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About the Grant 

When a writer faces an unexpected financial crisis their ability to finish a book is at serious risk. Unless help arrives. 

The Woodcock Fund is a special kind of grant that provides quick-access emergency assistance to those facing sudden circumstances that restrict their ability to write. The Fund supports professional writers confronting illness or injury (either to themselves or a family member), job loss, dental emergency, spousal separation, or other unforeseen situations that trigger a financial crisis and imperil the completion of their manuscript.

The Woodcock Fund is a lifeline for Canadian writers. It is the only program of its kind available and is often the last place authors can turn for help. 

Established in 1989 by George and Ingeborg Woodcock, the program has distributed more than $1.3 million dollars and supported more than 250 Canadian writers, a number of them prominent in their respective fields.

Despite George's successful writing career, the Woodcocks were well aware of the difficulties faced by those who have chosen to devote their lives to literature.

Not only is writing a solitary profession with no health benefits or pension plans, not only is little or no income generated during the long pre-publication period when a book is being born, there is no guarantee that even when a book is published it will generate enough income to provide a decent standard of living. 

A number of factors contribute to a book’s financial success (quality being only one of them) and almost all of these factors are impossible to control.

COVID-19 Update

The Woodcock Fund was not created with the capacity to respond to the current public health crisis. We ask that writers approaching the Woodcock Fund who have as the source of their emergency the financial fallout from COVID-19, apply to the Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund

The Woodcock Fund will continue to operate but will be restricted to taking on applications that have as their primary cause unforeseen emergencies that are not COVID-19 related. 

Please contact the program director should you need guidance on which fund to apply to. 

About George Woodcock

George Woodcock was British Columbia's most prodigious man of letters.

He lived in the province as “a man of letters” from 1959 to 1995 with his wife Ingeborg, while writing and editing approximately 150 books. Here Woodcock edited Canadian Literature, the first publication entirely devoted to Canadian books. A friend and biographer of George Orwell, and a friend to the Dalai Lama, Woodcock became the first author to receive the Freedom of the City honour from Vancouver City Council. Beyond supporting the Woodcock Fund, he and his wife raised funds for two charities they founded, Tibetan Refugee Aid Society and Canada India Village Aid. After their deaths, the Woodcock’s gave a bequest of almost $2.3 million to the Writers’ Trust to support writers in distress.