Since 1917, the Authors League Fund has been helping professional writers and dramatists who find themselves in financial need because of medical or health-related problems, temporary loss of income or other misfortune.
The Authors League Fund—recently featured in the New York Times—gives open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans. These loans are not grants or scholarships meant to subsidize personal writing projects. (It should be kept in mind that many of the Fund’s resources come from other professional writers, agents, and publishers.)
Most of those we help suffer severe health problems but have inadequate or no insurance; some face eviction; many are older writers whose income has ceased through no fault of their own. The Fund exists to help professional writers continue their careers, even their lives, with dignity—however unfortunate their immediate circumstances—by providing interest-free loans, many of which are never repaid.
The applicants’ own words are the most eloquent description of the need and gratitude felt for our Fund:
Within moments of opening your letter, I was overcome by a wave of emotion. It sprang from the sudden realization that after thirty-five years, I had at last been certified as a member of the great and extended community of writers—of all writers, east, west, north, and south. It floored me.
Choosing to pursue writing in a world that is not always accepting of the choice…well, there are tough moments. Having someone out there help me because I’m a writer, that kindness reminds me why I wake up in the morning and keep at it. I really needed that kindness right now, as much as the money itself.
I thank the Authors League Fund for the loan to buy a hearing instrument. I’m wearing it and it has turned my life around. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but not by far.
Authors are always in supplication to someone: first to agents, then publishers, then reviewers, then, finally, to readers. So it’s wonderful to see the Fund understanding the needs of its own kind and making prompt, unquestioning judgments.
I struggle to explain what your help represents: not only the means to pay my bills, but something much more important—the idea that someone out there—my peers—has faith in my talents. Given that, how can I fail?
For the first time I can sleep through the night without extraordinary anxiety and fear. My landlord will be forced to vacate his court order, and I will not have to go to court and be vulnerable to having my home seized. I can now address my medical issues and concentrate on getting better and stronger.
It’s amazing how relatively small things (car repair, new glasses, even groceries at this point) loom so large when you have no money and are already depressed and feeling hopeless. Now, I’m not only relieved financially, but also have this feeling of warmth and validation/recognition. I feel a surge of hope and confidence.
I want to thank you so very much for your loan to cover my dental needs. I never believed in the tooth fairy before, but I think I’ll reconsider.
We encourage you to share information about the Fund with other career writers in need of assistance.
Application Form (35.5KB)
Download the application with Microsoft Word.
Application Form (75.3KB)
Download the application as a PDF.
Resource List (372.6KB)
Our resource list has been updated and expanded to include information about the new healthcare marketplace. We also recommend reading "A Guide to the New Exchanges for Health Insurance," New York Times, September 27, 2013.