Sarmad Writing workshop

How to write funding applications in the “cultural sector”?

Poor poet - Carl Spitzweg (1839)

Why we are doing this workshop:

We decided to initiate this workshop because of our familiarity with conditions of precarity, and navigating a space that sometimes lacks transparency.

We have come to realise that forming networks of sharing knowledge is a way to work around the ways in which access and visibility (in the case of cultural sector) are distributed.

We notice that the subject is mostly missing in the curricula of art and design schools, and as a result young practitioners will have to learn through trial and error; which could proceed to more potential precarity and disappointment.

This, in the case of persons in more vulnerable states (for instance vulnerable citizenship status), could create more serious consequences. So creating a space to structurally share this practice, knowledge, and information in an in-depth manner, is the intention of this workshop.

For whom:

  • Recent graduates (or soon to be graduates) of a (Dutch) art or design academy.
  • Artists, architects and designers with a range of experience with funding applications (from no experience to a lot) – as long as you are wondering “there must be something that I don’t do right.”
  • Especially non-EU citizens who are obviously in a more vulnerable position, both because of unfamiliarity with the professional environment and the dependence of their "right to stay" on their practice being confirmed by the Dutch cultural sector.

The workshop:

  • This is a workshop on structured writing (and thinking) in the context of funding (grant) applications in the cultural sector.

  • In other words, this is a workshop for developing a set of skills, essential for translating your ideas and practice, as an artist/architect/designer/art collective, into a concrete funding application.

  • We go through the different elements of a funding application and give you the essential information about how to go about writing each element.

4 weekly sessions of 2 hours each.

Online via Zoom.

Max 5 participants in one group.

Session 1, introduction, the right mindset, guidelines for thinking and writing
   structurally, project plan (WHAT, WHY)

Session 2, feedback on Assignment Project Plan (WHAT, WHY), notes on writing the Project Plan (HOW)

Session 3, feedback on Assignment Project Plan (HOW), notes on writing Communication Plan+Time Planning+Budget

Session 4, feedback on Communication+Time Planning+Budget, closing tips

Writing assignments:

It does not matter how much information, hints and techniques we share with you unless you put them into practice by actually writing. That is why writing assignments are crucial to this workshop.

You bring your own project (idea for a project) to the table, and through the different assignments, you will write the different parts of a (hypothetical) application.

In the next session,  you will get written feedback on your assignment for the week.

Please note: In order to make the most out of this workshop, you would need to have some time every week to spend on the assignment of the week. Think about it like, I have to write 2-3 pages of text each week. If you don’t have the time, maybe it’d be wiser to wait until you do have the time to spend on the writing and then take the workshop.


The tuition is 190€ Exc + 21% VAT (230€ incl.)

The tuition can be paid in two instalments, one month apart.

If you have KVK (if you are registered at the Chamber of Commerce as a one-man business), you can get back the VAT from tax authorities (Belastingdienst) with your quarterly declarations.


- To register, please send us your CV and a short project description/idea (max 200 words) which you would like to work on in the workshop to sarmadmagazine@gmail.comThe project proposal is necessary because in the writing assignments you will be working on that initial proposal.

- When everything is confirmed, we will send you an invoice for the payment.

- You will be notified about the schedule in details (timing, Zoom meeting info, your group members, shared online folder, etc.) of the workshop once you finished the registration.

- In case of any questions, do not hesitate to email us


  • The first round of the workshop will start on June 24th 2021. Depending on the availability of the participants, we might make slight changes to the timing.

Main tutor

Alireza Abbasy, PhD in Technology Management at Delft University of Technology, MA in Fine Arts at AKV St. Joost, curator, writer, co-founder and editor of Sarmad Platform

What not to expect:

  • There is no magic or secret formula for writing a funding application.

  • We  cannot guarantee (nobody can) that after this workshop, your funding applications are going to be granted. A negative decision is part of applying for a fund/grant and it can be due to many different reasons.

  • However, if you take the workshop and the assignments seriously, your chances of writing a successful funding application will be considerably improved after the workshop.