Let’s face it how much easier would your writing life be if you were able to secure a grant? Whether it be for attending a writing conference or festival or allowing you to engage the services of a mentor.

Perhaps you are looking to study your craft abroad.

One thing is for sure; if you are the lucky recipient of a grant it, will enrich your life and provide you with opportunities many dream of.

There are a variety of funding resources available through organisations and associations for authors and illustrators.

Depending on what stage of your career you are at will depend on which grant will best suit you.

Before you put pen to paper you need to ask yourself the following:

Why do you want a grant?

You will need to have a project in mind. Don’t waste the assessor’s time. Unless you can be specific and show, you have a clear direction your application won’t stand on its own.

Are you at the right stage of your career to apply?

Applying for a grant is not recommended to those just starting out. Assessors or judges will look for a history. You need to have earned credentials and experience within the industry. This does not mean already having numerous books published it can be as simple as winning a few competitions. Any organisation awarding you a grant will want to know you are serious. Having a history of achievement no matter how big, or small shows your commitment.

Have you done your research?

Make sure you have done your homework. Yes, it can be time consuming trying to find the right grant for you but in the long run it will be worth it. Research shows and also shows you have a clear direction of what you want to achieve. Ensure your budget figures are realistic. Remember you are not the only one applying for that grant your application needs to dazzle them. Letters of recommendation from respected professionals within your industry can help but are not essential.

Have you followed guidelines?

Just like submitting to publishers, submitting your grant application is just as important. You need to ensure you ALWAYS follow the guidelines to the letter. Any deviation could result in your application being thrown in the bin. Arghhh!


Be prepared to complete more paperwork when you secure that grant. The awarding organisation or association will want to know how the money was spent at the end of your grant period.

As I said, you need to ensure you are at the right place to apply for a grant. They are time-consuming and can be hair-pulingly frustrating but so worth it when you receive that call.

I was awarded a partial grant with SCBWI Australia in 2014 but have applied for many many others.

Interview with Zoe Rodriguez

We recently chatted with Zoe Rodriguez and asked her about the grants available from the Copyright Agency.

Zoe is a lawyer and has been with the Copyright Agency for over ten years. She manages the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and author member relations. Zoe regularly speaks at public events about the Fund and the benefits to successful applicants.

(Click on the question to reveal the answer)

  • 1.  How long has the Copyright Agency Limited grants program been running?

    A.  Since 1996.

  • 2.  How many rounds do you have each year?

    A.  2, sometimes 3 of the main Cultural Fund, and 4 rounds of the Creative Individuals Career Fund.

  • 3.  How long have you been co-ordinating the grants process for CAL?

    A.  Since August 2008.

  • 4.  Who can apply for a grant?

    A.  Organisations or individuals in the visual arts or publishing areas, or people running projects linked to them that are within the Cultural Fund guidelines published on the Copyright Agency website.

  • 5.  What are the types of different funds available to emerging authors?

    A.  The Creative Individuals Career Fund.

  • 6.  How many applications do you receive each round?

    A.  50 to 150.

  • 7.  How much does CAL allocate each year in grants?

    A.  1.5% of licensing revenue collected. In total that is $2 million dollars. $150,000 of that 1.5% is set aside for the four rounds of the Creative Individuals Career Fund. ($37,500 per round).

  • 9.  Does is help to include referral letters with your application?

    A.  Not hugely. More helpful are letters of invitation/ confirmation that people have been accepted into workshops/ residencies etc that are run competitively, or that they've been invited to attend such.

  • 10.  What are some of the common mistakes made by applicants?

    A.  Thinking we support general travel that people want to undertake to promote their works – we don’t – we support professional skills development, and sometimes travel is necessary, sometimes it’s not. With young authors and artists, if they tell us they just have to go to New York to develop their skills, they are very unlikely to get funding as there’ll be plenty of opportunities to learn in Australia at much reduced cost. In addition, to apply while a student and with no track record of publication or exhibition will almost always mean an applicant is not successful – our assessors need to see that applicants are asking for things from which they will truly benefit.

  • 11.  If you received two applicants almost identical in application what helps the board decide who is more deserving?

