Last week, we met with people who want to give us money. This was a very good meeting.
In all seriousness, the people in the literature department at Arts Council England came in to see us and are so keen to work with more publishers, especially children’s publishers, to find quality, engaging projects to fund.
My first thought was: how can we lock these two lovely people in our boardroom so that they don’t tell anyone else about this amazing opportunity. But that’s silly. Other publishers publish wonderful books (like TRASH and MIDNIGHT ZOO) and the most important thing is that people love reading.
Of course, the more people love reading, the more likely they are to need more books to read, and the more likely they are to eventually come across one of the wonderful books that we publish (like INSIGNIA and ANGEL DUST our first titles!).
So, if you are someone who is involved in the arts (a publisher, writer, librarian, bookseller) and you have an arts project that would be of benefit to the public, you can apply for grants at any time. Even digital projects can get funding, but it is very, very competitive.
For grants of less than £10,000, you get an answer in six weeks, and for grants of more than £10,000 it takes twelve weeks.
They like to fund poetry and books in translation. They like projects that involve secondary school children and that have a lasting effect. They’ve got all kinds of case studies and are really committed to supporting quality projects. At the moment, Hot Key Books is taking part in an Arts Council funded project called Digital Skills Sharing set up by The Reading Agency where publishers and librarians come together to share knowledge. (Go Notts!)
Arts Council have a thorough but well-explained application system, and there is loads of help online about how to fill it in. It has taken me about four evenings to compile everything as required, but I had done all the information gathering before that.
Keep your fingers crossed for our grant! Any big ideas you want to pitch for?