Responsible Staff Member
This program is no longer active. Publishers may now apply for commissioning funds through Grants to Organizations & Small Groups. 

The Project Grants for Publishing Program is designed to stimulate literary arts’ production, dissemination, and commissioning. These project grants will be used to support professional artistic activities and audience or community engagement initiatives. This program is designed to assist in the growth and development of the publishing field and the exploration of new models of publishing activity.

Activities Assisted and Level of Funding

Applicants may request funding in one or more of the following categories:

  • Production Grant, $15,000 Maximum
    • Assists with the creation/production of a specific work(s). For example, funding for creation or production of a new work, new translation or new digital format.
  • Dissemination Grant, $10,000 Maximum
    • Assists with the dissemination of work(s) through public engagement activities or strategic partnerships with other organizations. For example, funding an author tour, public readings, or a public event. Dissemination grants are not intended to supplement existing marketing costs.
  • Commissioning Grant, $5,000 Maximum
    • To commission the creation of a new literary work by a Nova Scotian artist. Commissions can include professional authors, artists, illustrators, photographers. Commission grants do not need to show multiple streams of revenue. 

Eligible projects will:

  • Support Nova Scotia publishers in the creation, production and dissemination of Canadian work(s) in one of the genres of fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novels, publications for children and young adults, or artist monographs
  • Support creative work that is accessible to a general reading audience, for a specialized readership, or professional audience
  • Support content that is entirely within the publisher’s editorial control and not under the control of another financial stakeholder
  • Show multiple revenue streams
  • Clearly not be already funded through other Arts Nova Scotia or Communities, Culture and Heritage funding programs
  • Support the work of professional artists or make it possible for professional artists to produce and present work. A professional artist is an artist who meets at least four of the criteria found in the Status of the Artist Act.


To be eligible to apply to the program an applicant must:

  • Have been a legally registered company or society, with head office and general operations based in Nova Scotia, operating for at least two years with book publishing as their primary (rather than a peripheral or occasional) business, and the publication of original titles as the focus of that business;
  • Or, be a registered company, society or a collective, with a minimum demonstrable two year record of engaging in publishing activity;
  • Be managed and financially controlled by Nova Scotia residents (who own at least 75% of the company);
  • Maintain full control over editorial process, and have editorial independence from any other company;
  • Have at least 75% of the titles produced by authors other than principals in the company or related companies. In addition, consideration will be given to:
    • Organizations that have at least 4 eligible titles in print; have published a minimum of two first edition titles per year for the past 2 years; and show an ongoing commitment to publishing original titles;
    • Organizations or collectives that are emerging in the publishing field and demonstrate a compelling project that addresses needs not currently served by established publishing organizations.


The Arts Nova Scotia Project Grants for Publishing Program does not support:

  • Instructional manuals or guidebooks
  • University or college journals
  • Magazines, journals or exhibition catalogues
  • Fundraisers or promotional events
  • Full publishing blocks
  • Organizations that receive annual operating funding from Arts Nova Scotia or any Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. 
  • Activities that enhance or add to on-going or core programs are not eligible.
  • There will be no retroactive funding to projects that start prior to the deadline


Eligible project costs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Artist’s fees
  • Fees for design, production and technical personnel and other production expenses
  • Royalties
  • Administration and professional fees
  • Travel costs directly related to the project
  • Promotion and publicity (must not overlap with any other Communities, Culture and Heritage funding)
  • The value of in-kind contributions (goods or services provided to the company without cost or at a discount) can be included in the revenues and expenses if they are for goods and/or services which are essential to the project. Time contributed by volunteers, community promotional listings and other such services normally provided to not-for-profit organizations free of charge should not be included

Ineligible expenses include:

  • The capital cost of purchase of buildings or property, construction or renovation, as well as equipment, machinery, computers or anything that that can be repurposed for general use
  • The costs of projects already funded through Arts Nova Scotia or the Government of Nova Scotia
  • Costs relating to the development or maintenance of promotional websites
  • There will be no retroactive funding to projects that start prior to the deadline

Eligibility of expenses not listed above should be discussed with the program officer.

Application Requirements

•    Detailed Project Description 
•    Business/Organizational Profile 
•    Project Objectives and Anticipated Outcomes
•    Support Material 
•    Proposal Financial Template 

Note: Letters of intent from any person or organization involved in the project, and/or letters of support from professional, practicing artists in the relevant discipline(s) may be necessary to include. Contact the program officer when in doubt about these documents.    

