Edinburgh City of Literature Trust launch new Community Fund

Alice Carr
Comms Officer
Edinburgh City of Literature Trust

22 July 2022

Get support and funding for reading and writing projects in your community

The Edinburgh City of Literature Community Fund is for small groups and community organisations who need our time, support and grants of up to £500 to help them run reading and writing projects which will boost their local community. It’s important to us to create a vibrant literary community in Edinburgh.

What Can I Apply For?

The Community Fund will support projects which are well defined, budgeted, and will make a real difference to your community. Your project must be related to books, words or stories. We will prioritise supporting ideas which seem achievable and are led by motivated groups and collectives.

We would especially love to hear from you if your project is related to minority languages, and getting more people involved in reading and writing. We’re keen to support ideas which benefit minority communities, including BAME communities, people with disabilities, faith communities, older people, and LGBTQ+ people.

For example, if you run a non-anglophone book group and want to order books, you could apply to the Community Fund for help sourcing the books.

If you’re a school librarian and you’d like to buy a set of graphic novels your students have requested, you can apply for funding to help with that.

If you would like the Edinburgh Tool Library to build a Little Free Library for your street, park or community garden, we could help you with that project.

At Edinburgh City of Literature we hope to build relationships with you and your group over the long term, and look forward to developing close working relationships through the fund.

Things We Have Funded

The first round of the Community Fund supported two projects: the Edinburgh Zine Library received funding to diversify their collections, and Craigmillar Literacy Trust will be using the award to gift books to babies in their community.

Kara Whelan, Project Manager at Craigmillar Literacy Trust, said:

We are delighted to be supported by the City of Literature Community Fund. The grant will support the next step in our Myra Robertson Book of the Year activity. Every 1-year-old baby in our community will be gifted a book-bag containing a book carefully selected by families in our project. We are very grateful to City of Literature for this support!

Co-founder of the Edinburgh Zine Library Lea Cooper said:

The Community Fund will enable us to purchase new zines for our zine library, allowing us to better represent and serve the diverse communities around us. As well as benefitting people using the zine library, buying these zines will also allow us to support zine makers and zine making!

We're thrilled to be working with these two groups on their amazing projects.

Things We Can’t Fund

We won’t fund projects which only benefit individuals, such as self-publishing a book or creating an author website. We won’t support commercial activity, such as selling books or author tours.

How Do I Apply?

To apply for the Communities Fund, please fill in the six questions in this short application form.

Applications will first be assessed by the City of Literature team to make sure they meet the criteria for the fund. All applications which do meet the criteria will then be assessed by an independent panel. We’ll let you know via email about the outcome of your application.

Applications will be open each quarter, with £1000 in funding available in each round to be awarded to 2-3 groups in amounts of up to £500. Any funding awarded must be spent by the end of the financial year, March 2023.

The Community Fund is currently open for applications! Submit your project by 9am on Monday 24th October to be considered for this round of funding.

If you have any questions about the fund and whether your project is eligible, you can email edinburgh@cityofliterature.com. There will also be an online open meeting where you can put any questions you have to City of Literature staff on Friday 14th October from 3-5pm. Get in touch at edinburgh@cityofliterature.com to join the webinar.

The City of Literature Trust gratefully acknowledge and thank the City of Edinburgh Council for supporting this fund.

All awards will be made at the discretion of the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and all decisions are final.