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Ontario Arts Council (OAC)
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Literary Creation Projects (Works for Publication)

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)

September 5, 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.
Important: There is a separate deadline on October 22, 2024 for applications for creation and/or recording of literary works for performance.

Grant amount(s)

  • Creation of literary works for publication: $12,000

Important: Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded in the second and third categories may be smaller than the amount requested.

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.

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.

You must be an Ontario resident 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.
  • Applicants whose professional performance history makes them eligible to apply to Literary Creation Projects: Works for Performance may also apply if they have an eligible project.

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.
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 of original literary work for print or online publication
  • 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.
    • childcare and other dependant care fees enabling you to take part in the project (this does not include regular, ongoing expenses)
    • editorial expenses incurred before the manuscript is submitted to an agent or publisher (note: editorial expenses may not exceed 50% of the awarded grant)
  • works must be in one of the following genres:
    • comic arts
    • fiction (including novels, novellas, and short stories)
    • literary non-fiction
    • poetry
    • young adult literature (text-based fiction and non-fiction, for middle-grade readers or older)
    • northern writers (writers living in the north and creating in any of the genres above may apply to this grouping for assessment by writers from their communities)
    Note: There are eligibility exceptions to all of the above genres. See Program-specific definitions, below.
  • Applications to create and/or record literary works for performance are received at a separate deadline.
  • 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.
  • Applicants to this program who identify as Deaf or as having a disability may apply for supplementary funds for their project-related 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 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.

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
  • written, audio, or video samples of the work created (optional)
  • 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:
    • a manuscript sample (18-21 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.
  • 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

Complete instructions and requirements are in the application in Nova.

For information on how assessors rate applications see the Guide to OAC Assessment and the Evaluation Rubric – Creation 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.