Submit your proposals for writing, literary events or projects that will take place by March 2020.

An RSL Literature Matters Award must result in new, original writing or other literary activity of an excellent artistic standard, which will reach a substantial readership or audience. 

It may be:

  • a piece or pieces of writing
  • a publication
  • an event
  • a production

on any subject and in any form, including (but not limited to) prose fiction, short stories, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, graphic fiction, biography or travel-writing.

We are especially interested in and will give priority to writing or projects which:

  • engage with topics or audiences outside the usual reach of literature e.g. collaborations with other disciplines, or projects aimed at readers or audiences rarely engaged in literature;
  • and/or generate public discussion about the difference that literature makes to people’s lives and to the world e.g. through media coverage, online forums or interactive events. 


  • Applicants must be permanent UK residents. We are unable to offer grants to citizens of the UK living abroad.
  • The person applying should be a writer or other literary creator with a successful track record to indicate the proposal is likely to succeed. We also accept applications from small groups or collaborations of writers, but not from organisations.
  • Applicants must be over 18.
  • You must be in need of the funding to carry out the proposal and be able to demonstrate this and how the money would be used.
  • Anyone who has received an RSL Award in the last two years is not eligible to enter.
  • If the project is dependent on the involvement of other organisations, you must have already been in touch with them to ensure that they are willing to collaborate with you.
  • Projects must be due to be completed within 12 months of potential funding, so no later than March 2020.
  • Current members of RSL staff and Trustees are not eligible to apply.


By submitting an application, you agree to the following:

  • The Award money may be used to fund all or part of the activity, but may not be used for writing or any other activity which has already been completed.
  • Applicants must not contact the judging panel directly about the Awards.
  • The RSL reserves the right to award applicants a lesser amount than they applied for and not to award a grant, or to withdraw the grants scheme in whole or in part at any time.
  • Our decisions on Awards are final and we will not enter into any correspondence about them.
  • RSL Literature Matters Awards cannot be transferred to another person or project and once awarded must be spent on the purpose set out in the Award letter.
  • The RSL reserves the right to withdraw any offer of an Award if the conditions of the Award are not met.
  • The RSL must be credited on the work produced and where feasible, the RSL Literature Matters Awards logo should be used.
  • Award recipients will be required to contribute to the RSL’s publicity of the Awards including sending a photograph and biography for use on our website.
  • A representative from the RSL should be invited to attend any launches, readings, performances or showcase events taking place as part of the project.
  • Award recipients will be required to write a brief report of their Literature Matters Award funded project on its completion.


  1. Please ensure that you have read and understood ALL of the above prior to submission to ensure that your project is eligible.
  2. Download the RSL Literature Matters Awards Application Form from the RSL website and complete all sections in full by clicking in the 'Click here to enter text' line of each box and typing your response.
  3. Download and complete the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form from the RSL website (this will remain anonymous and not be linked to your application).
  4. Do not submit any additional sheets, CVs or other documents, as these will not be considered.
  5. Sign in to Submittable or create an account then fill out the form below and upload your documents as Word or PDF files. When you are ready to complete your application, press 'Submit'.

If you have technical difficulties completing the online entry form please email

If you are unable to complete the online entry form or have any questions not answered by the above information, please contact Martha Stenhouse via email to or phone 020 7845 4679.

The submission deadline is midnight on Wednesday 5 December, entries received after this time will not be accepted. Successful applicants will be notified by February 2019.

The Royal Society of Literature