Awarded by The Royal Society of Literature’s Council, Brookleaze Grants support writers (novelists, playwrights, poets, short story writers) who need time away from their normal lives – to take sabbaticals from their jobs, for example, or to travel abroad for research – to write. A total of £5,000 is available annually, and this may be awarded either as two grants of £2,500 or one grant of £5,000.

I recently applied for the Autumn 2015 round of awards and am thrilled to be able to say that I was awarded a grant last week. Having my writing supported in this way by The Royal Society of Literature means a great deal. Yes, its a financial help, but more than that it is an encouraging gesture, one that both justifies the hours spent tapping away at the keyboard. as well as giving me the means to ‘buy’ writing time over the next few months, receiving the award is a great motivator. I know that I will use that time wisely. I am also planning a short research trip in support of the novel I am working on and will use a slice of the money to fund some of my wanderings around the burial sites and various museums of London as I shadow a journey my main character makes in the final chapters of the book.

Which leads me back to the title of this post: Why you should apply for an RSL Brookleaze Grant. why should you? Well, for all of the reasons I state above: the financial award, yes, but also for the encouragement such an award can give, for the motivation it inspires, and the opportunities such an award can provide.

The next opportunity to apply will be in Spring 2016. In the meantime, head over to the RSL Brookleaze webpage, check out my wee blurb and bio in support of this great award, then bookmark the page ready for when applications open again early next year. To steal a catchphrase, you never know, it could be you.