This winter, we’re thrilled to launch a brand-new opportunity for London-based writers to apply for a full manuscript read and feedback provided by talented alumni from our London Writers Awards – Amelia Giudici, Chris Bridges, Kira McPherson and S. Niroshini.
From Friday 15 December 2023, we’ll be accepting submissions for Commercial Fiction, Literary Fiction, Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction, and Narrative Non-Fiction. One writer in each genre category will be selected and given feedback on their full manuscript in the form of written notes and a 20-minute feedback meeting.
You’re eligible to apply if you are based in London, are un-agented and unpublished, and from a background/s underrepresented in publishing.
We define this as:
Are on a low income (in receipt of benefits, universal credit, income support, earn minimum wage or Zero hours contracts)
Are working class
Have experienced a lack of academic and/or vocational training opportunities – i.e. have not been able to study/train to your full potential due to low income, ill health, being a carer etc.
Are or have been a carer
Experience of homelessness
Experience of imprisonment
Are a refugee
Are a single parent
Are a Black, Asian, or Global Majority writer
Are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community
How to Apply
To apply, please submit the following 3 documents:
An extract from your manuscript (3,000 words maximum)
A one-page synopsis of your book
A covering letter of 1-2 pages that includes: A little information about yourself, your writing career to date, how you meet the criteria for this opportunity, and what help you need with your manuscript, as well as confirmation of the word count of your project.
Your full manuscript must be between 50,000 and 90,000 words. Our readers are unable to feed back on manuscripts that are not within these word limits.
Please note: If you’re applying with a manuscript for the Commercial Fiction genre, you can apply with: Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Psychological, Romance, or Historical Fiction. We’re not accepting applications for Science Fiction or Fantasy for Adults at this time.
Submissions will open on 15 December 2023
The deadline for submissions is 10am on 29 January 2024
Applicants will know the outcome of their submission by 22 March 2024
Successful applicants will need to send their full manuscripts to the readers by 8 April 2024. They will receive their feedback by 14 June 2024.
If you have any queries about your application or this opportunity, please get in touch with [email protected]
About the Readers
Amelia Giudici is a writer and Primary School teacher living in East London. She is a recipient of a London Writer’s Award, has been long listed for the Bath Children’s Novel Award, and is represented by Alice Caprio (Felicity Bryan Associates).
‘Receiving constructive advice, insight and encouragement can be pivotal to a writer’s journey. I know it has been for mine. The first time another writer engaged with my full manuscript, they were able to identify and unlock things that I was still too close to see. The feedback I’ve personally received through Spread the Word’s programmes has been crucial to my own development. I’m therefore thrilled to be taking part in this project, and for the opportunity to read and respond to fresh new writing.’
Amelia will be reading for our Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction genre
Chris Bridges is an alumni of the London Writers Award 2022 and is represented by Hannah Schofield from LBA Books. He is currently working on his debut novel. He writes psychological crime fiction and uses this as a vehicle to feature sick/disabled protagonists, subverting the trope of the passive disabled character who is either saccharine sweet, or who is resolved or dead by the end of the story. Chris has had short fiction published in Token magazine. He has read out a piece of his writing on BBC Radio 4 and was a previous winner of The Greene Door Award. He was a past winner of the Writing East Midlands flash fiction award. Chris previously wrote a weekly column for an LGBTQ+ lifestyle magazine and was a theatre reviewer for Londonist website. He now writes lifestyle/blog posts for the MS Trust site. Chris is a queer, NHS nurse with a hidden neurological disability.
‘The value of having objective feedback on a manuscript is immeasurable. Writers tend to write in an echo chamber of one, living on a continuum between extreme self-doubt and vague confidence. It’s immensely helpful to have someone else read your work and offer constructive feedback. I’m really excited to see what writing is out there.’
Chris will be reading for our Commercial Fiction genre
Kira McPherson is the author of Higher Education, published in 2023 by Ultimo Press. Her short stories have been published in Westerly, the Stockholm Review of Literature and the London Short Story Prize Anthology. More recently, she was longlisted for the 2023 Australian Book Review short story prize. She is an associate editor at Short Fiction. In 2018, Kira received a London Writers Award in literary fiction. She grew up in Western Australia and now lives in London.
‘An outside perspective on a draft manuscript can challenge you to think more deeply about your work and bring focus to your approach to editing. It’s a valuable reminder that there is an audience out there, with their own tastes, expectations and responses. I’m excited to read fiction that’s in development and help a writer to realise their intentions for their work.’
Kira will be reading for our Literary Fiction genre
S. Niroshini is a writer of poetry, fiction and essays. Her writing has been published in Versopolis Review, South London Gallery Journal, The Georgia Review, Poetry London, The Good Journal and elsewhere. She is the author of Darling Girl (2021), received a London Writers Award in literary fiction in 2019-2020 and is a Ledbury Critic. Her work centres stories of girlhood, trauma, violence as well as the histories of Tamil women, exploring expressions of interiority, freedom and desire.
‘I am thrilled to be part of this programme and to support underrepresented writers. I’m looking forward to reading the short-listed narrative non-fiction manuscripts and excited to read strong new voices’.
S. Niroshini will be reading for our Narrative Non-Fiction genre
Published: 15 December 2024