    A.  If they were identical other than the name of the applicant, and the activity covered were one that the Board wanted to support, but could only support one applicant, they would have an eye to things like geographic representation – the Board like to see the funds shared around, and if they had one application from a very over-represented state or territory (NSW, for instance) they would probably support a competing application from an under-represented state or territory (such as Tasmania). They might also look to whether the applicant were metropolitan or regional, creative area, or gender, or Indigeneity etc for similar reasons to find a rough justice of sharing funds around within the creative community.

  • 12.  Is a person’s history within the field they are applying for important? Eg. Is a published author/illustrator more likely to be selected over someone who has yet to be published?

    A.  Yes. You need to have some track record for our assessors to provide funding.

  • 13.  Do you get to see the results from a successful grant applicant’s nominated project?

    A.  Depends what the project is – but all recipients of funding need to send us acquittal reports – in which they document how they used the funding (in accordance with the application), and also what impact it has had. If it’s funding that’s supported a project with broad industry implication – then we’d expect the impact to be for more people. Sometimes for individuals they can tell us that they undertook a specific activity, but sometimes the impact of that funding cannot be told till years later – and we still like to hear from applicants after this time if they think our funding has assisted them.

  • 14.  Do you have any final tips for those applying for a grant through the Copyright Agency Limited?


    • Please use plain English – none of our Board or assessors enjoy wading through jargon-riddled applications. A good idea does not need to be dressed up in turgid writing – that’ll go against the application.
    • Don’t attach lengthy, glossy proposals/ publications – we say two pages max per attachment, and that’s what our Board will look at. Completing the application form within the set word limits should provide the information required for decision makers to look at applications.
    • Make sure your budget is exceptionally clear – once whoever is making funding decisions (Board members or external assessors) they will focus on this. Don’t pad out the budget – all of the people looking at applications have looked at many others and have a very good idea what things cost, and will reject an application which is ridiculously overblown.
    • Look at the guidelines we’ve published on our website – we’ve spent some time drafting them, and it’s very annoying to see applications where the person drafting the application has obviously not looked at them or looked at them closely enough. Similarly – don’t phone Copyright Agency for information about the Cultural Fund that you could find in the published guidelines – read them, and if things still don’t make sense – then call or email.


Reading Australia


  • 'Creative Kids Tales is an awesome resource you should totally check it out.' - raspratt.com

    R.A. Spratt
  • 'Thanks for having me on Creative Kids Tales. It's a great resource for emerging writers and illustrators and I hope it will have a long future.'

    Sally Rippin
  • 'Georgie and the team at Creative Kids Tales have a wonderful passion for children’s stories, and this site is a wonderful place to visit to find and share ideas!
    Well done guys!' - www.nick-falk.com

    Nick Falk
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a brilliant resource – for established writers and those just starting out. I wish it had been around when I was a new writer. There are lots of invaluable tips and great advice.
    Congratulations Georgie – it’s fabulous.' - jacquelineharvey.com.au

    Jacqueline Harvey
  • 'Emerging from one's chrysalis of anonymity into the prodigious world of creative children's writing and publishing is a daunting prospect. Georgie Donaghey's Creative Kids Tales is a superlative source of inspiration and information for the bourgeoning writer and illustrator. She has created an invaluable platform from which writers, both developing and established, can view, promote and share each other's work, and most importantly aspirations. A fun, friendly, and informative forum that everyone in the kids' lit industry can benefit from.' Keep it up Georgie! - dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au

    Dimity Powell
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a fabulous community of passionate, hardworking and committed writers. If you're looking for new and exciting talent that's dedicated to the children's book industry - look no further than CKT!'

    - www.waichim.com

    Wai Chim

  • 'The thing I like about the Creative Kids Tales website is that the authors come across as real people who face the same problems that beginning writers do and that there’s plenty of practical advice.' - www.duncanball.com.au

    Duncan Ball
  • 'Creative Kids Tales has inspired, encouraged and supported not only the published, but also us hopefuls still learning the ways of the publishing world. Thanks for providing not only an amazing site to scroll and learn through, but also providing friendship and a real sense of chasing our dreams.' - gardenbabyfaeries.webs.com

    Kelly McDonald
  • 'Creative Kids Tales provides such a valuable service. Writing can be a lonely business at times, and seeking publication can be daunting. So it is especially wonderful for writers to be able to access such a comprehensive site where information, experiences and the ups and downs of writing for kids can be shared.' Well done, Georgie! - www.suewhiting.com

