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Home > Funding > Funding for Music Creators > All Levels > Women Make Music. > Women Make Music: Application Stages and Deadlines

Women Make Music: Guidance and FAQs

The 2020 deadlines are:

Deadline: 5th October 2020 / Decision: 15th December

All applications must be submitted by 6pm on the day of the deadline.

The following are considered by PRS Foundation to be Women Make Music music creators:

  • songwriters
  • composers, or
  • artists, bands, producers and performers who are involved in the composition/writing process

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for information on music creators we consider eligible and ineligible, including advice on restrictions around financial set-up.

Women Make Music supports women, trans and non binary music creators of all genres and backgrounds and at different stages of their careers, across the UK. Final decisions may be based on achieving a fair balance of supported projects.

We support high quality new music projects and therefore cannot support core organisational costs, salary costs or living costs.

What’s the difference between Women Make Music and The Open Fund for Music Creators?
How much can I apply for?
What can’t be covered by a Women Make Music grant?
Why can’t I apply if I’m a company limited by shares?
How often can we apply to The Open Fund and/or Women Make Music?
We received a grant already through The Open Fund or Women Make Music. When can we apply again?
Who can’t apply?


What’s the difference between Women Make Music and The Open Fund for Music Creators?

Both schemes are designed to support outstanding music creators and applications are judged on the same criteria. Women Make Music is exclusively available to women, trans and non binary music creators (i.e. solo artists, composers or mixed groups where a woman, trans or non binary artist is the lead music creator).

Anyone applying to Women Make Music must be comfortable with being announced as a Women Make Music grantee or should apply instead to The Open Fund.

86% of applicants to Women Make Music are first time applicants and we want to encourage people who might otherwise not apply for funding to do so. As such, Women Make Music grantees are encouraged to progress to other funding schemes such as The Open Fund for Music Creators or PPL Momentum and our Application and Grants Limits therefore reflect this.

We advise individual composers, artists, bands and other music creators to choose the most appropriate funding scheme between The Open Fund for Music Creators and our targeted support schemes such as Women Make MusicThe International Showcase FundSteve Reid Innovation AwardFlash Funding or PPL Momentum.

Please contact the team if you are unsure which funding scheme is most appropriate.


How much can I apply for?

Women Make Music offers grants of up to £5,000.

Our funding includes support of:

    • Creation of new music
    • Music Creator fee (to cover your time and work)
    • Touring and live performances featuring new UK music
    • Recording and release
    • Creative residency costs
    • Fees to creative collaborators
    • Promotion and marketing (when there is also an element of creation and/or performance)

For remaining deadlines in 2020, please note the following adaptations to our guidance:

Funded projects must comply with the latest UK Government advice, lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures. Please be aware that we are still accepting applications which involved live performance or other elements which at time of writing are not allowed but may in the future go ahead. We reserve the right to decline applications on the basis that they do not or will not comply with restrictions and as such encourage applicants to apply caution. Our decision-making and offer process will be more flexible than usual when it comes to proposed activity confirmation-status and you should read our Covid-19 related guidance for applicants for further steer.

We will always focus on creative and professional development and will now consider support and increased prioritisation of the following areas on a case-by-case basis:

  • Music Creator Time / Music Creator Fees – we always encourage applicants to include music creator fees for creation and expect during the pandemic that more applicants will include fees for their own time and work. This might help you to cover or contribute to the time you put into the creation of new music, to cover professional losses or costs relating to working from home.
  • Because there is no music sector-wide standard, we are unable to offer guidance on a suitable daily or hourly rate for music creator fees. However, we encourage you to ensure a fair proportion of your costs are allocated to music creator fees where possible. PRS Foundation staff will ensure that our external advisors approach decisions in a consistent way across all genres, challenging the ‘norm’ that Contemporary Classical applicants receive music creator fees and those working in other genres do not.
  • Funding for high quality and innovative live broadcast or pre-recorded online content^ which adheres to social distancing rules, licensing best practice and complies with Government guidance at the time
  • Equipment – we will relax our guidance to enable applicants to apply for equipment or software costs which enable creation or new types of performances where those costs represent up to 20% of the total project budget

We want to stress that we offer flexibility during unprecedented times so that music creators can sustain creativity and careers. We welcome any innovative ideas music creators have in undertaking high quality performances in new ways to reaching audiences, again all considered on a case by case basis.

For projects involving creation (e.g. writing or recording) alone and no performances, we recommend outlining any confirmed or potential performance opportunities within answers relating to future plans

For projects involving performance, we will only fund one-off performances in exceptional circumstances and prioritise projects which either involved repeat/multiple performances

When applying, keep in mind that we can only support activity happening after the decision date for your deadline – this will mean your proposed activity must be at least 12 weeks after the deadline.

We cannot fund marketing/promotion of new music without also funding an element of creation or performance.

