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Ontario Arts Council


Renee Lottridge

Interim Program Administrator
Toll-free in Ontario: ​​​​​​​1-800-387-0058 ext. 7440

Final Report Forms

Final report forms are available upon request. Email your request to finalreport@arts.on.ca indicating the program for which you are submitting a report.

Literary Creation Projects


The program supports Ontario-based literary artists with their living expenses while they complete new works for book-length publication or for public performance, and literary performers who wish to record their own repertoire. There are two categories:

  • Creation of literary works for publication
  • Creation and/or recording of literary works for performance

Deadline Dates

April 19, 2017 and October 19, 2017, 1 p.m. ET
  • April deadline: Fiction
  • October deadline: Comic Arts, Non-Fiction, Northern Writers, Performance Literatures, Poetry, Young Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction
  • Applications are available online approximately two months before the deadline.
  • Grant notification will be available approximately four months after the deadline.

Grant amount(s)

  • Creation of literary works for publication (Comic Arts, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Northern Writers, Poetry, Young Adult Fiction/Non-Fiction): $12,000
  • Creation and/or recording of literary works for performance (Performance Literatures): $8,000

This program does not award partial grants.

Recent changes

  • This program replaces both Writers’ Works in Progress (all deadlines) and Word of Mouth (for English-language applications).
  • Deadlines have changed.
  • Submit applications for performance literatures in French to Création littéraire.
  • Applicants may only apply to one deadline per year. Simultaneous applications to multiple groupings are not accepted.
  • Each grouping will be assessed by its own jury. Assessors who work in multiple genres may assess more than one grouping. For example, a writer who publishes poetry and non-fiction may be asked to assess both groupings.
  • Applications are no longer assessed anonymously. You must submit an artist’s résumé or publishing history that the panel will receive.
  • Grants for creation or recording of performance literatures are now set at a flat $8,000. This replaces creation grants of $5,000 and recording grants of up to $10,000.
  • Applicants may now apply to both create and record performance-based work with the same grant.
  • Eligibility for this program has been expanded to include writers who have been self-publishing on a professional basis or working professionally in newer artistic disciplines or creative industries. Existing eligibility criteria for traditionally published writers, comics creators, and creator/performers of performance literatures remain unchanged.

Eligible applicants

You must be an Ontario resident with a permanent physical address in Ontario and have a recent professional publishing history with:

  • at least one traditionally published book (minimum of 48 pages) for which you have a publishing contract and receive royalties; or
  • at least three traditionally published short stories, comics, poems or other works for which you have received payment. Works can appear in magazines, newspapers, websites, and anthologies. Contest-winning work is considered publication; or
  • a professional self-publishing practice, demonstrated by either:
    • sales of more than 400 copies of a self-published work of prose or 200 copies of a self-published work of poetry within the 24 months prior to your first application to this program. OAC may request sales records. Sales of ebooks and print books are equally recognized. Sales of print books shorter than 48 pages or ebooks shorter than 16,000 words are not recognized; or
    • voting membership in a recognized professional writers’ association, including but not limited to the Canadian Authors’ Association (professional members only), League of Canadian Poets (full members only), Professional Writers’ Association of Canada (professional members only), and the Writers’ Union of Canada. Full voting membership in other professional writers’ associations, including regional, international, and non-English language groups, may be recognized at the OAC’s discretion. Provide the program officer with membership criteria before the deadline. Professional writers’ associations are incorporated as non-profit organizations and have published membership criteria that are compatible with the OAC’s definition of a professional artist.
  • a history of public performance in dub, sound or performance poetry, storytelling, ASL poetry or other performance literature forms; or
  • at least three years’ professional presentation of comics work through work-for-hire creation jobs (editorial cartooning, creation for commercial comics franchises), sales at curated comics festivals, or gallery exhibitions; or
  • at least two recent production writing credits for non-text media (radio, television, film, interactive digital media, and theatre).

Other eligibility requirements:

  • In order to apply to the northern writers grouping, which is open to all genres of work for publication but limited to northern applicants, you must meet all program eligibility criteria and live for at least six months of the year in the northwestern, northeastern, or far north regions of Ontario. Northern applicants may choose to apply to any other program grouping if they prefer to be assessed within their application’s literary genre.
  • You may apply for only one Literary Creation Projects grant per year.
  • You may receive only one Literary Creation Projects grant for a particular project.

Ineligible applicants

  • Student or academic publications, including scholarly monographs and articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals, may not be used to establish eligibility.
  • Work that you have done as part of your employment may not be used to establish eligibility, unless you are a professional journalist or a professional writer of narrative content or visual artist/illustrator for the comics, film, television, or interactive digital media sectors.

