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

Literary Organizations Projects

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.



This program supports the professional presentation, and promotion of written and oral Canadian literatures in Ontario, and the development of professional, ongoing arts and literary publishing capacity in the province. The program has five categories:

  • Festivals and fairs: events including an organized and multi-faceted program of literary activities that takes place within a defined and concentrated period of time of one or more days. Events may be focused on literary performance, the promotion and sale of Canadian books, or both.
  • Performance series: event series that host regular events presenting literary performance to the public, including slams, storytelling series, and reading series.
  • Development initiatives: activities and initiatives that benefit Ontario’s professional literary sector at large. This includes professional development for literary artists and arts workers, conferences and other activities with a community impact.
  • Literary book publishing: the publication of eligible Canadian-authored books (see program-specific definitions below) in print and/or digital formats, for distribution to the public through an identified and viable market channel.
  • Literary magazine publishing: the publication of a literary magazine (see program specific definitions below) featuring predominantly Canadian writers and artists in print and/or digital formats.

Deadline date(s)

April 3, 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)

  • Festivals and fairs: maximum $12,000
  • Performance series: maximum $12,000
  • Development initiatives: maximum $12,000
  • Literary book publishing: maximum $12,000
  • Arts magazine publishing: maximum $12,000

Important: Due to the number of applications received and the limited funds available, grants awarded 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.
  • Publishing eligibility has been broadened to allow support for arts publishing in any discipline.
  • The maximum grant request has been raised to $12,000 in all program categories.
  • New publishers no longer need to have established an ongoing publishing program in order to apply. This requirement is still in place for organizations that have received three or more grants from this program.
  • The definition of a professional publisher has been clarified to specify organizations for which publishing activities represent more than 50% of annual expenses.

Eligible applicants

Literary festival, performance series, and sector development categories are open to:

  • Ontario-based ad hoc groups and collectives
  • Ontario-based not-for-profit arts organizations

Literary book and magazine publishing categories are open to:

  • not-for-profit arts organizations, as well as eligible for-profit book and magazine publishers, with a permanent physical address in Ontario, that
    • publish primarily in English;
    • are free to make their own editorial decisions and sign contracts in their own name; and
    • pay contributors’ fees or royalties and issue contributors’ contracts (note: all applicants must already be paying contributors)
  • Publishers that are established on a for-profit basis, either as sole proprietorships or as incorporated organizations, must be Canadian-owned and -controlled (see Program-specific definitions below) with the head office (at least 50 per cent of employees and editorial, management and financial control) in Ontario.

If the applicant has previously received three or more grants from this program, it must have published no fewer than two eligible books or arts magazine issues in the 12 months prior to the program deadline, unless that publisher is an online magazine that has posted arts content regularly for the last 12 months.

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

Important: Applicants must meet program and OAC eligibility criteria at the time of application and for the duration of your project.

Ineligible applicants

  • libraries, schools, or post-secondary institutions (a library or school can be the venue but not the applicant, publisher, or organizing host)
  • municipalities, colleges and universities, including magazines predominantly written or run by students, publishers whose publications are primarily prepared by students within the context of academic courses or training sessions, and publishers that are organizationally and editorially controlled by a university, college, or municipality
  • publishers that devote the majority of their publishing program to works by writers and artists who have governance, ownership, employment, or volunteer relationships with the applicant
  • publishers that primarily publish ineligible books, or publish an ineligible magazine (see Program-specific definitions below)
  • publishers that require contributors to pay fees or commit to purchasing completed publications
  • publishers that are imprints, divisions, subsidiaries or parent companies of applicants to this program or the Publishing Organizations: Operating program
  • current recipients of an operating grant in the Literary Organizations: Operating program or the Publishing Organizations: Operating program
  • current recipients of an operating grant in other OAC operating programs, with the exception of organizations mandated to serve one or more of OAC’s priority groups.
  • amateur, pre-professional or student productions or projects 

Important: Organizations applying as new applicants in the Literary Organizations: Operating program or Publishing Organizations: Operating program may apply only for projects taking place in their current fiscal year

