Authorship project bursary

This bursary is intended for Francophone authors and illustrators who have published at least one work at the publisher’s expense, in the same category as one of the CNL’s commissions, as well as authors and illustrators who do not write in French but who have lived in France for more than five years, on condition that at least one of their works has been translated into French and is available in bookshops in France, and who wish to devote a period of time to an authorship project intended for publication.

General eligibility criteria

Authors who fulfil all of the following conditions may apply for the authorship project bursary:

  • in the same domain as the project submitted:

   > for novelists, authors of children’s books, comic book authors (scenarists and illustrators): to have published one work at the publisher’s expense with a print run of more than 500 copies

   > for poets: to have published one work in the French language at the publisher’s expense with a print run of more than 300 copies

   > for authors of works for the theatre: to have published one work in the French language at the publisher’s expense with a print run of more than 500 copies, or at least two works that have been performed in public several times in a professional situation.

   > for illustrators of children’s books: to have two illustrated books published at the publisher’s expense with print runs of more than 500 copies

   > for essayists: to have published one work in the French language at the publisher’s expense with a print run of more than 500 copies, or, articles in at least three different reviews

  • not to have been awarded a bursary by the CNL :

   > in the last 2 years in the case of a Discovery bursary
   >
in the last 4 years in the case of a Creation bursary
   >
in the last 8 years in the case of a Sabbatical year bursary

  • to write in the French language, or, for non-Francophone authors, to have lived in France for at least 5 years and have published works in the French language
  • if a previous application was refused, to have published a new work since that refusal. A new application may be submitted at least one year after the refusal.

Teacher-researchers cannot receive bursaries for authorship projects which enter into their domain of teaching and research.

The application dossier

The candidate must fill in the ‘Authorship project bursary’ application form and send it to the department of creation with all the requested documents.

Before beginning to constitute an application dossier, we strongly advise candidates to make sure it is eligible by sending their bibliography and the subject of their authorship project to the department of creation.

Application submission deadlines

The commissions meet three times a year.

Please see the calendar for application submission deadlines

Attribution criteria

All applications are the object of an expert’s report. The competent commissions give an opinion on each one.

In view these opinions, decisions of attribution, refusal or adjournment are taken by the President of the CNL.

Assessment criteria

  • the quality of the candidate’s previous work
  • the interest of the authorship project and its publication
  • the author’s ability to accomplish the project, in view of previous works
  • the candidate’s financial needs, considering the scope of the envisaged project and their financial and professional situation

Potential award amount

  • Discovery bursary: 3 500€

Intended for authors who have published a work (or several articles for essayists, cf. General eligibility criteria), the Discovery bursary may be awarded only once to the same author for a work in the same domain.

  • Creation bursary: 7 000€ or 14 000€

This bursary is awarded to established authors who have published at least two works at the publisher’s expense. The amount of the bursary depends on the scope of the authorship project and the author’s personal situation.

  • Sabbatical year bursary: 28 000€

This bursary may, on an exceptional basis, be awarded to established authors with a considerable number of published works, when the scope of the project and the author’s personal situation justify attribution.

Specific rules applying to bursaries of 14 000€ and 28 000€:

  • Employed authors receiving a salary cannot be considered for these bursaries unless they obtain leave of absence or an unpaid holiday period, on a half-time basis for one year if the amount of the bursary is 14 000€, and full-time for one year in the case of a sabbatical year.
  • Those who are not employed must make a solemn undertaking that they are not in employment, in the same conditions as above.

Payment details

80 % of the total amount of the bursary is paid within the two months following the decision of attribution. The remaining 20 % is paid within two years and on presentation of the published work, or after two years, on presentation of a progress report for the project.

Contact Information

Centre national du livre
Hôtel d’Avejan
53 rue de Verneuil
75007 Paris

Contact the department of creation