14 Literary Scholarships for Writers in India

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Team Keemiya curates a list of literary scholarships and fellowships for writers to apply for while working on a book.

Writing a book is not easy. It involves endless research, planning, and strategizing. Not to mention the number of hours spent sitting on the chair, typing away to glory hoping that at least some of these words make sense to someone out there. Added to it, time is a huge constraint.

You write a book in a short time and the fear of compromising on the quality haunts you. You take a bit too longer, and the fear of the idea being outdated overwhelms you. What does a writer do?

Writing as a profession is not a dependable choice to make. How do you spare time from your daily routine to write, which may or may not culminate into a source of income for you? The answer is simple, look for grants and literary scholarships.

Yes! Getting your writing recognized is the desire every writer has. Winning accolades after your book is published is always a great idea, to begin with, but what if the idea itself could stand a chance to win an award? What if someone paid you for all the time you spent on researching and writing the mega-epic you have always wanted to do so.

In India, there are literary scholarships and grants offered by various organizations and institutes for writers who want to work on their epic novels or want to research for them. In this post, we will share a list of literary scholarships and fellowships that one can apply to while working on a book.

But before that, let’s explore why should an author consider applying for these literary scholarships or fellowships. Applying for a scholarship or fellowship can offer numerous advantages to authors, making it a valuable step in their writing journey.

Reasons why authors should seriously consider applying for literary scholarships or fellowships

Financial Support

Scholarships and fellowships often provide financial assistance, alleviating some of the financial burden associated with writing. This support can free authors from worrying about day-to-day expenses, allowing them to focus more on their writing projects.

Uninterrupted Focus

With financial support, authors can dedicate more time to their writing without the distractions of a day job or financial concerns. This concentrated focus can lead to higher-quality work and more productive writing sessions.

Access to Resources

Many scholarships and fellowships come with access to resources that can enrich the writing process, such as libraries, research materials, workshops, and mentorship programs.

Recognition and Prestige

Being awarded a scholarship or fellowship is a mark of recognition for an author’s talent and potential. It can add prestige to their portfolio and open doors to wider recognition within the literary community.

Networking Opportunities

Scholarships and fellowships often involve interactions with established authors, literary professionals, and peers. This networking can lead to valuable connections, feedback, and collaboration opportunities.

Focused Time for Creativity

The dedicated time provided by scholarships and fellowships allows authors to explore their creativity without the pressures of external commitments. This can lead to more innovative and daring work.

Learning and Skill Enhancement

Many opportunities include workshops, seminars, and mentorship, offering authors a chance to learn new techniques, improve their writing skills, and gain insights from experienced writers.

Portfolio Building

A scholarship or fellowship on your resume adds weight to your writing credentials, demonstrating your commitment to the craft and your willingness to invest in your growth as an author.


Knowing that you have been awarded a scholarship or fellowship can provide a sense of accountability, motivating you to meet your writing goals and make the most of the opportunity.

Exposure and Publication

Some scholarships come with opportunities for publication, helping authors reach a wider audience and build their author platform.

Boost Confidence

Winning a scholarship or fellowship can boost an author’s confidence and validate their work, encouraging them to continue pursuing their writing dreams.

Break from Routine

A scholarship or fellowship can provide a break from the usual routine, offering a change of scenery and environment that can stimulate creativity.

Validation of Potential

Being selected for a scholarship or fellowship can validate an author’s potential, reassuring them that their work holds promise and is worth investing in.

Long-Term Benefits

The skills, knowledge, and connections gained through these opportunities can have a lasting impact on an author’s career, helping them beyond the scope of the specific project.

In essence, applying for literary scholarships or fellowships is not just about financial assistance; it’s a strategic move that can catalyze an author’s growth, provide exposure, and significantly enhance their writing journey.

What happens when you have written your book? You need a beta reader and an editor. Reach out to us today at contact@keemiyacreatives.com to avail of our services.

And now, here’s a list of literary scholarships and fellowships for writers in India that you can consider applying to while working on a book:

Literary Scholarships
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List of literary scholarships and fellowships for writers in India

Sahitya Akademi Fellowship

Offered by the National Academy of Letters, this fellowship supports established writers to work on a major literary project, which can include a book. It provides financial assistance and recognition.

Charles Wallace India Trust Writing Fellowship

This fellowship provides financial support to Indian writers for travel and living expenses while they work on their writing projects in the UK.

Grants for Indian Literature from the Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture offers various grants for writers, including those working on books, through schemes like the Grant-in-Aid for the Publication of Literary Books and Journals.

The Sangam House Residency

This residency offers a peaceful environment for writers to work on their projects, including books, in the serene surroundings of a rural estate in India.

Kumaon Literary Festival Fellowship

This fellowship provides selected writers with a chance to work on their projects in the beautiful Kumaon region of Uttarakhand during the annual Kumaon Literary Festival.

The Asian College of Journalism (ACJ) Media Fellowships

ACJ offers fellowships for journalists and writers to work on book projects that contribute to the understanding of contemporary Indian society.

Do check out these fellowships in journalism.

Sarai Grants

The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) offers Sarai Grants to support research and creative projects, including writing, that explore urban experiences and media practices in India.

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) Grants

IFA provides grants for various art forms, including writing, that promote artistic practice and critical discourse in India.

Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Writing Award

This award supports young writers in India by providing financial assistance to work on their writing projects, including books.

Manchester Writing School

The Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University is pleased to welcome applications for the Joyce Nield Scholarship for students joining the programme in September or January. The scholarship will assist a student from a non-UK Commonwealth country with the cost of an MFA or MA in Creative Writing.

Sonny Mehta Fellowships in Creative Writing

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is thrilled to announce the Sonny Mehta Fellowships in Creative Writing, two new graduate fellowships for international students in creative writing, made possible by an endowed gift from Gita Mehta in honor of the late Sonny Mehta, distinguished literary publisher of Alfred A. Knopf.

South Asia Speaks

South Asia Speaks is a free literary mentorship for outstanding emerging writers living in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and Maldives.

Rama Devi Writing Grant

To commemorate Rama Mehta’s legacy, her family established the Rama Mehta Trust. In 2020, the trust introduced the Rama Mehta Writing Grant, aimed at inspiring female writers.

This grant is available to women writers with ties to Rajasthan, whether by birth, education, extended residence, marriage, and more. Notably, the Rama Mehta Writing Grant embraces English, Hindi, Urdu, and Rajasthani languages with equal significance.

New India Fellowship

The central focus of the New India Foundation revolves around the NIF Book Fellowships, granted to researchers and authors engaged in diverse explorations of post-independence Indian history.

Remember that each scholarship or fellowship might have specific eligibility criteria and application deadlines, so it’s important to carefully review the details of each opportunity before applying.

Aspiring writers in India are fortunate to have a range of scholarships and opportunities that support their literary pursuits. From established fellowships by prestigious institutions to niche residencies and awards, these avenues not only provide financial aid but also recognition and exposure to the writing community.

Whether you’re delving into the realms of fiction, non-fiction, or scriptwriting, these scholarships are stepping stones that can help turn your literary aspirations into reality. As you embark on your writing journey, consider exploring these opportunities and finding the one that aligns with your vision and goals.

In a nation rich with diverse stories and voices, these scholarships offer a platform to amplify your narrative and contribute to the vibrant tapestry of Indian literature.

Disclaimer: Team Keemiya has got no affiliation with any of these institutions. Please reach out to them directly in case of any queries for the same. Their names are linked to their websites.

Published by keemiyaadmin

We are a team of creative consultants looking forward to work with you on your book!

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