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 professional 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.
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ASJA Charitable Trust Trustees
- Sherry Beck Paprocki, ASJA President
- Milt Toby, ASJA Vice President
- Howard Baldwin, ASJA Treasurer
The WEAF Board is currently being reorganized. For further information contact ASJA headquarters.
Who Is Eligible for a WEAF Grant?
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.
Applicants need not be members of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), but must have credentials that would qualify them for ASJA professional membership, click here.
Writers who apply do not have to live in the United States but must submit books or articles written in English.
How To Apply
The grant application can be downloaded from here in Word or PDF
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.
NOTE TO HURRICANE VICTIMS: We know it may be difficult for you to submit ALL of the paperwork typically necessary to be considered for a WEAF grant. Please submit what you can with a detailed cover note. If we have questions, please make sure there’s a way to contact you via phone and email. Because of high demand, initial grants are being made in the amount of $2000 to those who qualify. If hardships continue for the grant recipient, he or she can reapply at a later date for additional funds.
Applications are thoroughly reviewed by our volunteer board. Please allow at least 10 working days for a decision. Your application is expedited by ASJA staff. Please do not contact any member of the ASJA Charitable Trust Trustees. Thank you.
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.
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.
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