I got a grant…now what?

By Lindsay Zier-Vogel

I got a grant - Lindsay Zier-Vogel

It’s grant notification season which can mean one of two things: You didn’t get it (which, to be honest, is the norm!) or…you did!

If you didn’t receive funding, be sure to come back tomorrow for the second part of this mini-series of columns on grants!

If you did, what do you do next?



Do it! Celebrate! Be proud of your accomplishment and revel in the joy that is having your work recognized by your peers. 


Accept the grant

Post-kitchen dance party, you have to formally accept the grant on the portal. Before clicking “accept”, make sure your mailing address and name the cheque will be made out to are up to date.


Note the report due date 

The minute you accept the grant, put the report due date in your calendar (and a note a few weeks earlier to get started on it), or that report deadline will sneak up on you and pass you by.

Note: if your timeline changes, that’s okay! If you need an extension, you can put in the request through the portal, easy peasy.


Splitting up the payments

Depending on the grant and the project timeline, you might be able to split up the payments over two years if that’s better for you tax-wise.



Alert! Alert! Grants are TAXABLE INCOME! Key information before you spend all of it!


Keep track of your budget/spending

For Canada Council grants that include anything that isn’t just subsistence/your own artist fees, keep receipts and invoices in case you’re audited.


Acknowledging funding

Make sure when you publish your book to include a thank you to the council in the acknowledgements! Sometimes the grant and publication can be years apart, so find a way to track this so you don’t forget.


Come back early next week for Part Two of Lindsay's mini-series on grants! And what to do if you get one, or don't...

The views expressed by Open Book columnists are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book.

Lindsay Zier-Vogel is an author, arts educator, grant writer, and the creator of the internationally acclaimed Love Lettering Project. After studying contemporary dance, she received her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. She is the author of the acclaimed debut novel Letters to Amelia and her work has been published widely in Canada and the UK. Dear Street is Lindsay’s first picture book, and is a 2023 Junior Library Guild pick, a 2023 Canadian Children’s Book Centre book of the year, and has been nominated for a Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award. Since 2001, she has been teaching creative writing workshops in schools and communities, and as the creator of the Love Lettering Project, Lindsay has asked people all over the world to write love letters to their communities and hide them for strangers to find, spreading place-based love.