Emerging Poets Development Scheme launched


We are very pleased to announce that we are a partner with New Writing North on Out-Spoken Press’s Emerging Poets Development Scheme. The Scheme will offer targeted, integrated support and resources to three emerging poets over the course of a year — including regular one-to-one feedback, together with craft and practical resources — aiming to ready you for publication.

Early-career support is key to a vibrant poetry sector, and we are keen to establish an ethical space for this: providing both the craft and pastoral support to ensure your work reaches its potential and that you’re empowered to navigate and advocate for yourself in the industry.

We hope that this scheme will help create a meaningful practical opportunity to open up access to what may still feel like a ‘closed shop’ sector.

Who is it for?

The scheme is aimed at emerging poets. You must be at least 18 years old on the closing date of submissions. ‘Emerging’ is about where you are at in your career, not your age — there is no upper age limit. There is no minimum publication requirement but if you have previously published a full-length collection of poetry you are not eligible.

Of the three places, one will be selected in conjunction with New Writing North as part of the Northern Writers’ Awards, and two through Out-Spoken Press’s submission portal:

  • If you are resident in any other part of the UK, you should apply through the submissions portal set out below.

What does it involve?

The scheme will run from July 2022–September 2023 and will provide one-to-one craft development as well as wider resources to help equip you to pursue publication and develop your career, including:

  • Monthly written feedback and one-to-one creative manuscript development sessions with Anthony Anaxagorou, aiming to have a full manuscript in publishable form by end of the year;

  • Workshop on setting up and running a critical feedback group to facilitate formation of self-sustaining community, with Spread the Word support;

  • Free access to craft workshops;

  • One-to-one professional development sessions with Spread the Word;

  • Insight on the less-visible industry knowhow that empowers writers to pursue their careers in the poetry sector.

We are keeping a close eye on Covid-19 developments and guidance. At the present time we are planning for all activities to take place remotely.

How can I apply?

Submissions will be open from 2 December 2021 and will close at 11pm UK on 17 February 2022.

The scheme is open to poets resident in the UK. You will need to provide a sample of your poetry, together with some further information about yourself, your writing, your aims and what you’d like to gain from participating in the scheme.

  1. Poets who live in the North of England (defined as the areas covered by Arts Council England in Yorkshire, North East and North West), should apply through the New Writing North Northern Writers’ Awards portal here: www.northernwritersawards.com and check the box confirming that they would like to be considered for the Emerging Poets Development Scheme. This mentee will be selected by Helen Mort and Anthony Anaxagorou.

  2. Poets who live in the rest of the UK should apply:

    (a) through Out-Spoken Press’s Zealous portal here; or

    (b) by downloading a paper form here and posting this to us together with your writing sample; or

    (c) by audio file, or as a video file if you use a BSL interpreter. Please contact Outspoken Press by email on [email protected] if you wish to submit by audio or video file.

    In each instance you will need to provide a sample of your poetry (up to 5 poems or 4 pages of A4, whichever is longer). These two mentees will be selected by Mona Arshi and Anthony Anaxagorou.

For further details please read the Eligibility Criteria and Terms & Conditions and take a look at the FAQs here.

If you have any questions not covered in these documents, please email Patricia Ferguson on [email protected] and she’ll be happy to help.