Top tips for applying for funding

Pupils at event with Catherine Rayner

With the new school year now well under way, you might be turning your mind to applying for one of our exciting author visit funds! Applications are now open for our Inspiring Classrooms Fund for primary schools, Creative Workshops Fund for secondary schools, Library Fund and Community Fund, so every type of organisation can get involved. Whether you’ve hosted an author many times before, or you’re completely new to the process, these tips will help you to plan and write your application.

Find inspiration from authors

If you’ve never had a visit from an author before, you might not be sure what is involved. To help give you an idea of what is possible, take a look at our Author Directory. From an interactive science workshop with Gill Arbuthnott to an illustration session with Kate Leiper, there’s a huge range of different events and workshops on offer. Have a browse to help you think outside the box before you start your application.

Link to a project

Author visits are a fantastic way to encourage reading for pleasure, create a buzz about stories and inspire your pupils in their own creative writing. However, your visit doesn’t need to be a one off event – you can make it part of a project you already have planned. At Renfrew High School, workshops with Magic Torch Comics became part of a bigger project involving history, art and community partners when pupils created their own graphic novel about Renfrew

Go digital

If an in-person visit from an author seems unlikely or difficult to plan at the moment, your young people don’t need to miss out. You can specify in your application that you would like a digital visit. Our experience of digital author visits in recent months has been very positive, with great feedback from the schools and authors involved. Connecting with your author online could give you the opportunity to include several year groups at once, or you could invite another organisation to link up virtually and share the experience with you.

Share your context

Include lots of information about your organisation and how this visit would impact you in your application, as this is really helpful for the judging panel. If your school is focused on improving family learning at the moment, or maybe your community group has a high number of reluctant readers, let us know! A few details can go a long way to help us get to know you and the young people you are working with.

Be specific – where you can

We don’t expect you to have every detail set in stone at the application stage, but any details you can provide will help in the judging process. If you are writing about how an author visit will inspire your pupils, think about how you could expand on this to help your application stand out. Will it inspire them in their creative writing? Will your choice of author inspire your more reluctant readers to pick up a book because of the topics they write about? Will an author be speaking about fantasy books and other worlds to help expand your pupils’ imaginations? Think about what the impact will be for the young people you work with and share it with us.

Have a go

If you’re thinking about applying, our final tip is to go for it! While we can’t fund every project, we would love to consider yours and help bring the inspiring power of an author visit to the children you work with. Our author funds have reached children in over 200 organisations across Scotland, and yours could be next! Submitting an application is quick and easy with our online forms, and if you have any questions, you can get in touch by email at inspiringclassrooms@scottishbooktrust.com.

The deadline for applications for all funds is Thursday 26 November 2020. Best of luck, everyone!

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