Guidance and FAQs for The Writer Producer Fund
Why is it important for the PRS Foundation to start a songwriter fund?
Songwriters and producers are at the centre of the music industry, creating the content the whole industry is centred around. Supporting the creation and performance of new music is at the heart of what the Foundation does. With The Writer Producer Fund we’ll be supporting the creation of new music by investing in talented writers and producers to help them build their careers at crucial stages.
Launched in 2017 as a response to the long-term career needs of those working behind the scenes, The Writer-Producer Fund was initiated by PRS Foundation with The Ivors Academy Trust (formerly known as the BASCA Trust). The fund is now delivered by PRS Foundation.
The Writer Producer Fund fits alongside existent industry funds, Momentum and the International Showcase Fund, filling the gap of career development for writers and producers as opposed to the grants available for one-off projects through The Open Fund. This fund demonstrates our commitment to supporting writers and producer-writers as well as artists who write their own music.
Who can apply?
UK based songwriters and producers applying for The Writer Producer Fund must have a previous professional track record as a writer or a producer. The person(s) applying for The Writer Producer Fund can also be a performer but this fund is to develop their careers as writers. The songwriter / producer must be a registered PRS member with a CAE number.
NOTE: This application is not for writers and producers just starting out, demoing and developing. We are looking for writers and producers with successes in their writing careers and they must have a previous track record.
Applications can be made by songwriters or producers directly or by their representatives. Those who can apply on their behalf include;
- Co- writers (published and unpublished)
- Music Publisher
- Record label
- Trusted advisor
If you are an artist or band, the following project-based funding schemes may be more relevant to you:
–Momentum – supports artists/bands who make their own music and are at crucial career tipping points with team members in place to set up long-term careers – up to £15k for recording, touring, marketing, etc.
–International Showcase Fund – supports artists/bands at international showcase and conference events. Once you are invited to take part in international conference events, you can apply for up to £5k of funding.
– The Open Fund for Music Creators & Women Make Music – up to £5k of funding for projects which result in the creation and performance of outstanding new music. This differs from the Writer/Producer fund which focusses on long-term career development.
NB: Momentum funded artists cannot be supported through The Writer Producer Fund.
NB: If as a writer/producer you have been invited to attend a one-off international showcase or conference event, we advise you to apply to the International Showcase Fund and not The Writer Producer Fund.
What activity will The Writer Producer Fund support?
It is down to the applicant to outline areas of spend which will have an impact on their career. Applications must justify areas of spend and each application needs a strong plan which alongside music submitted will form the basis of a decision.
Activity supported is likely to include:
- Recording costs (e.g. daily studio hire, tracking, production and mixing fees)
- Costs relating to songwriter camps, co-writes, collaboration, etc.
- Musician fees
- Creative / professional development (including training courses if applicable)
- Training / Skills courses at places such as Point Blank / SSE
- Marketing and promotional costs related to songs/tracks reaching an audience
- International activity that could build your profile and benefit your creative development (other than international conference events which can be covered by the International Showcase Fund)
- Project related maternity or child care costs
In exceptional circumstances, the Fund may also support the following areas but please ensure justification is strong and envisaged outcomes are clearly explained to allow advisors to make informed decisions:
- Time to create
- Writing space rental or lease (UK spaces only)
- Purchase of equipment / software / hardware
What will you have to tell us in your application?
Songwriters and writer-producers applying for funding will have to make strong cases for funding by demonstrating that you are;
– At a crucial stage in their career
– Have a previous track record of getting recent cuts, co-writes and collaborations – whether with a third party or with their own established label (to be discussed further)
– Are proactive with their own careers to get cuts, co-writes and collaborations
– Are clear on the type of records you want to write and produce
– Must be able to propose where the funding will be spent, how it will help take them to the next stages in their career and develop them creatively and professionally
Applicants will be asked if you are signed to a publishing company. If the songwriter or writer-producer is signed to a publishing company, we will ask why they cannot cover the costs of proposed activity.
An example of questions which will be asked are;
- What would you like the PRS Foundation to fund?
- Why does this activity need PRS Foundation support?
- Please tell us about your 3 most recent writing cuts, co-writers or collaborations and how the opportunity to write on those records came about? Please include the publishing split you as a writer received from this record
- Why is now the right time to receive funding from the PRS Foundation and how will this contribute to the next stage of your career?
- Who are you working with?
- Are you published? If so, why can’t your publisher cover the costs of your proposed activity?
What will success look like?
PRS Foundation will fund developmental activities which take place within two years. We are looking for writers/producers to build on their CVs as writers and gain a broader understanding of the music industry both domestically and internationally.
Successful outcomes will include:
- Securing cuts, co-writers and collaborations – albums/single credits
- Exploring/exploiting new income streams outside of mainstream chart hits – library music, jingle writing, film music, sync, etc.
- Making new connections which will help you long term in your career
- Being accepted on to writing trips and camps which could result in new cuts, co-writes and collaborations / contacts which will open up new opportunities
- Developing industry networks and teams to support your career
- Developing skills as a writer/producer
How will this help develop a songwriter or writer-producer’s career?
- It will broaden a songwriter’s horizons so you are open to more domestic and international opportunities
- It will educate around writer / producer deals and new ways of working
- It will give songwriters and writer-producers access to a group meeting for all grantees plus one-to-one meetings with PRS Foundation staff at the beginning and end of your activity timeline in order to steer grantees
- Successful applicants will also be introduced to trade bodies and organisations which support writers and producers so writers have access to others in the industry
How much applicants can apply for and why this amount?
- Applicants can apply for up to £10k
- In addition to the £10k of funding successful applicants will receive in-kind support from the Foundation staff / team who will introduce grantees to BASCA and will arrange a starter meeting with all grantee and one-to-one meetings at the beginning and end of activity
What international activity would be covered by this fund and why?
The UK is a very small territory for songwriters and writer-producers to work in across popular genres of music with a limited number of record companies / publishing companies to work with.
Therefore, whilst this fund will not support one-off trips to international conference events or to writing camps connected to international conferences, we will consider international activity as part of a broader development plan and we’ll be working to encourage songwriters and producers to develop themselves professionally and seek work outside of the UK.
How many songwriters / writer-producers will be supported?
The Writer Producer Fund will support up to 12 songwriters / writer-producers each year.