The White Pube Writers Grant
funded by Creative Debuts
The White Pube Writers Grant is a one-off £500 grant to be given out to a different working class writer based in the UK once every month. This grant has been set up to support writers of all ages who are early in their careers and would benefit from this no-strings attached financial support to help them in whatever they like - be that money to cover time to write, books, web hosting, printing, subscriptions, research, development, travel, or even just money to fund life expenses and rent.
Some writers publish work on their own websites with little to no funding to encourage them; others pitch to established publications and, if they are lucky, might get paid every once in a while to write for somebody else. It is difficult to keep going and harder still to carve out the time to write, which is what writing needs, and so we hope this grant will help towards those challenges in some small way. A recipient will be chosen monthly, and this grant is open to individuals, collaborations and groups. The writing could be fiction or nonfiction, creative, criticism, whatever it is you’re working on.
The White Pube will be selecting recipients, and these will be chosen based on their ongoing research as well as anybody who would like to put themselves forward. There is no formal application process. If you would like to get in touch, please email with a very brief introduction to yourself, contact information and of course, an example of your writing. This could be text in the body of the email itself, attached as a PDF, or a link to an external site or recording. There is no deadline as this is a monthly rolling grant, and the grant does not expect any outcomes or reporting. FAQS BELOW!
Creative Debuts is a disrupting and democratising art platform that champions emerging artists through an artwork subscription service, bespoke projects and event management. Acting as a bridge between the creative and commercial worlds, Creative Debuts is focussed on shining a light and supporting artists and designers from underrepresented communities that may otherwise go under the radar. The free online platform also provides artists the opportunity to showcase and sell their work, as well as giving buyers – whether individuals or businesses - the chance to unearth the superstars of tomorrow. Recent collaborations include the likes of adidas, Apple, Disney, eBay and Spotify.
The White Pube is the collaborative identity of Zarina Muhammad and Gabrielle de la Puente through which we write about exhibitions, video games, the art world and more on thewhitepube.com and across social media as @thewhitepube. We are based in London and Liverpool respectively + we are buzzing to get to do this so ty Creative Debuts.
October 2020: Recipient 002, David Ishaya Osu
We are very excited to announce the second recipient David Ishaya Osu. David sent over a selection of his poems, and we both loved the care, shape and feeling of the words he put together, the way they feel like they rub up against each other.
Bio: David Ishaya Osu is a poet, memoirist, street photographer and wanderer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies across Nigeria, Uganda, the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, India, France, Bangladesh, South Africa, Austria, and elsewhere. He is the poetry editor of Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, and a board member of Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation based in Uganda. David has an MA in Creative Writing (with distinction) from the University of Kent, and is the author of the poetry chapbook, When I’m Eighteen (2020). His life revolves around poetry, photography, architecture, wanderlust, jazz and other ordinary things.
Links below if you want to read his work, listen to it, or follow him online:
—Read Parts of my body
—Read Nine muses
—You can listen to the poems read by David below, or on our Soundcloud
September 2020: Recipient 001, Ruskin Smith
We are very excited to announce the first recipient Ruskin Smith. He sent over an email with 2 examples of his work and they were both short stories we fell in love with. I want to read a whole book of his work - I want to spend more time in the worlds and with the lives he describes so carefully.
Bio: Ruskin Smith is from Hull but lives in Lancaster now, with his partner and their two young daughters. He has done lots of different jobs over the years—including admin, factory, retail, labouring—between spells of incapacity for work with mental health problems. He started writing consistently around the age of forty. He has had fiction published in thi wurd and on the common breath community blog. Despite not having a degree he was offered a place on the Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, and graduated with Distinction in 2018. He was long-listed for the Fish Short Memoir Prize 2020.
Links below if you want to read his work, listen to it, or follow him online:
What is your definition of working class?
We are very keen to make sure this grant goes to people who need it most. We expect people to only put themselves forward if they are coming from a lower socio-economic background than the successful writers we see in culture in general. We may contact a potential recipient with some questions relating to: the type of school you might have attended, the highest level of qualification achieved by parents/guardians by the time you were 18, the type of work the highest income earner of your household did when you were a teenager, and your eligibility for free school meals. These questions are based on a resource published by the Civil Service as recommended measures for employers and which we think will help us in this process. We are putting a lot of faith in the people getting in touch with us and we hope you all respect the remit here. We want to help champion a more diverse writing scene, so please refrain from applying if you know you do not need this money.
What type of writing are you looking to award grants to?
Anything. Could be a good old normal-looking text, but also we are open to poems, scripts, comics, zines, lyrics; fiction, non-fiction, whatever you do that is like… words. Published or not, professional or amateur, whatevs - it’s all good.
What length of writing can I put forward?
Any length is fine but please bear in mind that we are selecting the recipient alongside our usual workload (we work 2 jobs each), and have a fair few applications to get through. In this case, if the text is very long, please also include a synopsis if you have one.
What contact information do I need to provide?
If you do not check your email regularly, please provide a phone number as well. We would try to contact recipients via email at first but if they do not reply, we would then reach out by phone. This is because we will be announcing a recipient every month and as we have a deadline, we would have to postpone a grant and award that month to somebody else if there is no response.
Will you offer feedback?
No, we wish we could, but we are doing this on top of our usual workload and it will be a lot of work already just to read through all of the applications that come in. Hopefully we are better set up one day soon so that we can engage in a proper dialogue with everyone who does want to have a chat over email, but for now, we are very sorry that we have to say no. We wish it were otherwise.
Can I email multiple times?
Yes, if you’re emailing again to send more writing you’d like to submit for consideration, we’d appreciate it if you sent it in reply to your first email (so we can keep track of them both together in the thread). It’s a rolling grant, so it’s not necessary to re-apply if you haven’t heard back from us immediately.
Will I hear back from you after emailing?
Unfortunately we are unable to provide a reply beyond the automated receipt email - we are just not set up to be able to write personalised replies to all of the applications that come in, sorry. If you have any questions, please check these FAQs in full before contacting us.
If I don’t hear back beyond the automated reply, does that mean my application wasn’t successful?
This is a grant that will be awarded to a different applicant every month, and we are planning on keeping a record of all emails and contact information that come into email@example.com. A lack of response on our part does not indicate a permanent rejection because we will be referring to the same growing record, as well as our own research, in order to select recipients for the grant as we go forward.
Can I email on behalf of somebody else?
As long as you have their express permission to do so, this is fine, especially as we know that finding the time to email over your work can be difficult, especially in the current economic climate; and also some people might need personal assistant support for various reasons, so just as long as you’ve got their permission, go for it.
Who actually are you?
Gooooood question. So we are 2 rowdy 26 year olds called Zarina Muhammad and Gabrielle de la Puente, from and based in London and Liverpool respectively. We started this website together in our final year of art school because we were bored of the way art was written about (and pissed at who got to do that writing). Ever since then, we've been publishing exhibition reviews, baby essays, and more recently game reviews and a few texts about food as well. We try to push for a more inclusive creative industry/world and care about that a lot, and we're really excited to be able to select and guide this working class writers grant. We hope it can help lots of people out.