    Sue Whiting
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is great. You can pick the brains of people who make stuff without having to stalk them or do anything illegal.' - www.aaronblabeybooks.com

    Aaron Blabey
  • 'Wow! Creative Kids Tales is a fantastic resource for writers, no matter what stage of their writing journey they are at. Congratulations, Georgie, on your attractive, easy-to-navigate website, your generosity to your fellow writers and your constantly evolving ideas. Thanks on behalf of all of us.' - wendyblaxland.com

    Wendy Blaxland
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a fantastic resource for aspiring writers that showcases emerging and published authors and illustrators and provides links to publishers' websites, helpful hints and competitions.'

    Rachel Keyes
  • 'Creative Kids Tales offers new writers the joy of publication on their journey of craft and creativity.'
    'It’s a warm and wonderful home.'

    Susanne Gervay
  • "What a wonderful website and wealth of resources. I wish I’d discovered it sooner - but I can still enjoy it now, and have added it to my list of resources for new writers."
    "Keep it up, Georgie!" - www.wendyorr.com

    Wendy Orr
  • 'Creative Kids tales is the perfect place to go for inspiration and to recharge the creative batteries.'

    - www.franelessac.com

    Frané Lessac

  • 'Creative Kids Tales is such a great website for navigating this industry – not just for authors and illustrators, but for parents and teachers and librarians and publishers and kids and storytellers of all sorts. It’s awesome!' - www.julesfaber.com

    Jules Faber
  • 'If there's anything emerging authors struggle with (beyond the dreaded writer's block), it's receiving recognition or even acknowledgment of their work – battling for a slice of that incredibly elusive publishing pie. Georgie Donaghey has created a priceless promotional and networking station that allows new authors to not only share their work, but gain the courage and nous to take their work to a whole new level. Creative Kids Tales is a valuable addition to Australia's burgeoning children's book market.' - www.taniamccartney.com

    Tania McCartney
  • 'I would have loved to have had access to creativekidstales.com.au when I was starting out! It's an invaluable source of information, inspiration and encouragement for both emerging (and fully-emerged!) writers.' - www.andygriffiths.com.au

    Andy Griffiths
  • 'It's about time that we had something like Creative Kids Tales. It's a treasure trove for information and news, plus it showcases talent from aspiring writers. It's a wonderful springboard for anyone who wants to dive into the Children books world!'
    Keep up the fabtastic work! - www.oliverwriter.com

    Oliver Phommavanh
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a great forum for people who spend most of their working time alone. It is interesting and inspiring to see and hear what other authors and illustrators have to say.' - www.maisyfun.com

    Lucy Cousins
  • 'CKT is informative, relevant, recent and fun! It’s an exceptional resource for anyone involved in children’s literature.'

    - www.timharrisbooks.com

    Tim Harris

  • 'Having been a publisher and an author and now proprietor of Pinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage, I am passionate about promoting children’s books. Creative Kids Tales is such a welcome part of this network and I salute them for their support and their inspiration to so many. On their seventh birthday I wish them many, many happy returns.'

    - www.pinerolo.com.au

    Margaret Hamilton

  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a lovely online meeting space brimming with support and ideas for writers.'

    - katrinagermein.com

    Katrina Germein

  • 'Creative Kids Tales deserves all its accolades. Thanks to its creator, the site provides brilliant support, inspiration and encouragement for anyone who loves creating children's books. I have no hesitation in passing on your link.'
    Well done, Georgie! - www.sherylgwyther.net

    Sheryl Gwyther
  • 'I love the grumpy cat videos, hahaha it's so grumpy ... oh, wait, wrong website. Ah yes, Creative Kids Tales. Brilliant! Getting published is an amazing, frustrating, brilliant, lonely, creative journey, and www.creativekidstales.com.au is awesome in that it helps both published and pre-published authors by providing support, inspiration, a community, and by allowing authors to learn from other authors, and who better is there to learn from .. .except maybe that grumpy cat, hahaha, hilarious.' - www.adam-wallace-books.com

    Adam Wallace
  • What a terrific, enthusiastic, informative and creative resource - of value and interest to so many people.
    I'm delighted to be a part of it.

