections
- resumes of all principal artists involved in the project
- Detailed project description, including an outline of the objectives, planned activities, timelines, and expected results and impact on the applicantʼs artistic development
- in keeping with oral traditions, Indigenous project descriptions are welcome as oral submissions no longer than 3 minutes in length
- for more information on how to submit oral project descriptions, contact the Arts Development Consultant for this program, prior to the application deadline, at the contact information below.
- a writing sample of no more than 15 pages, preferably from a work in progress
- for anthology projects, an agreement with, or expression of interest from, a publisher including a clear statement that identifies the publisher's proposed financial contribution for such costs as editing, legal fees and postage, as well as the publisher's role in the selection of anthology materials
- all video and audio files must be Windows compatible, MP3 and MP4 files are preferred.
- official invitations, confirmations, or itineraries
- a detailed marketing plan
- applicants who have been accepted into a specific course must provide proof of acceptance and a detailed description, schedule and budget for the training program or course of study
- applicants who have not already been accepted into a course must submit a detailed description, schedule and budget for the preferred choice
- two alternate program choices should be submitted, with detailed descriptions, schedules and budgets for each choice
- additional support materials that may assist in the assessment process. All support material should be scanned into a single file and attached to the online application
Applicants may be asked for additional information.
- wherever possible, support material should be uploaded as an attachment into GATE (up to 4 MB)
- for files too large to include as attachments in GATE, they may be submitted via email to the Literary Arts Development Consultant (contact info listed on the bottom of the page) as email attachments or downloadable links
- please format your subject line: <your first initial, last name and project number>, eg. "H.Lee LIPG-56-172631"
- please ensure link contains downloadable files (MP3 or MP4 preferred)
- alternatively, please mail a hard copy CD or USB to 10708 – 105 Ave, Edmonton, AB, T5H 0A1
- please include your first initial, last name and project number on the CD or USB
- support material must be submitted or postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. Mountain Time on the deadline date
How will my application be assessed
This funding is administered at the discretion of the AFA board on a project-by-project basis.
Staff convene an expert panel to consider all eligible grant applications submitted to each grant deadline. The expert panel assesses the merit of each application both on its own terms and in relation to all other applications received for a given deadline.
Assessment of a project is based on the following general criteria:
- the impact of the project on both the applicant and the artistic genre in Alberta
- the artistic, educational or promotional merit of the project
- the appropriateness of the project budget showing commitment from all partners as applicable
- the ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed project
Assessment also takes into account the applicant's:
- artistic and technical ability to carry out the proposed project
- level of training, experience, and expertise
- literary performance and achievements to date
- personal objectives
All expert panel recommendations are reviewed by the AFA board and all decisions are final. Funding is not assured for any project.
Learn more about expert panels and how the AFA adjudicates funding requests for all programs.
When will I hear
Grant recommendations are made to the AFA board of directors. Successful recipients will be notified upon board approval, generally between four to six months from the application deadline.
We gather general comments about the applications and share them on the Adjudication page. The expert panel does not record specific comments about individual applications.
Funding is intended for the purposes described in your application. By accepting funding, you agree to undertake the project as proposed in your original project description.
If you do not receive the full grant amount requested, you are still required to complete the project as proposed if you accept the grant:
- you must return the grant funds if the project cannot be completed as proposed
If you require a change to your project including outcomes, location or an extension to your final report due date:
- you must submit a request in writing for approval by the AFA
- the request must be submitted prior to the change being made and/or before your project completion date
- the AFA may consider a single extension per funding opportunity
Funding recipients are responsible for informing the AFA of how funds were spent and outcomes of the project:
- you must return funds if reporting requirements are not met
- you must return unused portions of funding to the AFA
Any funding recipient who does not provide a report prior to the date noted in the successful notification document, or does not fulfill any conditions associated with a grant or whose report is not approved will be made delinquent and ineligible for further funding from the AFA for a period of three years from the time the delinquency is resolved.
New applications will not be accepted until your previous project is completed and the final report is recieved and approved by the AFA.
Previous funding recipients must have met reporting requirements in order to be eligible to receive subsequent funding from the AFA.
The AFA, or our authorized representative, may examine a funding recipient's financial and other records to ensure that the funding is being, or was, used for its intended purpose.
We require a complete and satisfactory final report submitted to GATE that demonstrates that funding was spend on the activities described in the application.
Whenever possible, you must acknowledge the AFA for financial support in any publicity prepared in relation to the project, including electronic, print, or visual material.
In your final report, you must complete the following GATE Front Office formlets:
- Individual Project Evaluation with a completed project outcomes questionnaire
- Project Expenses with a complete and accurate financial accounting for final project expenses in comparison to the original budget submission
- Project Revenues with a complete and accurate financial accounting for all revenues received for the project
Include the following mandatory attachments as part of your final report:
- Sample of work produced, performed, or created
- if your project was for marketing, include proof of touring costs (i.e. receipts or itinerary) or sample of promotional material in lieu of written sample
- if your project was for training or career development, include your tuition receipt in lieu of written sample
When applicable, include:
- Samples of promotional materials related to the project, such as social media or website screenshots, posters, and/or programs showing funding credit to the Alberta Foundation for the Arts where appropriate
- Samples of reviews, interviews, publications, or other media in which the project was mentioned
- Other support material, if applicable, such a travel itinerary, confirmation of attendance at an event, invoices for studio time, other production costs, etc.
Visit the Help and Resources section of our website to:
- download the new Front Office User Guide
- read application tips for individual artists that will help you write a stronger grant application
Working on your project budget? Download budget examples for Literary Arts individual project funding to help guide you.
Project grant recommendations are made by Expert Panels. Check out what they have to say:
- download the most recent Literary Arts Expert Panel application feedback - September 2022
- download comments from previous years' panels on our Expert Panel feedback archive