FAQ - National Public Readings

Can I get an author to read at my venue?

The Writers' Union of Canada offers funding to hosts for authors to read in public venues across Canada. To be eligible for funding, authors must be members of The Writers' Union of Canada. To verify if an author is a member of the Union, please contact the Office Administrator at info@writersunion.ca.

What does it cost to apply for a subsidy?

Payment for an administrative fee ($35.00 + HST for a half-reading, $70.00 + HST for a full reading) must be included with your application. Your payment will only be processed if your application is approved.

How much is the subsidy?

A half-reading subsidy pays the author directly $125 for a half reading and $250 for a full reading. Additionally, the Union will reimburse the author receipted Canadian travel expenses up to $150 for a half reading and up to $300 for a full reading.

As I host, do I have to pay any other costs besides the administrative fee?

The host is responsible for the author’s meals and accommodation, and additional travel exceeding that covered by the subsidy.

The author I want to read is on our organization’s board of directors. Is this OK?

No, authors, who sit on a board or executive committee of an organization that has applied for funding, for the period during which the host organization has applied for and received funding are not eligible for the subsidy. Also ineligible are authors who are coordinators, directors or volunteers with the host organization that is applying, and authors who are the editors and professors responsible for the proposed readings.

I have an author in mind but not a date for the reading, or I know the date but still have to find an author. Can I apply and hold a place?

No, this program cannot fund a reading without both the author and date of the reading being previously set.

What sort of events or groups are eligible to host a reading?

To qualify for funding, the reading(s) needs to take placed in a publicly accessible venue (a library, book store, festival location, etc.) and must be advertised to the general public. It cannot take place at a conference, during a workshop, at a roundtable discussion or fundraising event, nor as part of a book prize.

Our reading is already receiving some funding from the Canada Council. Can I still apply?

This program cannot fund readings for which honoraria and travel costs are funded by another Canada Council program or through a national organization funded by the Canada Council.

How many author visits can I apply for a subsidy for?

For the National Public Readings Program each host can apply for two full subsidies or four half subsidies (or any combination thereof) per funding period.

When does the funding period start and finish?

Each year, the funding period starts April 1 and ends March 31. Funding is split into Spring Sessions (April 1 - Aug. 31) and Fall Sessions (Sept. 1 - March 31).

What is the deadline for submitting an application?

There is no deadline. It is a first-come, first-served program. However, applications must be received at least 4 weeks in advance of reading date.

When should I submit an application?

Applications are accepted starting on December 1 for readings taking place from April to August. Applications are accepted starting on May 1 for readings taking place from September to March.

Can I change the date of the reading?

Yes, the date may be changed if the Office Administrator is informed in advance. However, it must take place by March 31 of the same year, otherwise the funding will be lost.

My author has had to cancel. Can I substitute with another author?

If you have another author in mind for the same date you may be able to substitute, but please check with the Office Administrator before doing this. As authors also have a maximum number of subsidized readings, you need to ensure your desired substitute is eligible. A new application form will need to be submitted.

I’ve had to cancel my reading. Can I get a refund?

No, the administrative fee is non-refundable.

Can I invite an author even without a subsidy or if my subsidy is not approved?

You can make arrangements directly with the author but you will be responsible for all the fees associated with the visit. Authors’ reading fees are stored in members’ pages.