It's that time of year again. Canada Council Grant submissions are due on October 1, which means writers have only one more month to get their proposals in order. I've been working on my proposal -- in fits and starts -- for awhile now.
I applied for a CGG the first time last year, and I was turned down. Which did not come as a surprise. On average, one in six applicants receive a grant. So I knew going into it that it was a steep, uphill climb.
The letter advising me that I didn't receive a grant provided no reasons, so I had no idea if it was due to the strength of the work or the strength of the proposal. That makes it hard to work on improving my submission. What I didn't know is that I could contact the Program Officer to discuss my application. I found this out by trolling the Internet looking for help on how to strengthen my proposal this year. Obviously, my next step is to give them a call and see if they can share some of the committee's feedback with me.
I picked up another tip from the Net, this time in a document for visual artists from the London Art Network. I've had a hard time understanding how to fill out the portion on the description of my project. Do they want a plot summary of the novel? Do they want to know what the book is about?
Again, this excerpt from the London Art Network is for visual artists, but it has given me some insight into what I should include in this two-page description:
How do I describe my "program of work"?
Describe what you want to do. Present your plan in such a way that someone who has never heard of you can understand your vision. Outline how you intend to organize your time to carry out the project. State what you will accomplish with the grant.
Present your plan clearly and succinctly, allowing the peer assessment committee to grasp the nature, intention and relevance of your project in relation to your artistic approach.
If, like me, you are working on your grant proposal, I hope these two tips come in handy. Best of luck!!