[Skip to Content]
Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
Grants Advanced Search
Grants Advanced Search

Literary Creation Projects (Works for Performance)

Until this program opens in Nova, the Ontario Arts Council’s online granting system, program information may change. This includes deadline dates and specific information on eligibility. Be sure to visit this page after the program opens in Nova, but before starting your application.


The program supports Ontario-based literary artists to complete new works for book-length publication or for public performance, and literary performers who wish to record their own repertoire. The program has two components:

Deadline date(s)

October 22, 2024, 1 p.m. ET
  • The application form will be available in Nova about two months before the deadline.
  • You will find out whether you got a grant about four and a half months after the deadline.

Grant amount(s)

  • Creation of literary works for performance: $5,000
  • Recording of literary works that are created for performance: up to $10,000
  • Creation and recording of literary works for performance: up to $15,000
This program does not award partial grants.

Recent changes

  • The application questions and evaluation rubric have been reworked to better align with OAC’s current strategic plan.

Eligible applicants

You must be an Ontario resident and have a recent professional history with a history of public performance in dub, sound or performance poetry, storytelling, ASL poetry or other performance literature forms.

Applicants whose professional publishing history makes them eligible to apply to Literary Creation Projects: Works for Publication may also apply if they have an eligible project.

Read the Guide to OAC Project Programs for more eligibility information.

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

What this program funds

  • creation and recording of original literary work for performance
  • performance literatures include but are not limited to spoken word, storytelling, sound poetry, dub poetry and American Sign Language (ASL) literature
  • creation grants through this program fund the time and activities needed to continue work in progress for the project(s) described in your application. Eligible expenses include:
    • Artist fees – payment to yourself for your time in working on this project. The program does not fund living and personal expenses – do not include these as the rationale for the calculation of artist fees.
    • Research expenses, including travel and accommodation undertaken in the course of research, purchase of resources, or fees paid to an assistant to undertake research on your behalf.
  • 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

This program also supports:

  • childcare and other dependant care fees enabling individuals to take part in the project (this does not include regular, ongoing expenses)
  • expenses related to making the project accessible to audience members and project participants (other than the applicant) who are Deaf or have a disability
    • Note: Applicants to this program who identify as Deaf or as having a disability may apply for supplementary funds for their own accessibility expenses through Accessibility Fund: Project Support.

What 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 recording or publication of a completed work
  • works in languages other than English. Projects in French are funded by the Littérature – projets francophones program, and works in Indigenous languages are funded by Indigenous Arts Projects
  • creation of audiobooks, documentary recordings of writers performing work originally created for publication, and other types of recording of literature not created in the context of a tradition of literary performance
  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment

Activity timing

The activities for which you are requesting funding:

  • cannot finish before you receive your grant results
  • the activity funded must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant results. If you receive a creation-only grant you may continue to work on your funded work after this date, but your grant must be fully spent by this time. Recording projects must be completed within this two-year period.

Final report requirements

If you receive a grant, you must complete the project and submit a final report in Nova. See Terms and Conditions – receipt of OAC project grant funds for more information on reporting obligations.

In your final report, you will need to provide:

  • a description of the project undertaken and its outcomes, including details on any minor or approved changes to what had been outlined in the application
  • a final budget
    • If the budget you submit shows a surplus of more than $250 (revenues as compared to expenses), you may be required to repay the surplus amount to OAC.
  • written, audio or video samples of the work created (video files, audio files, PDF files and web links accepted)
  • documentation and/or an explanation of how you followed or will follow OAC’s Recognition Requirements for Project Grant Recipients
    • This should include samples of any promotional or other materials produced for the project that show the OAC and Government of Ontario logos. Read logo guidelines
    • This could also include social media screenshots or a description of how you recognized OAC or plan to do so in future activities or materials tied to the project.

To apply

Complete and submit an application in Nova, OAC’s online grant application system. You will be able to do this approximately two months before the deadline.

Before applying be sure to:

Your application will include:

  • basic information about your project
  • your answers to application questions
  • artistic examples:
    • two audio or video recordings of you performing your recent work (maximum of five minutes total). 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 performed literary work. You may also note key works in other areas of your artistic practice.

Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.

For information on how assessors rate creation applications see the Guide to OAC Assessment and the Evaluation Rubric – Creation Projects. For projects that include recording, see the Evaluation Rubric – Activity Projects.

For details on creating a profile or submitting an application in Nova, see the Nova User Guide.

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 eligibility 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.