Additional support

PRS Foundation launched the Women Make Music Circle of Patrons in 2018 with solicitors Taylor Wessing, Macfarlanes, and Rolling Stones Management company Glastry. Additionally in 2019 AWAL partnered on the fund meaning that on top of grants support, Women Make Music now offers additional support to grantees:

AWAL support includes:

  1. Mentoring and Advice to a number of grantees selected by the AWAL team*
  2. Workshops, hosted at the AWAL/Kobalt offices
  3. Co-curated Sessions at key conference events across the UK
  4. Marketing and distribution support where appropriate and on a non-exclusive basis*

Glastry support includes:

  1. Mentoring and management advice to a select number of grantees*
  2. Workshops at the Glastry offices

Taylor Wessing and Macfarlanes support includes:

    1. Workshops about music industry law at Taylor Wessing and Macfarlanes’ offices
    2. Showcase events at the Taylor Wessing offices

* The additional support from AWAL, Glastry and other Women Make Music partners is designed to meet the non-grants needs of music creator applicants. It does not disqualify any music creators from applying and no transfer of rights or exclusive relationship will be forged. All grantees can benefit from additional support, advice and networking opportunities. For non-financial support needs, an additional question is asked on the Women Make Music application form which enables the team and partners to assess additional support needs of applicants. These answers will not be shared with independent advisors and therefore will not affect the funding decision.


What can’t be covered by a Women Make Music grant?

Through Women Make Music, we support high quality new music projects which have tangible musical outcomes and a clearly defined start and end date.

We cannot support core organisational costssalary costs or living costs. We can fund administration costs relating to the project at a maximum of 10% of total budget.



Why can’t I apply if I’m a company limited by shares?

Women Make Music is not designed to support organisations that share out profits to members or shareholders, unless the activity you are applying for is a self-contained arts project and has a clear benefit to the audience.

We are unable to offer the following:

  • comments or advice on your music
  • advice on signing to a label or how to organise tours/projects
  • advice on gigs/venues
  • advice on promoting your music, unless it has been directly funded by PRS for Music Foundation
  • application form checking, prior to submission (however, you can email uswith specific questions)

Please note that we are not able to accept hard copies of applications. All applications must be completed online (please email us if you consider yourself to have a disability which could prevent you from completing the online application).

Multiple applications

Due to high levels of demand for our funding schemes, we can only accept one application per calendar year to Women Make Music*.

Music creators are also restricted to receiving one grant per calendar year.

*Please click here for guidance on the limits to the number of applications you can submit per calendar year.

If you have any concerns about eligibility, please email us.

Do you still have some questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Application process

Women Make Music is now a one-stage application process instead of two, this means that you will be asked to provide details about the project, how it will benefit the creators involved, the activity timeline and a balanced budget in one application form.

Having received positive feedback from a more diverse range of applicants to video-based applications we are giving Women Make Music applicants the option to choose between written answers OR a video submission to decisive questions. *

While the application form may seem longer, we’ve broken down the decisive questions into individual questions so that you have more space (written) to adequately answer the questions and we’ll be launching new video application guidance this year to further support applicants through the application process.

*Please ensure that your video is accessible for at least three months from the deadline date as we cannot accept responsibility for your video link being inaccessible and you will not receive support. 

You will be asked to provide two musical examples and a brief description of your project. We will also want to know how your project fits with our funding priorities:

  1. To support the creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre

We are particularly interested in the quality of the music

  1. To enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential

We are interested in how your project will develop the songwriters and composers involved. We are committed to supporting UK based songwriters and composers of all backgrounds

  1. To inspire audiences

You will be asked to outline who you are reaching and how. This includes audiences at a local, regional, national or international level

 For tips on how to make your application stand out, please visit our FAQ and Tips page written by grantees, staff and advisors.


How often can we apply to The Open Fund and/or Women Make Music?

Due to high demand, you can only apply once per calendar year to The Open Fund for Music Creators.

Women, trans, non- binary artists and mixed gender groups can apply once per calendar year to Women Make Music. Those applicants are therefore able to apply once per calendar year to each scheme.

For example, if you apply unsuccessfully to Women Make Music in February, you may apply to The Open Fund for Music Creators in June or October but will have to wait until the next calendar year before reapplying to Women Make Music. It is not possible to apply to Women Make Music AND The Open Fund for Music Creators in the same deadline and we will simply reject your applications.


We received a grant already through The Open Fund or Women Make Music. When can we apply again?

No music creator can receive 2 grants in one calendar year through The Open Fund/Women Make Music, and we prefer for applicants to wait until their funded project is complete before reapplying.

Furthermore, Women Make Music grantees cannot reapply to Women Make Music and must instead apply to The Open Fund for Music Creators for suitable projects- something that is actively encouraged.

Please note we may prioritise new applicants and new grantees due to high demand and strategic priorities. Grantees must make a strong case for repeated support and cannot be funded for the same project.


Who can’t apply?

Those unable to apply to Women Make Music include:

  • Those not based in the UK
  • Those previously in receipt of Women Make Music support should instead apply to The Open Fund for Music Creators or ‘Next Level’ schemes
  • Those previously in receipt of The Momentum Fund or The Writer Producer Fund cannot apply to Women Make Music or The Open Fund
  • Anyone applying for Women Make Music must be comfortable with being announced as a Women Make Music grantee or should apply instead to The Open Fund.

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