Support Material

Support material is included in each application to assess artistic merit and may include, but not be limited to: samples of previous work (e.g. sample of writing), CVs of writers or artists included in the project, images, videos, and audio recordings of podcasts or audiobooks. 

General Information

  • Files must be in digital form (PC or MAC) on USB, CD or DVD and not exceed format maximums
  • Files must be labeled with the numbers 01, 02, 03, etc. at the start of each title
  • Files must be directly readable, requiring no extraction from another format
  • List of support material should be printed and submitted with application
  • Ensure that electronic files are working before you submit your application.

Annotations that alert the Peer Assessment Committee to specific aspects of the support material are encouraged. 

Note: Assessors will not consider material that exceeds the specified limits or is not on the list of accepted formats. See application guidelines for complete list of eligible and ineligible support material and formats. 

Your name must appear on all support material and USB. 

These materials are not accepted:

  • Support material embedded in documents (PowerPoint presentations, etc.)
  • Material that requires third-party software, plug-ins, extensions, or other executables that need to be downloaded and installed
  • Material accessed on websites – only artworks that are created specifically for the Internet to take advantage of one or more of its technologies may be submitted
  • Online documentation of any kind
  • Magnetic tape (cassettes, video tape), film, vinyl, slides
  • Original art work

Do not send valuable originals as support material. If you want your support material returned you must provide a self-addressed stamped envelope. Support material can no longer be picked up in person after the competition.

Application Assessment

Applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility. All eligible applications will be reviewed by a Peer Assessment Committee considering the following factors:

The artistic merit of the project

  • The clarity and fulfillment of the editorial vision
  • The literary and artistic merit and rationale of the project as evidenced by the support material
  • The contribution to Canadian literature through its engagement with professional writers, artists and the literary community
  • The potential to develop greater public understanding and appreciation of the literary arts
  • A commitment and contribution to innovation within the discipline


  • Support the development of authors who have faced barriers to success such as those come from indigenous, culturally diverse or other identified equity communities
  • Engage in strategic partnerships with other organizations in the dissemination of a specific work or works by a Nova Scotian author
  • The potential for the development of new and/or larger audiences for the authors and the works being published
  • The ability to carry out the project
  • Organization’s experience and capacity to undertake the project and the project’s financial feasibility

Additional Considerations:

  • Publish in a digital format, such as an audiobook or podcast, or other multi-media or electronic media;
  • Support professional artists, authors, illustrators, editors, graphic designers, photographers, book designers and printing companies based throughout Nova Scotia.

Applications are ranked based on merit and funds are allocated based on the ranking. The program officer facilitates the assessment process but does not participate in the ranking of applications and the funding decisions. Contents of the applications and proceedings of the meetings are strictly confidential. The decisions of the Peer Assessment Committees are final. Policies and procedures are in place to ensure fairness, and to avoid conflict of interest in the assessment process.

Peer Assessment Committee (PAC)

  • PAC members are professional practicing artists of the relevant discipline 
  • The composition of the PAC is sensitive to regional, gender, age, and cultural differences 
  • Different PACs are appointed for each competition 

Notification of Results

The results of the Peer Assessment Committee meetings are communicated to applicants via notification letters sent by Canada Post eight to ten weeks after the deadline date.

Notification letters are sent to all applicants, without exception.

Unsuccessful applicants may resubmit eligible projects to the next grant deadline.

Application Submission

Send your application to according to the instructions below. You can watch our YouTube tutorial Submitting Your Application Over Email for more detailed instructions.

Before Sending Your Email

  • Include your name on all files
  • Number your files in the order they should be opened (application forms have a list of required documents in order)
  • Ensure your page limits and file sizes are in line with the program guidelines
  • Upload large audio and video files to a streaming service such as YouTube, Vimeo or SoundCloud

When Submitting

  • Address your email to
  • Send one application per email 
  • Subject line should be: “Your Name – Program Name – Category”
  • Keep attachments under 25MB
  • Do not attach large audio or video files; include a streaming link in the body of the email
  • Do not duplicate your application; do not send an additional hard copy

Only submissions will be accepted to this email address. Please direct all questions to the program officer. 

If you are unable to submit by email please contact the program officer.

Past Recipients

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