Where I spent my Easter holiday

The week in Creative Money – 9 April, 2021

Creative Money aims to have an open conversation about finances in the creative industries. 

It was founded in July, 2020 in an attempt to address a frustrating lack of relatable financial guidance for creative workers and is written by me, Matt Parker, a music journalist and lecturer.

Hello! I’ve spent the last fortnight entertaining a 4.5 year-old on a permanent chocolate-high and have therefore not done any thinking, blogging or useful updating of the site.

Instead, we have constructed a holiday island out of Duplo (above: it is quite the exclusive resort) and I have attempted to mentally hit said plastic beach in the name of #SelfCare. The island is as yet unnamed, but I am open to suggestions.

On the money side of things, you may or may not have noted that we’ve slipped into a new tax year. So, in the spirit of Spring-y optimism, I say unto you freelancers: why not sort your 20-21 return calculation now? No I’ve not done mine yet (have you seen the island!?) but I do always find the later I leave it, the more likely I’ve misplaced receipts, forgotten about claimable expenses and lost access to utility accounts.

Doing it sooner significantly reduces the stress, spreadsheet time and hold music you must endure. You also have the massive benefit of knowing how much you owe long before you actually need to pay the bill.

January has always felt like the cruelest time of year to hit people with their tax bills, so be kind to yourself and take the unknowns out of the equation. As ever, when it comes to money, anything you can do to reduce the burden on future-you is usually a good thing.

Talking about good things, thanks very much to anyone who has been sharing the newsletter lately – and a big welcome to each and every new subscriber, please continue to pass it on to your friends/family/colleagues in the creative industries. It’s the only way it gets out there…

Until next time,



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What do you need to know this week?

  1. Songwriters Sign Letter Calling for Artists to Stop Demanding Credit for Songs They Didn’t Write - You’d have thought they’d come up with a catchier headline… (Variety)

  2. How to fund your music project (Elevate Music Podcast)

  3. Here’s a handy PDF of performer’s union Equity’s guide to tax and national insurance in 21/22 tax year (Equity)

  4. Local elections fall on 6 May, 2021. Ask your metro mayoral candidates to stand-up for their creative workforces (Creative Workforce Pledge)

  5. Money SOS: how do I ensure my comedy career has me laughing all the way to the bank? (Times Money Mentor)

Grants and funding opportunities for UK creative workers

CLOSING: Northern Stage Out On The Toon call-out for theatre makers

Support for up to 10 theatre makers, theatre companies or theatre artists to present work that will be available for people to enjoy in their own neighbourhoods across the North East throughout June. Offers a commission of up to £2,500. Deadline: 12 April, 2021

CLOSING: Help Musicians Transmission Fund

Transmission can provide £1,500 to support opportunities that enhance your skills or artistic practice. This could be a virtual conference to learn more about the industry, an online course to enhance your skills, 1:1 coaching or an online masterclass with an expert, or perhaps some time to work with a mentor. Deadline: 12 April, 2021

CLOSING: OnlyFans Creative Fund

Four winners will receive a prize fund of £20,000 and consultancy from a music industry professional to mentor them on their next move. Upload a 90-second video introduction and perform your song to enter. Deadline: 13 April, 2021

MMF ReBuild Fund round 4

Only for existing members of the MMF (Music Managers Forum), but will offer grants of up to £3,000 for those eligible, alongside workshops focussing on resilience, sustainability and the future. Deadline: 16 April, 2022

Girls I Rate #GetHeard A&R competition

Entrants must be women aged 16-30 who can submit a track that they have written or composed. Prizes include bursaries of up to £3,000, ICMP scholarship and the chance to get your music heard by decision makers from PRS for Music, BMG, YouTube and DownTown, among others. Deadline: 31 May, 2021

All Stories Mentorship scheme

A free mentorship programme for underrepresented children’s book writers. Fourteen mentorships are available, each delivered by a freelance editor, from September 2021 to February 2022. Must be unpublished to apply. Deadline: 31 May, 2021

PageMasters Publication Fund

£500 in-house production budget for a new or existing publication or zine focusing on themes of gender, race, disability, care, class, politics and/or art. Deadline: 1 June, 2021

Elan Valley Creative Wales Fellowship Award 2021-22

Offers established creative practitioners, based in Wales, a chance to experiment and develop their practice, while giving them time away from usual commitments in a beautiful, inspiring setting. The Fellowship includes six months’ accommodation within a one-year period, and a £9,000 bursary. Deadline: 25 June, 2021

Society of Authors Contingency Fund
Helps writers, illustrators, literary translators, scriptwriters, poets, journalists and others, whose author-related activities make up a substantial amount of their annual income. Grants range in value from £500 to £2,000. Deadline: ongoing

ArtCry grants
ArtCry is setup to provide a rapid turnaround of funding for art works responding to current events. Grants of up to £5,000 with a panel of artists, activists, creators and producers making decisions on applications within a week. Deadline: ongoing

Help Musicians Hardship Fund
The third phase of one of the major support funds for musicians is now open and will support successful applicants with a monthly top-up until March 2021. Deadline: ongoing

Actor's Children Trust hardship grants
ACT continues to pay Corona-crisis grants of £300 per family per month towards food and bills, as well as specific grants for children’s costs.  Please use the contact form so we can check your eligibility as an actor under ACT’s criteria. Deadline: ongoing

Royal Variety Charity Financial Assistance grants
The Royal Variety Charity is uniquely positioned to provide financial assistance to anyone who serves any facet of the Entertainment Industry. Deadline: ongoing

The White Pube Writers Grant funded by Creative Debuts
£500 given out monthly to a working class writer based in the UK. 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. Deadline: ongoing

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