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Friday, August 24, 2012

SCBWI Grants. Apply. Apply. Apply.


Dave Amaditz

How many of you have applied, or have ever thought about applying for a grant? Or should I say, how many of you have decided not to apply for a grant because you thought the chances of being selected were so slim it wasn't worth your time?

I suspect most of you would fall in the latter category. I say that, because I, too, have often had that thought cross my mind. If you’re a regular follower of our blog you may have noticed a post from July 27, 2012 titled,  Winner - SCBWI Work-in-Progress Grant For a Contemporary Novel  - Dirty Secrets, YA- Persistence Pays:. If not, follow the link and check it out. http://rt19writers.blogspot.com/2012/07/2012-winner-scbwi-work-in-progress.html

I am the beneficiary of the SCBWI grant, and to say the least, I'm glad I applied.

However, life almost made it so it didn't happen.

I was busy with rewriting my story, work, family, and other things that make the hours and days pass too quickly. The deadline to apply for the grant was March 15, 2012. In late February or early March, while perusing the SCBWI website, I came across the link announcing the grants available to all members. Should I give it a try, I thought? Not much time left. Would I be able to pull it together... especially something that had a legitimate chance?

After carefully reading all the requirements, I decided it might be worth my while to apply.

The application consisted of three major parts: the writing sample, in which I had to include a synopsis of my work, a biography, and planned use of grant money. I thought I had a pretty good start on things because both my writing sample and synopsis were polished. (At least I'd hoped they were polished, and if they weren't, this was the chance to see what others outside my writing circle thought.) The second and third parts required a bit of work... only five or six or seven drafts or more compared to the thirty or so I'd put into my writing sample. In the end, I thought, even if I didn't win, the process would be great preparation for when I finally decided to send to an editor or agent.

To me, the exercise was worthwhile, and not only because I was awarded the grant. Win or lose, it would have given me a chance to see where I stacked among my peers. (Lose; back to the drawing board. Win; bask in a bit of glory.) On top of that, the whole process let me focus on my writing by putting together a professional package worthy of publication.

I highly recommend everyone who is an SCBWI member look into the grants available (there are many at the following link)  http://www.scbwi.org/  For those of you not members, I recommend you look into joining, because the grant process is but one small benefit of being a member.

Better late than never. What could it hurt?

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