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About the Grant 

Writers’ Trust of Canada, The Writers’ Union of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, Access Copyright Foundation, Amazon Canada, and joined forces in the spring of 2020 to provide a relief fund to support professional creators affected financially by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The current public health emergency triggered an economic crisis for self-employed workers across Canada. Professional literary creators were and continue to be especially hard hit.

Within a matter of days, book tours, lectures, performances, and school visits were cancelled. Other sources of income in the form of contracts for publishing-related or non-related projects have disappeared or been indefinitely postponed. Many professional writers were left struggling to buy groceries or medications or pay rent. Writers’ Trust and The Writers’ Union launched the Canadian Writers' Emergency Relief Fund to help writers during this difficult time and approached partners to develop a coordinated response to this urgent need. Collectively we raised over $375,000 for this project and were able to support more than 250 writers with $1,500 grants.

These grants were invaluable, but demand during the present crisis exceeds what the program’s resources could match. Applications closed on June 15, 2020.

Writers’ Trust continues to support writers in financial distress through its emergency grant program, the Woodcock Fund. We encourage those who wish to support Canadian writers facing financial crisis during this challenging time to make a donation to the Woodcock Fund.

#WTInsideVoices Live Stream

How is the ongoing global pandemic affecting Canadian writers?

April 20

Writers' Trust Fellowship recipients Michael Crummey, Miriam Toews, Eden Robinson, and Heather O'Neill had a live chat with celebrated author Tanya Talaga on the pandemic and how they are managing to write — or not — in the midst of COVID-19. Read the transcript or watch the video on YouTube or Facebook.

May 4

The 2020 Writers' Trust Rising Stars were announced during our second live stream, hosted by Rising Stars selector Rachel Giese. Recipients Carleigh Baker (selected by Thomas King), Lorax B. Horne (selected by Rachel Giese), Canisia Lubrin (selected by Anosh Irani), Troy Sebastian / Nupqu ʔa·kǂ am̓ (selected by Lynn Coady), and Laura Trethewey (select by Rosemary Sullivan) chatted about how the pandemic has affected life for developing writers. Watch the video on YouTube or Facebook.

Program Partner

The Writers' Union of Canada

The Writers’ Union of Canada is the national organization of professionally published writers. Now over 2,100 members strong, the Union was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers.

Because a lively and diverse literary culture is essential in defining Canada and its people, the Union supports its members and advocates on their behalf for the advancement of their common interests. In so doing we promote the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.

In addition to a number of donors whose names may not appear for privacy purposes, Writers’ Trust and The Writers' Union of Canada would like to thank the following individuals for their generous support of the Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund:

David Alexander

Amazon Canada

Sally Armstrong

At Bay Press

Richard Bachmann

Myra Bloom

Stephanie Bolster

Frances Boyle

Kate Braid

Catherine Bush

Theresa Carle-Sanders

Susan Carter

Kerry Clare

Andrew Cohen

Susan Crean

Michael Crummey

Annahid Dashtgard

Kit Dobson

Kelly Duran

Kate Edwards

Anne Fleming

Cynthia Flood

Charlie Foran

Bonnie Goldberg

Bret Goldin

Sonja Greckol

Robin Harlick

Sue Harper

Janet Hatcher

Janet Hatcher

Sandra Hoenle

Matthew Holmes

Amanda Hopkins

Rosamond Ivey

J&W Murphy Foundation

Marthe Jocelyn

Lynne Kutsukake

Susan Lightstone

Alison Loat

Deb Loughead

Jessica Magonet

Madison Maguire

Jerry McIntosh

Michael Melgaard

Christopher Moore

Cathy Ostlere

Pandemic University School of Writing

Brian Panhuyzen

Kim Pittaway

Marika Prokosh

Kardeisha Provo

Rowers Pub Reading Series

Zoe S.

Leslie Sanders

Gregory Santos

Ellen Schwartz

Robert Shipley

Maggie Siggins

Evan Sterling

Tanya Talaga

Edward Taylor

Jessica Taylor

Jan Thornhill

Toronto Book Club

Gillian Turnbull

Daniel Tysdale

Aritha van Herk

Robert Vink

Meg Walker

Gerda Wekerle

K.R. Wilson