Cultural Fund Guidelines

The Copyright Agency Board endeavours to support a mix of writing, publishing and visual arts projects from around Australia.

When considering applications to the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, the Cultural Fund Committee gives priority to those that support innovation in the Australian creative industries to develop local and foreign markets for Australian works and to projects that are not supported by government funding bodies.

Current areas of focus for the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund include projects that will:

  • provide cultural and educational institutions support to give individual artists, authors and publishers opportunities to develop their professional skills and develop new works;
  • place artists, authors and publishers in educational settings and build awareness of their work in this sector;
  • underpin export market development of Australian publishing and visual arts; and
  • provide Australian content with a profile in the increasingly globalised online environment so that Australians can compete effectively on the domestic and international marketplace for creative works.

Cultural fund allocations are made at the discretion of Copyright Agency’s Board, on the recommendation of the Board’s Cultural Fund Committee.

The Cultural Fund does not typically support the following:

  • living expenses
  • business overhead costs
  • capital works
  • general administrative costs
  • book launches;
  • exhibition openings;
  • publishers to publish/market books;
  • production costs for theatre, film and other performances;
  • digitisation of back issues/ catalogues of works;
  • creation or maintenance of a website for a publishing house, author or artist; and development of apps for devices.


Successful applicants must submit an acquittal report in relation to the project for which they have received funding.

Acquittals must report on exactly what the grant has been used for, and relate to the success or otherwise of the project. As well as noting successful outcomes, acquittals must disclose any areas where the project has not delivered on the expected outcomes, providing a full explanation. Other areas of interest to the Copyright Agency Board when reviewing acquittals are the reach of any project (i.e. creator/publisher and general audience members), and any demonstrable benefit to Australian creators such as creation or sale of works related to the project. Acquittals must display that funding was paid toward the items listed in the budgets contained in applications, and in accordance with any stipulations contained in the formal letter of offer sent to recipients.

Copyright Agency is aware that the longer term impact of Cultural Funding often does not crystallize in the formal reporting time for a Cultural Fund allocation. The Copyright Agency Board is keen to be informed about the longer-term impact of Cultural Funding and may require past recipients to provide details of longer term impact to the Cultural Fund Manager at any time.

Acquittals must be submitted in accordance with the time-frame outlined in the offer of funding. Where applicants are unable to supply an acquittal within this time-frame, they must contact the Cultural Fund Manager and discuss amended reporting requirements.

Where an applicant has failed to submit an adequate acquittal, they will not be granted subsequent funding until a satisfactory acquittal has been submitted to the Copyright Agency.

Recipients should note that the quality of their acquittals for previous funding will be assessed and taken into account in any future applications they make to the Cultural Fund. The detail of reporting required is greater for larger amounts of Cultural Funding allocated.

Please visit the acquittals page to begin lodging your acquittal.

Who can apply

If you have a project that meets the Cultural Fund’s guidelines, you may apply online to an advertised round of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. The application process is run on the Smartygrants platform on behalf of Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. The Cultural Fund Committee assesses applications and makes recommendations to the Copyright Agency Board. The Board reviews the Cultural Fund Committee recommendations and makes Cultural Fund allocations.

Applicants to the Copyright Agency Individuals Career Fund must be Australian citizens or permanent residents.

In developing your application, you can contact

Guidelines for Festival Applications

The following guidelines apply to applications for writers’ and illustrators’ festival funding:

  • The Festival must provide an opportunity for creators to sell their work.
  • For festivals to be held in 2016 and 2018, applications will only be accepted from New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory.
  • For festivals to be held in 2017 and 2019, applications will only be accepted from Victoria, ACT, Queensland and Tasmania.
  • This will continue in alternate years.

Guidelines for Prizes/Award Applications

  • It’s desirable that your award is open nationally
  • Entry must be available to both members and non members of your organisation.
  • Reduced entry fees should only apply to those with an economic ground to need it such as students or the unemployed.
  • Entry fees should be appropriate to the amount of the first prize.
  • Where the Award includes publication or exhibition, the amount of the first prize should be higher than your usual publication/exhibition rates. If the first prize is the same as an established publishing/ exhibition rate, the award will be considered a publishing subsidy and not an award.
  • Short-listed entries should be rewarded financially as well as through publication or exhibition.
  • Copyright in works entered in competitions should be retained by the author or artist of the work.
  • Copyright Agency prefers applications where judges are paid and provided with travel expenses, where appropriate.


Applications close 5pm on Monday 9 October, 2017.

Successful applicants will be notified approximately eight weeks after the advertised deadline.

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