WEAF Resources


Please contact these organizations directly, as they are not affiliated with ASJA.
Financial assistance available and guidelines for eligibility vary, see individual programs for details. Assistance is often on an emergency basis and for living/medical expenses related to an immediate crisis, not for funding a new project. Writer-specific programs usually require demonstrated professional writing experience. Regional assistance usually requires residence/work in that area.

Financial and health insurance help specific to writers nationwide

Financial and health insurance help generally available to the public

Financial help and health insurance specific to writers nationwide

American Poets Fund - Emergency Funds
The Academy of American Poets
The fund assists poets of demonstrated ability who are in a state of urgent financial need. Grants cannot be used to promote or otherwise enhance literary talent or reputation, and applications are not accepted. Academy Chancellors, Fellows, and prize winners must bring the circumstances of qualifying poets to the attention of the American Poets Fund committee by sending a letter of nomination, including specifics about the nominee's current financial situation, to the Executive Director of the Academy.

Author's Guild
Health insurance through several providers available to members. Eligibility is restricted to published or contracted writers and well established literary agents. There are different levels of membership depending on applicant's credentials.

Author's League Fund
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 Fund gives open-ended, interest-free, no-strings-attached loans.

Carnegie Fund for Authors
Carnegie Fund for Authors, PO Box 409, Lenox Hill Station, New York, NY 10021
No website.
Emergency assistance to writers in financial need who have commercially published at least one book of reasonable length which has received reader acceptance. Mail to: Carnegie Fund for Authors, 1 Old Country Rd., Carle Place, NY 11514. No website.

Freelancer's Union
Health insurance plans available to members. Membership is free and open to the general public.

The Haven Foundation
Provides grants to freelance writers and artists experiencing career-threatening illness, accident, natural disaster or other emergency or personal catastrophe.

Hellman/Hammett Grants
Hellman-Hammett Grants: Assist Persecuted Writers
(212) 290-4700
Human Rights Watch administers the Hellman/Hammett grant program for writers who have been victims of political persecution or are in financial need. In addition to providing much needed financial assistance, the Hellman/Hammett grants focus attention on repression of free speech and censorship by publicizing the persecution that the grant recipients endured.

National Writer's Union
Health, Dental and vision plans available to applicants who have been members of the NWU for over ninety days. Must meet membership requirements.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Emergency Medical and Legal Fund
Medical fund offers interest-free loans to members facing unexpected medical expenses. Also makes loans available to authors who must take a writing-related dispute to court. Active SFWA members are eligible to request assistance from the Fund.

Writer's Guild of America
Health insurance available for members. To become a member, applicants must meet extensive eligibility requirements found on the website.

Financial and health insurance help generally available to the public

Those seeking immediate, non-financial emergency aid may find the following websites helpful. They have resources for those who are uninsured, need housing assistance, or are without sufficient financial means. Legal, medical, housing, and general living services are all available, in most cases, for free. All organizations should be contacted directly as they are not affiliated with ASJA.

American Association of Retired People Health Care Options
Offers healthcare packages for AARP members depending on age. Membership is limited to persons over the age of fifty. Costs of plans vary depending on applicant's state of residency.

American Red Cross
Contact local branch to find out the availability of health/medical, youth, and food pantry and hot lunch programs, senior services, Lifeline emergency response services, transportation to hospitals, school clubs and community learning programs, as well as homeless shelters and transitional housing services among others. Different branches have different programs and services available depending on community needs.

Bureau of Primary Health Care
Information about health centers around the country that offer care regardless of ability to pay or lack of insurance. Centers are catered to the needs of general communities, migrants, the homeless, or public housing. They provide primary care including, but not limited to, laboratory tests, X-rays, immunizations, treatment by obstetricians or gynecologists, and emergency and after-hours care. Patients also have access to support services such as preventive health education, transportation, translation/interpretation, and assistance programs like Woman Infant, Children Services and Food Stamps. In some cases centers provide dental, mental health and substance abuse care.

Salvation Army
Branches across the country and world provide family and youth counseling, daycare, senior citizen centers, Brown Bag Programs, adult rehabilitation programs, youth community and learning programs, resources for families affected by HIV/AIDS, access to low-income housing and emergency financial assistance among other things. Get in touch with your local branch with specific questions and needs.

  • 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