Asking for Money - Government Style

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When my dayjob contract ended in December, I knew I would need to make some moves in January. Despite the worlds I create, the real world requires me to do adulting things, like paying bills and saving for the future, and all that nonsense.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to work. There’s nothing more satisfying than putting in a day’s efforts and seeing that bank balance go up every couple of weeks. Especially with predictable amounts on predictable days. Because all of that predictability? Pretty much non-existent in the art world.

One of the reasons I wake up every morning and ask myself why on earth this was the direction I wanted my life to take.

Then my characters whack me over the head with some wonderful and vivid new idea, and off I go back to it.

So, fine, if my heart and soul refuse to let me change my passion to something with a little more stability, then that leaves me with only a few options:

1) Hustling (#buymybooks)

2) Crowdfunding/Patreon, asking readers to lend their support to help me play with new strategies and media

3) Freelancing, say in a field such as proofreading, to build up a side-business that gives me the time and flexibility to focus on my true passion

and

3) Heading on over to my government and asking for their support.

So, today, that’s what I did.

I spent a good chunk of time last year looking into grants my country might give to self-published genre fiction authors such as myself.

I started (and really need to update) a blog about my discoveries last year that the Canada Council of the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council did not recognize self-published authors as “professionals,” and therefore as not eligible to apply for grants.

I exchanged quite a few emails with both groups to determine that is, considering the force Canadian independent authors are becoming in terms of both number and earnings.

Just as I was gearing up again this year to go to bat, I discovered some of their policies have changed. While the Canada-wide grants still exclude self-published authors if that is our only means of publication, the Ontario grants have opened their doors as long as other criteria are met.

This is huge, and I’m incredibly happy to see the tides changing. The industry has evolved, and though the image of “self-published” has a lingering stigma attached to it, it’s fading, and recognition from a body like the Ontario Arts Council supports that.

Alas, I missed the deadline for OAC, so I’ll be trying for that one later this year.

What I also learned, thanks to a connection of my husband, was that the City of Ottawa itself as an arts funding program. 27 years I’ve lived in this city and never knew it.

So I took three weeks to work on my application, and today I braved the -35*C weather (with windchill, but still. It’s cold) and the snowdrift-caked roads, and delivered it.

Now the waiting game begins, but I’m incredibly proud of myself for sitting down and getting the application done. It’s normally the sort of task that, for me, most embodies Douglas Adams’ philosophy: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

So, keep your fingers crossed for me! Approval on this grant could mean a 2019 Krista Walsh publication after all!

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