Writers Emergency Assistance Fund

About WEAF


Coronavirus-related WEAF funds are only available to those who cannot work because they are currently ill or caring for someone who is ill. Funds are not available to those who have lost work because publishers and/or clients are no longer assigning due of the pandemic. All other guidelines outlined below still apply. 

ASJA is receiving four times the number of WEAF applications as usual. Please review our guidelines carefully before applying. We want to help as many applicants as possible, and our WEAF review team is made up of professional freelance writers who are also struggling during this crisis. Please be cognizant of our staff and volunteer time by considering carefully whether or not your application meets our criteria. 

The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund helps established freelance writers who, because of illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work. A writer need not be a member of ASJA to qualify for a grant. However, applicants must establish a record of past professional freelance nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years, which means qualifications generally similar to those of ASJA members. WEAF does not award grants to beginning freelancers seeking funding for writing projects, nor does it fund works-in-progress of any kind.

Since 1982, WEAF has awarded more than 160 grants totaling approximately $400,000. Among the recipients have been writers of diverse backgrounds and interests, with an impressive list of honors and credentials among them. Each year, many such talented and deserving men and women appeal to WEAF, which is often their last hope for help.

WEAF was formerly the Llewellyn Miller Fund and is administered through the Charitable Trust of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, which has 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status. Contributions are fully tax-deductible, and can be made online or by check.

Donate to WEAF »

ASJA Charitable Trust Trustees

  • Milton C. Toby, ASJA President
  • Janine Latus, ASJA Vice President
  • Howard Baldwin, ASJA Treasurer

Grant Application

Who Is Eligible for a WEAF Grant?

Applicants need not be members of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), but must have credentials that would qualify them for ASJA membership. Please do not apply for the grant before you have read the following:

  • Five published articles from regional or national publications. Articles can be from either national or regional publications. Unpaid articles and clips written while on staff also count towards associate membership. Articles or posts on a personal blog cannot be used for membership.
  • One book published by a major publishing house. Self-published books will not be considered unless the applicant can demonstrate individual quality of the book via sales or reviews.

For more information on ASJA membership, please click here.

To be eligible for a grant, an established freelance writer's normal writing capacity must be severely diminished or non-existent as a result of illness, disability, a natural disaster (such as a fire or hurricane), or an extraordinary professional crisis (such as a lawsuit or having to care for a seriously ill spouse). According to current bylaws, no more than two WEAF grants can be given to any single candidate.

Writers who apply do not have to live in the United States but must submit books or articles written in English.

How To Apply

To apply for a WEAF grant, please follow the link below to continue to the online application. Please make sure that you meet the qualifications for ASJA membership before applying for a grant. 

*Please note that applications submitted via postal mail or email will not be accepted.* The review process for WEAF emergency grants takes approximately 2-4 weeks and is based on volunteer availability. Response times may fluctuate.

Click here to begin the online application

The following materials must accompany your application. If they are not included, your application cannot be processed until all the required information has been submitted.

Samples of your Published Nonfiction Work

An application should demonstrate a record of past professional nonfiction writing over a sustained period of years. The application should include the following:

  • Covers of books published by established publishers;
  • Copies of bylined, full-length magazine or newspaper articles, or other nonfiction writing done on a freelance basis for major or significant publications, including consumer or trade magazines and Internet sites;
  • A list of magazine and/or book credits;
  • Your bio or CV.

Financial Documentation

All of the following documents are required:

  • Schedule C and pages 1 and 2 of the 1040 from the income tax return filed for the most recent year in which you made a living as a professional freelance writer.
  • Schedule C and pages 1 and 2 of the 1040 from the most recent year in which your income was diminished by disability, illness, or crisis.
  • The most recent bank statement(s) from all of your bank accounts, showing the amounts on deposit.
  • A completed W-9 form (click here for blank form)
  • Copies of medical, household and other monthly bills to help the board understand your financial needs.

Medical and household documentation

  • Copies of medical, household and other monthly bills and any additional relevant records that can familiarize the WEAF board with your financial needs.
  • Professional and (where applicable) medical references to document your illness or disability.
  • If you are applying because of a natural disaster or an extraordinary professional crisis, include an explanation and describe how your ability to work has been affected.

Help for Writers In Financial Need

There are many other resources available for writers in financial need. Click here for some ideas.


WEAF is made possible by your generous, tax-deductible donations. You may donate using your credit card, a PayPal account, or by mailing a check.

Donate to WEAF »

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson