We can’t believe it’s November and time is running out to apply for one of our exciting funding opportunities! Applications are now open for our Inspiring Classrooms Fund for primary schools, Creative Workshop Fund for secondary schools, Library Fund and Community Fund, so every type of organisation can get involved. Whether you’re interested in hosting an author event or want some new resources for your class library, these tips will help you to plan and write your application.
If you’ve never held an author event before, you might not be sure what to include in your application. To help give you an idea of what is possible, take a look at our Author Directory which lists a range of practitioners and the types of workshops they can offer. From a workshop on human rights with Nadine Aisha Jassat to an illustration event with Tom Foster, there’s a huge variety of events to choose from. Have a browse and think about what the children and young people you work with would benefit from before you start your application.
Link to a project
Author events are a fantastic way to encourage reading for pleasure, create a buzz about stories and inspire keen and reluctant readers alike. However, your visit doesn’t need to be a one off event. Heriot Mini Book Bank hosted a virtual author visit with Alastair Chisholm who answered many fantastic children's questions about writing and being an author. The children loved meeting a ‘real-life’ author and were able to buy new resources for the community to enjoy too.
The children said “It was so exciting especially because we don’t get a lot of visitors to our school”, “I enjoyed the fact that the author was speaking just to us” and “I think maybe I might start to write a book." Following on from the event, they planned to host a nature illustration workshop to coincide with the opening of Heriot Community Garden. If you have an ongoing project, or an event coming up in your setting, you can link in the author visit and resources with that!
Hopefully this year you can host in-person events in your setting but if an external visit from an author still seems unlikely or difficult to plan, your young people don’t need to miss out - you can specify in your application that you would like a digital event. Our experience of digital author visits in recent months has been very positive, with great feedback from the schools and authors involved. Findochty Primary School used their funding to join virtual events with Ross Collins, poet Viv Gee and creator of Dekko Comics, Rossie Stone. 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 information about your school or group and the need you're trying to address will help in the judging process. If you are writing about how an author visit will inspire your particular class or group, 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 encourage more reluctant readers to pick up a book because of the topics they write about? Likewise, if you are struggling to promote reading for pleasure and want to provide more contemporary books for your reading area, talk about the impact this will have on the children and young people. Think about what a difference the funding will make for the young people you work with and make sure to share that 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 power of an author visit or new resources to the children you work with. Our funds have reached over 250 organisations across Scotland, and yours could be next!
Submitting an application is quick and easy with our online forms. If you have any questions or need some advice on your application, you can get in touch by email at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help.
The deadline for applications for all funds is Thursday 18 November 2021. Best of luck, everyone!