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Literature

OAC Literature programs encourage the development, publication and presentation of new works of literary significance in the province. The Literature Office funds writers, storytellers and spoken-word artists in all forms (except drama, which is funded under Theatre Programs).

Publishing programs support book publishers that develop, print, promote and distribute new literary work; the programs also support arts and literary magazines that showcase Canadian writers and provide critical commentary on arts and culture. The Literature Office also funds festivals and reading series that present the work of Ontario’s literary writers and publishers.

In fulfilling its mandate, the OAC serves one of the most diverse cultural, racial, linguistic and Aboriginal populations in Canada. Through its programs and services, the OAC supports artists, organizations and communities across Ontario, and welcomes all forms of artistic expression and practice.

  • Block Grants to Book Publishers is open to Ontario-based, Canadian-owned, editorially independent publishers who have been in operation for a minimum of two years and have published at least eight eligible titles. This program does not fund single titles.
  • Literary Festivals and Organizations provides operating funding to not-for-profit, professional organizations and groups that publicly present all forms of Canadian literature. This includes annual and one-time literary festivals or fairs, reading series, one-time projects and the activities of writers’ groups, writers’ circles and other literary groups. “Literature” may include oral literature such as dub and sound poetry, spoken word and storytelling.
  • Literary Festivals and Organizations Projects provides project funding to not-for-profit, professional organizations and groups that publicly present all forms of Canadian literature. This includes annual and one-time literary festivals or fairs, reading series, one-time projects and the activities of writers’ groups, writers’ circles and other literary groups. “Literature” may include oral literature such as dub and sound poetry, spoken word and storytelling. 
  • Periodicals supports Ontario-based, Canadian-owned periodicals, including free-circulation and online magazines, that have published at least three issues devoted to original Canadian fiction, poetry or critical commentary on Canadian contemporary arts, culture and society.
  • Word of Mouth provides support to Ontario-based professional literary and storytelling artists and ad hoc groups that create, record and tour dub, sound or performance poetry, storytelling or other oral literature forms.
  • Writers' Reserve offers project grants to professional writers of fiction, poetry, literary criticism, commentary on the arts, graphic literature, history, biography, political or social issues, science or travel. Writers apply to book and magazine publishers, who then make recommendations to OAC for funding.
  • Writers' Works in Progress offers project grants to professional writers in Ontario working on new book-length works of literary merit, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, young adult and graphic literature.
    • Works in Progress - Northern Competition is a special deadline to increase applications and success rates for professional writers in Northern Ontario. The Northern deadline is restricted to those writers living in Ontario’s Northern regions.

You are not limited to the programs listed above.

For more information

  • Jack Illingworth, Literature Officer, 416-969-7438, toll free in Ontario 1-800-387-0058 extension 7438, jillingworth@arts.on.ca   
  • Helen Floros, Program Assistant, 416-969-7440, toll free in Ontario 1-800-387-0058 extension 7440, hfloros@arts.on.ca

Other Programs Available to You