BWS 13.11.19 report: “A Beginners Guide to Toronto Arts Council Literary Grants” with Catalina Fellay-Dunbar

Catalina Fellay-Dunbar

Catalina Fellay-Dunbar joined the Toronto Arts Council after many years as a dancer, writer, educator and arts advocate. Her professional dance experience, although varied, has long focused on a personal lineage in Flamenco and Classical Spanish dance.  Translating the experience of movement into words launched a parallel writing career as a contributor to journals, magazines and anthologies on the topics of dance, identity, and cultural policy. She loves her present role in the arts community as Dance and Literary Grants Manager for the TAC.

Catalina stopped by at our 10th anniversary event last week to share some of her grant writing tips for the Writers Program and the financial resources available to emerging and established writers.

TAC’s Literary Arts programs support the development of writing, reading series, festivals, performances and other literary activities in Toronto.

Through the Literary Program, the TAC provides Project funding to professional, non-profit, Toronto literary organizations and collectives to pursue one-time or time-limited literary projects involving production, presentation and other activities that contribute to the development of the literary arts in Toronto. 

Our Writers Program supports the creation of new literary works or works-in progress in the genres of fiction (including novels, short stories, children’s literature, graphic novels, etc.), literary non-fiction, poetry and oral traditions such as storytelling, dub, rap and spoken-word.

The program provides two levels of support for writers. The following fixed amounts are available:

LEVEL ONE: $5,000 – for writers in the early stages of their career.

LEVEL TWO: $10,000 – for writers with an established writing career.

For more detailed information regarding the Writers Program, please refer to the Writers Program Guidelines which will be made available 3 months before the deadline.

*Please note that the TAC Writers Program has once deadline per calendar year, usually in mid-June*

 The online Writers application consists of three sections:

  1. The applicant’s literary CV or biography uploaded in PDF format – maximum three pages. Please differentiate between items published via print or web. This section of the application will not be reviewed by the jury, but serves as your record of eligibility for TAC staff.
  2. The project description – maximum 500 words, entered into a text box in the online application. This section outlines the format, stage and scope of the project. Anonymity is required in this section.
  3. The writing sample support material – format details below. Anonymity is required in this section.

As the Literary Grants Manager at TAC, here are my 3 Top Grant Writing Tips:

  1.       Read the program guidelines on the TAC website.
  2.       Give yourself adequate time to complete the application before the deadline.
  3.       Follow the application instructions.

Most importantly, however, I encourage you to reach out to your Program Manager before applying if you are a first time applicant or if you have any questions throughout the process.

I promise you, we are all friendly here at TAC!


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