Friday, 13 March 2015

Writers Aloud - The Royal Literary Fund

Any desk or table will do -
but is paper and pens really all you need to get started?
Writers' stories are often a help to other writers. They at least demonstrate that other writers have it hard. 

Writing is often the last thing in a person's priorities, as I can tell from the reasons my writing students give me when they ask for extensions to their assignments. First will come their own health, and after that the raft of other pressures on their time; overload from work, problems with children, caring for relatives, and money worries. 

Writing shouldn't cost you much, you'd think – the price of paper and ink. But writers need time, and space, and the equipment to present their work well.

I have just happened upon the website of The Royal Literary Fund for the first time. This is a UK charity that has been helping authors since the 18th century. It provides grants and pensions to writers in financial difficulty; it also places writers in universities to help students develop their writing.  

I discovered its podcast pages, which are full of interest to writers.

Writers Aloud, I enjoyed listening to other writers tell their stories; Max Adams’ podcast rang particular bells for me as I’ve always believed walking and writing go hand in hand, and famous writers, from Dickens to Byatt, walked themselves into their stories, which is what I do now.

is full of video features in which writers talk about their work.

Vox is a series of bite-size audio recordings in which RLF Fellows explore topics such as why they write.

is a weekly series of articles where writers write about their craft. 

The RLF came into being in 1790 when the founder, the Rev David Williams, was moved by the death of an elderly writer in a debtors’ prison. Although that plight would not befall most authors today, they can still need some financial support if they are to pursue their writing and eat as well. All of the fund's money has come from donations and legacies, and goes towards helping writers in professional difficulties where setbacks have resulted in loss of income, as well as providing pensions for older writers who have seen their earnings decrease. 
Nina Milton at work in her writing space
The Royal Literary Fund is right to be proud of its heritage, but their website proves they are also well up to date and relevant to writers today.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post, Nina, as, like you, I'm a writer who never heard of this trust.
    Lee Fielding, subscriber