More about eligibility for OAC’s project programs

This program funds

  • Creation projects fund artists’ living expenses when creating new work. In most cases this happens while an artist takes time away from other kinds of paying work to develop a project. Expenses can include travel and other personal expenses incurred while researching a new work.
  • Recording projects fund studio time for recording projects, fees for supporting artists and recording professionals, manufacturing physical media (maximum of 1,000 copies), and initial setup fees for digital distribution, marketing and publicity.
  • Performance literatures include but are not limited to spoken word, storytelling, sound poetry, dub poetry and American Sign Language (ASL) literature.
  • Poetry includes works intended primarily or in part for text-based publication.
  • Comic arts includes projects that are visual in nature; unified in narrative, style, theme, and/or concept; and intended for professional publication as a book, series of comics, or web comic. Most projects will include both text and visual elements. Wordless projects intended solely or primarily for publication, with a strong sequential structure or narrative direction, are eligible. Works for all ages are eligible.

This program does not fund

  • Writing for film, radio, television, theatre, or interactive digital media.
  • Manuscript evaluation.
  • Editorial services.
  • Publication expenses.
  • Expenses incurred after the publication of a completed work.
  • Works in languages other than English. Projects in French are funded by the Création littéraire program, and works in Indigenous languages are funded by Indigenous Arts Projects.
  • Works in other ineligible genres, as listed below under “Program-specific definitions.” 

Activity timing

The activities for which you are requesting funding:

  • cannot finish before you receive your grant results; and
  • the writing period funded by a grant must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant results. You may continue to work on your funded manuscript after this date, but your grant must be fully spent by this time.

Important: You cannot apply to this program if you have an overdue final report in any OAC grant program.

Final report requirements

If you receive a grant you must submit a final report upon completion of the project. See Terms and Conditions for Project Programs for more information on reporting obligations. A final report form will be available in Nova. Final reports for this program require grant recipients to provide:
  • Description of the project undertaken and its outcomes, including details on any minor or approved changes to what had been outlined in the application.
  • Final budget.
  • Documentation and/or an explanation of how you acknowledged or will acknowledge OAC support for your project. This should include samples of OAC logo recognition on any promotional or other materials produced in conjunction with the project, such as publications, brochures, posters, invitations, websites, or videos/films. This could also include a description of verbal acknowledgement at public events or the intention to include OAC acknowledgement in associated future activities/materials.
  • Written, audio, video samples of the work created (video, audio, PDF files, or web links accepted).
  • If you have completed a manuscript, please let us know whether you have sent it to a publisher or agent or whether you have a publishing contract, with which publisher. If sections of the manuscript have been published in a literary or other periodical, please include that information.

To apply

  • Answers to application questions.
  • Artistic examples:
    • For creation of literary works for publication: a manuscript sample (18-20 pages) representing the work for which you are seeking funding. Work previously published in book format may not be used as an artistic example. Manuscripts of text must be in PDF based on an 8.5x11-inch print size, 11-point type, with 1-inch margins. Prose manuscripts must be double-spaced. Poetry manuscripts must be single-spaced. Comic-arts manuscripts should include visual art and may be presented in a format approximating the intended trim or reproduction size of the final work.
    • For creation and/or recording of literary works for performance: one or two audio or video recordings of you performing your recent work (maximum of five minutes). Longer files may be uploaded, but if you do this please note appropriate cue points from which jurors may view or listen to five minutes of material. An optional transcript of the work featured in the audiovisual sample may be uploaded, formatted to the same specifications for poetry or prose.
  • Support documents: a history of your published and/or performed literary work. You may also note key works in other areas of your artistic practice.

Program-specific definitions

The following types of work are not eligible:

  • Children’s picture books
  • Projects for which the author and/or illustrator do not own the intellectual property rights to their characters and/or narrative
  • Commissioned adaptations of works in other media
  • Play, film, broadcast, or interactive digital media scripts
  • Books that are part of educational or academic programs
  • Books that are to be ghost-written or for which the author is to be uncredited (including books where the applicant will not be identified as the author under their own name or a pseudonym that they use only for their own work)
  • Activity books, directories, index compilations, bibliographies with minimal critical content, travel guidebooks, instruction or self-help books, manuals, cookbooks, exhibition catalogues
  • Commissioned industrial or business histories, or commissioned biographies
  • Professional reference books aimed at a specialized audience
  • Calendars, daybooks, agendas or almanacs or other books with minimal written content, except as provided for in comic arts eligbility criteria
  • Books written primarily for an educational or scholarly market
  • Manuscripts that are intended for publication in books that will include other authors as well (such as fiction anthologies)

Northern Writers: live in the Far North, Northwest, and Northeast regions of the province. This includes the Manitoulin, Parry Sound and Nipissing districts and all regions north of these districts.