    Ursula Dubosarsky
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a treasure trove of resources and insights, compiled with dedication and enthusiasm. A wonderful resource for anyone who is interested in picture books and children's literature.' - sarah-davis.org

    Sarah Davis
  • 'I’m thrilled to be Creative Kids Tales author of the month.' 'I hope in some small way by me taking part, I might help and inspire young authors and artists to follow their own artistic path.' 'The key I believe is to seek to enjoy what you do. Even though doing your best is a constant challenge I find it is a worthwhile one. So, get drawing and / or writing.' Good luck ! - www.leighhobbs.com.au

    Leigh Hobbs
  • 'Buckets of thanks to Georgie for creating Creative Kids Tales. There’s a wealth of wonderful information and resources for everyone interested in creating books for kids – and a warm sense of community.'

    Meredith Costain
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is a unique and valuable online resource for new and established authors. The site provides a wealth of information and insight into the children's writing world.' 'Thanks for all your support, Georgie, and keep up the good work.' - www.aleesahdarlison.com

    Aleesah Darlison
  • 'CKT is a great resource for both established and emerging authors. I like the way you're always coming up with new and exciting initiatives at your site. And I love reading the fascinating journeys and achievements of the writers you profile here.' - www.deescribe.com.au

    Dee White
  • 'What a great site! We all tend to work in isolation in our own little caves. It’s great to see all the other cave dwellers out there and realise we are not alone. What a great resource!'

    - brucewhatley.com

    Bruce Whatley

  • 'Once you find an easily-accessible, up-to-date and vibrant source of writing help and encouragement, you should value it and use it! Thanks to Creative Kids Tales, that’s all available, just with the tap of your finger: www.creativekidstales.com.au
    Well done, CKT team!' - janeenbrian.com

    Janeen Brian
  • 'This is a great website. Nowadays, when getting published is so hard and staying published not much easier, everyone needs all the help they can get. And here's Help with a capital H!' 'Go Georgie! Creative Kids Tales is an inspiration for all writers of children's and YA fiction.' - www.richardharland.net

    Richard Harland
  • Writing can be a lonely profession. By necessity, you need to work alone much of the time. But it is wonderful to have a website which eases that by connecting creators with each other and with a wealth of information and resources.
    Bravo! - sallymurphy.com.au

    Sally Murphy
  • 'Congratulations to Georgie Donaghey for her hard work and enthusiasm in setting up a site that has been sorely needed to promote current Australian children's writing. Not just for the established, but for up and coming, Creative Kids Tales showcases talent and provides information essential for anyone in the industry.' - www.enterprisingwords.com.au

    Dianne (Di) Bates
  • 'What a wonderful website Creative Kids Tales is, supporting and helping Australian authors in their quest through the dark thorny forest of the publishing world. Georgie should be congratulated for all her hard work and fearless leadership!' - www.kateforsyth.com.au

    Kate Forsyth
  • 'It's easy to feel alone when writing, and clueless about what happens next. Creative Kids Tales offers answers and community - invaluable resources.'

    - www.clairesaxby.com

    Claire Saxby

  • 'The long-distance marathon of writing, illustrating and publishing usually begins along a very foggy road, in the dark, shoeless. But wait! What's that light on the horizon? A glowing little cafe, full of a bunch other runners plotting out mud-maps on napkins and exchanging anecdotes, warning about ditches and praising short-cuts. Stop for a while, have a cup of tea, maybe even a shoe-fitting, then get yourself back on the road for the long slog to sunrise.' - www.shauntan.net

    Shaun Tan
  • 'I wish Creative Kids Tales had been around when I was first starting out! What a brilliant way to connect with other authors and find out about the lovely world of kids books.' 'Go Georgie! I think you're amazing.' - www.deborahabela.com

    Deborah Abela
  • "Whether just starting out or with many books under your belt, Creative Kids Tales is the perfect place to go for all things writerly. Sharing the inner world is a wonderful thing for solitary writers, and it's all there on Georgie's website.
    Happy reading!" - tashibooks.com

    Anna Fienberg
  • 'What a great asset you are to the children's book industry, Georgie.
    Long may Creative Kids Tales rule!'

