Whether you’ve had book promotional events cancelled, can no longer lead that writing workshop that boosts your revenue stream, worry about your local bookstore weathering the business downturn, or simply have lost the motivation to write during such a hectic time, you are not alone. What’s more, there’s help. And we can all pay it forward.
We’ve been heartened to see—and now to share—so many new opportunities sprouting up for fellow writers caught up in the midst of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. Below is a select list, complete with links to learn more or get involved. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Know of one we missed? Visit Career Authors on Facebook and share it with us in the comments.
Literary Hub Presents: The Virtual Book Channel: “Brought to you by Literary Hub, The Virtual Book Channel will feature original programming—Shelter in Place, Maris Kreizman’s virtual book party, Playback, a 5-minute self-interview series for writers with new books coming out, and Rekindled, previously scheduled book tour conversations made virtual—along with emerging digital contributions from existing reading series’, bookstores, poets, and more,” explains the press release. The channel plans to partner with other literary outlets to help grow an audience for featured writers, and to rally support for booksellers as well. Every Friday, a schedule for the following week will be posted. Interested contributors can email Jonny Diamond at [email protected].
A Mighty Blaze: Co-founded by novelists Caroline Leavitt and Jenna Blum, A Mighty Blaze aims to support authors who have had a book tour cancelled by “Putting all book candles together to make a mighty blaze in a time of darkness so we can all get through together.” With a dedicated FB page and other forward-facing social media initiatives, the group has already been the subject of a prominent feature in Publishers Weekly. All authors are invited to become partners and help spread the word about member authors on Tuesdays, or join if you’ve had a tour cancelled, by visiting A Mighty Blaze on Facebook.
Writer Unboxed presents HFAAC: Helping Fellow Authors in the Age of COVID-19: “We will be showcasing authors affected by the pandemic for a while—authors whose tours for recently released books (most in the last few weeks) were cancelled,” explains Writer Unboxed Editorial Director Therese Walsh. “This gives them the chance to share their work and some writing tips with us. In return, we can provide them with the community spirit they can’t experience in the physical world right now.” The video series posts to the WU community on select afternoons.
Author Leadership Circle: Led by campaign chair Garth Stein, best known for his smash success The Art of Racing in the Rain, this branch of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation reasons that the best way authors can help themselves at this juncture is by helping booksellers survive the economic hit of the COVID-19 crisis. “We can get through this,” Stein writes, “as long as we remember that we’re all in it together.” Learn more and/or donate here.
We Are Bookish (Presented by Netgalley) Virtual Bookish Events: Curated by Netgalley, this is a fluid list of “Stay at Home Book Tours” and other author events that have been moved online due to travel restrictions. A link at the top of the page makes it easy for you to submit your own event to be included for their site visitors as well.
The Great Thoughts Festival of Books: This generous, positivity-infused FB group of 5,500 readers and authors is hosting a spring virtual book festival featuring authors who cannot connect with readers in person during this time. A full schedule is posted by founder Andrea Peskind Katz in the page’s pinned post, and is being updated regularly here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/greatthoughtsgreatreaders
COVID Creative Write-Ins: Grub Street Faculty Member Katie Bayerl is hosting two free motivational write-in events via Zoom every week, one for all ages (Mondays at noon EST) and one geared toward teens and tweens (Wednesdays at noon EST). She’s additionally offering special rates on other services (including one-on-one coaching and pop-in workshops for schools and groups) with a primary focus on young writers.
The Creator Fund: ConvertKit has established a fund to offer financial assistance up to $500 for writers negatively impacted by the economic fallout of the COVID-10 pandemic. They caution that they already have more applications than funds, but still welcome new submissions and have already grown the pool of money available from $50,000 to $154,000.
The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council: In response to the pandemic, the council has modified its Emergency Fund for Artists to “provide up to $500 in assistance to artists experiencing loss of income due to the coronavirus outbreak.” Writers in Western Pennsylvania should visit the website for details on eligibility and how to apply: https://www.pittsburghartscouncil.org/programs/artist-services/emergency-fund.
The Safety Net Fund: This aptly named fund is offering similar financial support in the form of grants for authors living in the Bay Area of California (apply here). They’re also fundraising, if you’d be interested in contributing to such a fund (donate here). Details on the program via Medium here: https://medium.com/@safetynet/the-safety-net-fund-20040273d291.
The Kentucky Arts Council: The KAC’s new (and generous) Emergency Resources page aggregates more grants like the two mentioned above–many of which are not regional to Kentucky, but national—as well as other informational resources to assist in adjusting a writing career during a worldwide crisis.
Check your local arts council or literary nonprofit for regional opportunities near you.
Visit Career Authors on Facebook to let us know where you’re finding help during this time, or what kind of assistance you’re looking for, and perhaps our community can help.