The London Writers Awards is Spread the Word’s highly successful and transformative annual writer development programme for London-based unpublished prose writers from backgrounds currently under-represented in publishing. Applications for the programme will be open from 1 – 31 October 2021.
Running from February – November 2022, the London Writers Awards programme is a partnership between you and Spread the Word. There are deadlines, pressures and lots of rewards. Our goal is for you to complete a step change in your life as a writer, and ultimately find an agent and/or publisher for your work. To date, 26 writers have found agency representation through the programme, and 11 have secured publishing deals. Many more continue to work on their writing, inspired and enthused by their experience on the programme.
What does it involve?
The Awards is a structured programme that is formed of:
– 2 Writers Labs
– 9 masterclasses with creative and career focus
– 12 critical feedback groups where you provide and receive feedback with the four other writers in your group
– 1-2-1 support from the Spread the Word team
– Feedback sessions with an agent and/or editor
Who is it for?
The programme is for unpublished London-based prose writers who are writing in any of the following genres:
– Commercial Fiction
– Literary Fiction
– Narrative Non-Fiction
– YA/Children’s Fiction
The Awards is for writers who identify as being from a background currently underrepresented in publishing. We consider these backgrounds to be:
– Working class
– Writers of colour*
*Writers of colour: Black, Asian, Arab, Mixed-Raced and Non-white Latinx
The programme has been designed to support unpublished writers who are working on a writing project; a work-in-progress that you can develop in the structure of the Awards. By unpublished, we mean writers who do not currently have a literary agent nor a publishing contract for a full-length work, nor have you previously published a full-length work.
Does it cost money to take part?
Participation in the programme is free. There are bursaries available for writers for whom money may be a barrier to their participation in the programme. There is an Access Fund available for disabled writers currently in receipt of disability allowance to contribute towards additional costs that may be incurred for you to participate in the Awards. You can read more about the bursaries and access fund in the bursary and access fund document below.
Before you apply, please read:
Terms and Conditions
Bursary and Access Fund
Inclusive Read Version of Application Documents
We have prepared a short video about the London Writers Awards 2022, translated into BSL by Michelle Wood. You can watch it below:
How to apply for the London Writers Awards:
There are three options to apply to the London Writers Awards 2022:
For Option 1, we ask that you apply via Submittable for the genre you are writing in. The application forms will be open from 1 October – 31 October.
Commercial Fiction Application Form
Literary Fiction Application Form
Narrative Non-Fiction Application Form
YA/Children’s Fiction Application Form
For Option 2, there is one form on Submittable, where you choose the genre group:
For Option 3, you can download an application form here. London Writers Awards 2021 – Postal Entry Form
London Writers Awards 2021 – Postal Entry Form (Large Print)
Please post your entry to: Spread the Word, The Albany, Douglas Way, SE8 4AG and do ensure that you send it to us before the deadline date.
Applications are open from Friday 1 October and close at 11pm on Sunday 31 October 2021.
Late entries will not be considered. After you apply for the London Writers Awards, you will receive an automatic email confirming receipt of your application. Your application will be read anonymously by a team of first readers who will make recommendations to the London Writers Awards judges and the Spread the Word team.
The 2022 London Writers Awards judges are: Louise Hare, Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Benjamin Dean, Sara Jafari, Sara Gibbs, Emma Bal, Emma Grundy-Haigh, Milly Reilly, Matt Turner and Davinia Andrew-Lynch.
A shortlist of applicants will be invited to an interview with the Spread the Word team on one of the following dates: 18 – 20 January. Spread the Word will contact everyone who submits an application by 12 January.
Want to get in touch?
If you have read all of our supporting documents and links and you still have a question about the London Writers Awards that isn’t answered in them, please contact [email protected].
“As a Black man who grew up in a council estate in Hackney, for too long I didn’t think I could ever be a writer. This is why schemes like the London Writers Awards are so refreshingly important. The world of writing must be accessible, inclusive and continue to encourage writers from all walks of life to tell a good story in bold and boundary-breaking ways.” Ashley Hickson-Lovence, London Writers Awards 2022 judge
“The impact that the London Writers Awards has had on my writing and confidence is immeasurable! I feel like a completely different person and writer now compared to when I started.” Megan Preston Elliott, London Writers Awards 2021 Awardee
Published 21 September 2021