    Paul Collins
  • 'Creative Kids Tales is ambitious, specific and professional - the Top Tips section alone is a must-read for every aspiring children's writer.' - jackheath.com.au

    Jack Heath
  • Creative Kids Tales offers a brilliant platform for established and emerging creators to keep in touch and learn from each other. That is a great thing for this most isolated of all professions (apart from On-site Antarctic Penguin Imitators). - www.terrydenton.com

    Terry Denton
  • 'The Creative Kids Tales site is great fun and full of information about authors and their books!' - www.isobellecarmody.net

    Isobelle Carmody
  • 'CKT is such a valuable site for anybody wanting to learn a bit more about making children’s books. When time travelling becomes possible, I’ll steal all the info from this site and deliver it to my younger, aspiring self.'

    - petercarnavas.com

    Peter Carnavas

  • 'This site is such a wonderful resource for writers and illustrators at every stage of the journey. I've learned more about some of my favourite people in children's literature here, but also had the joy of discovering whole new worlds of talent.' - annabranford.com

    Anna Branford
  • 'Thanks for being such a strong advocate for children’s literature, the power of stories, and reading.
    Keep fighting the good fight and call on me anytime.'

    Tristan Bancks
  • 'What can I say? Well if you have clicked this far and uncovered these words you KNOW that this (Creative Kids Tales) is a terrific resource full of ideas and connections.
    SO dig deeper and get connected!' - www.chrischeng.com

    Christopher Cheng
  • 'Creative Kids Tales would’ve been mighty handy to know about back when I was sitting about drawing and writing and having no idea what to do with any of it! Go explore and create knowing you have such an amazing resource at your back!'

    - www.heathmck.com

    Heath McKenzie

  • 'Wow! What a wonderful resource.
    Congrats to everyone involved with Creative Kids Tales.'

    George Ivanoff
  • 'If a website can be described as 'homely' or 'a friendly place for emerging writers to visit' then that's how I would describe Creative Kids Tales. It's probably the only Australian website for children's writers that I visit regularly and actually feel part of. When I need motivation, interesting writers to read about, or just a peek at my own 'baby steps' towards being a published writer, I visit the Creative Kids Tales family.' A big thank you to Georgie and Rod for a great website. - www.patsimmonswriter.com.au

    (Pat) Patricia Simmons
  • 'The details available on this site, for emerging writers (or those emerged) is incredibly helpful. From creating stories- plotting, dialogue and character building- to the support writers can seek for their work, be it mentoring or seeking a publisher, it’s all there. An excellent easy-to-access writers’ site!'

    - libbyhathorn.com

    Libby Hathorn

  • 'I stumbled on to Creative Kids Tales by accident. I thought it was kid's tails. I'd been doing some research about goats and how their tails were actually a fifth leg, a very long time ago. Or did I just dream that? In any case, I was bitterly disappointed at first to find not tails, but tales. However, while I was at the site I had a wander around, and soon discovered that it was even better than a goat's site - no kidding! This is a brilliant haven for writers, new and not so new; a place to showcase their work and to learn from others.' Well done, Georgie. You've done a fantastic job. - www.enterprisingwords.com.au

    Bill Condon
  • 'Georgie Donaghey’s Creative Kids Tales is deservedly going gangbusters! What a wonderful forum and multi-storeyed resource for shiny new authors, legends of the industry and every writer in between!'

    DC Green
  • 'CKT is like the friendly and helpful colleague I could have done with when I started out. Back then I didn’t know anyone who was a writer or illustrator of books.'

    - www.tohby.com

    Tohby Riddle

  • 'Creative Kids Tales will jump-start adults seeking to become writers!' - www.wimpykid.com

    Jeff Kinney
  • 'Creative Kids Tales contributes a wonderful sense of community to the Australian kids’ book scene, from sharing insightful interviews, to writing competitions and now a conference. It’s a great organisation to follow online and be a part of!'

    - www.onemorepagepodcast.com

    One More Page podcast

  • 'Everything you need is here, on Creative Kids Tales! Oh, how wonderful this would have been for the young Emma Quay, knowing she loved children’s picture books but not knowing a soul in the industry. Down to earth, comprehensive, friendly, realistic and encouraging advice — this is an invaluable resource. Bravo!' - www.emmaquay.com

    Emma Quay
  • 'Congratulations on a brilliant site, and a superb first year!'.
    Jackie French is Australian Children's Laureate for 2014 – 2015

    Jackie French