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Living Crisis: Help For Writers

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Are you a UK Screenwriter in need of help?

There's no doubt about it, the UK Living Crisis is affecting far and wide. With ever increasing inflation, bills are through the roof and we're, quite literally, headed for winter.


Many Brits are feeling the pinch of today's climate but for those in the Film/TV industry, it's feeling more like a chokehold.


If you're a UK Screenwriter or Filmmaker who is struggling at the minute, please know that you are not alone and there are resources in the UK that can help.


Below are just some of the resources that can hopefully help if you're finding it hard to make ends meet.


CHARITY


FILM + TV CHARITY https://filmtvcharity.org.uk


The Film and TV Charity offer grants and help for those in need. They are a wonderful charity who understand the strains of those in the industry. Get in touch and see how they can help.


In their own words:

"The Film and TV Charity was founded as a benevolent fund that cared for its own, and over the past almost 100 years, has helped people overcome a spectrum of personal and professional challenges."



THE AUTHORS' CONTINGENCY FUND https://www2.societyofauthors.org


The Authors' Contingency Fund offers grants to a wide range of writers, including of course, Screenwriters. They offer hardship grants to writers in financial need. They can help with the following:

  • Make up lost income if you find yourself unable to work

  • Help cover a shortfall if a project falls through

  • Ease the impact on your writing career of illness or a domestic situation

  • Pay for a training course when you don’t have the funds

  • Help with one-off expenses, such as the cost of a new boiler or if your computer is on its last legs.


"It helps writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others, whose author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income. Grants range in value and are designed to meet immediate need."



GOVERNMENT


If you're not already receiving government support it's worth checking if you're entitled to help. The cost-of-living crisis is affecting a lot a people and asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.


BENEFITS


DHP


ADVICE


If you're unsure of where to start when it comes to Benefits, you can always seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau first or check a Benefits Calculator.


CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU


BENEFITS CALCULATOR


FUNDING


BFI


The British Film Institute offers funding for projects rather than grants and is not an 'easy fix' for funding. Applying often comes with the caveat of lengthy application forms. HOWEVER, if you have the mental bandwidth to apply, we really recommend you do. The funding will naturally help if you're successful but it will also help further your career and offer support.



Arts Council England will only be applicable for multi-format writers as unfortunately, they don't support film or cinema. However, if you consider yourself to be a hybrid artist who works in visual arts or writes for theatre, you could be eligible.


In their own words:

"We can support activities within the following disciplines: Dance, Literature, Music, Museums, Theatre, Libraries, Visual Arts & Combined Arts. We cannot support activities where the main discipline is fashion, film (such as cinema, as opposed to an artist using film or video to make or share their work), commercial graphic design or videogame design."


COMPETITIONS


Entering Screenwriting Competitions can be bit of a lottery and most entries carry a fee, so this might not be for you right now - especially if you're struggling to choose between 'heat or eat'. However, we felt that it was worth mentioning.


If you are sitting on a brilliant script (verified by script coverage or industry pros) you could win money through competitions. Script Competitions can offer industry ins and networking opportunities as well as cash prizes, so they're worth knowing about: Script Stable 2023 Article on Competitions.


ASK FOR HELP


Your Mental Health is important. Struggling with finances in today's climate can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing. If you or anyone you know is in urgent need of help, here are some UK Helplines:



The wonderful Charity Mind has a great list of even more helplines:

 

There will be more opportunities out there, so keep looking and knocking on doors. We are wishing so much strength and endurance to everyone who is struggling right now.


Lean on and support each other. Join support groups or writers forums and make connections. Other screenwriters/filmmakers will also be able to offer insight and suggestions to help; a sense of camaraderie is great for wellbeing. You are not alone in this bleak chapter and remember that chapters end, if you keep on going.


With shared solace,

Script Stable

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