What this program funds

  • artists’ fees, production costs, marketing, promotion, audience development and administration costs of literary festivals and event series
  • presenter, facilitator, and consultant fees, production costs, marketing, promotion, audience development and administration costs of sector development initiatives
  • editorial, production, circulation, marketing and promotion costs of publishing eligible books or magazines in English (see Program-specific definitions below; funding for Ontario-based, French-language publishers is available through OAC’s Édition francophone – fonctionnement program), and sales, distribution, and administrative costs if directly related to an eligible publication
  • purchase of small-scale equipment, software, electronics and similar materials required to carry out the project
  • 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

  • major capital expenditures, including buying, leasing or renovating buildings and purchase of major equipment
  • events or activities that take place outside of Ontario
  • fundraising activities
  • student or educational projects
  • faculty or student projects associated with their research, course work or studies
  • the publication of ineligible books or magazines
  • events or organizations that do not pay fees to participating or performing writers and artists
  • book or magazine publishers that do not pay contributor fees to writers and artists
  • academic or scholarly conferences

Activity timing

The activities for which you are requesting funding:

  • cannot start before the deadline
  • cannot finish before you receive your grant results
  • must be completed no more than two years after you receive the grant

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.
  • 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 the project
  • your answers to application questions
  • a project budget
  • artistic examples: audiovisual documentation of relevant recent activities or participating artists; publishers must submit physical or digital copies of recent eligible issues or eligible books, along with excerpts from recently-published literary work
  • support documents: applicant’s history and key participants’ bios, one or two catalogues, brochures, posters, programs, flyers, video or other materials

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 – Activity Projects.

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

Program-specific definitions

An arts magazine is a:

magazine that publishes original literary works, or works of criticism or journalism about an arts discipline funded by OAC, in a print or electronic format as its primary activity (representing at least 50% of the organization’s expenses). The contributors must be predominantly Canadian and contributions must be primarily published in English.

A Canadian-owned and controlled for-profit publisher is a:

For share capital companies

  • corporation in which at least 75 percent of the shares have full voting rights under all circumstances with
  • shares representing at least 75 percent of the paid-up capital beneficially held by Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents ordinarily resident in Canada, and/or by Canadian-owned and -controlled corporations and
  • not subject to the control or direction of non-residents

For non-share capital companies

  • a corporation with at least 75 percent of its membership composed of Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents ordinarily resident in Ontario and not subject to the control or direction of non-residents, or
  • a registered sole proprietorship owned by an individual who is a Canadian citizen and/or permanent resident ordinarily resident in Ontario

Eligible books

Eligible books are used:

  • to determine a publisher’s eligibility for this program;
  • to determine appropriate funding acknowledgement; and
  • to select support material for submission with grant applications.


Eligible books contain at least 50 percent Canadian-authored creative content (literary and graphic) and are in English. Project support for publishing in French or Indigenous languages is available from the OAC’s Francophone and Indigenous Arts programs.



Eligible books are original works of at least 48 printed pages (at least 24 pages for children’s books) published for a trade market readership in cloth, paper, or digital formats (i.e., books sold subject to the normal trade discount of 40 percent or more).


Co-publications are eligible if they originated with the Canadian publisher.


Translations into French, English or Indigenous languages of Canadian-authored works are eligible if they meet all other eligibility criteria.



Eligible books are works of literary, artistic, or cultural importance in the genres of fiction; poetry; drama; literary and arts criticism; autobiography, biography, memoir and essays; comics and graphic novels; works for children and young adults; and creative and literary works of history, politics, social issues, science, travel, etc.


Ineligible books

An ineligible book is any book that does not meet the authorship, format, and content criteria stated above. Additionally, books in the following categories are not considered eligible:

  • books commissioned or paid for by an individual, group, political party or company
  • co-publications with governments or government departments or agencies
  • books for which the author receives no royalties or the author has contributed financially towards the publication costs
  • curriculum materials
  • catalogues of exhibitions
  • scholarly or academic monographs, or books that are collections of specialized scholarly or conference papers

Ineligible Magazines

This program will not fund:

magazines that are not primarily literary publications, including but not limited to:

  • magazines primarily focused on other arts disciplines;
  • lifestyle magazines;
  • magazines devoted primarily to reportage, political advocacy, the promotion of commercial enterprises, religion or spirituality;
  • scholarly magazines and journals; and
  • newsletters, bulletins or house organs that publish material directed primarily to an organization’s membership, or are not editorially and financially independent from a parent organization.