Free Reads scheme open for London writers

Opportunities

Spread the Word is delighted to be an official partner for The Literary Consultancy Free Reads scheme, supporting applications from London writers. Over the last 11 years, we’ve supported 58 writers with receiving professional feedback via Free Reads. 

The Free Reads Scheme is managed by The Literary Consultancy and funded by Arts Council England. It is open to writers of fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, playscripts and screenplays. It offers writers the opportunity to receive professional, editorial feedback on their writing. The Free Read scheme particularly welcomes applications from writers belonging to groups currently under-represented in publishing including disabled writers, writers of colour*, and members of the LGBQTIA+ community. 

The scheme is open from Monday 19 July until Thursday 30 September (11.59pm) 2021. 

To apply for the Free Reads scheme via Spread the Word, you must live in London and be on a low-income, meeting one of the following criteria: 

– You are in receipt of Job seeker’s allowance, Disability benefit, Income support, Working tax credit, Universal Credit or Child benefits
– You earn less than the London Living Wage of £10.85 per hour or a £23,500k annual salary**
– You are a full-time student
– You are aged 60 or over 

If you identify as being on low-income but do not meet one of the criteria listed above then please get in touch as we are able to evaluate applicants’ eligibility on a case-by-case basis. 

Who is eligible for a Free Read via Spread the Word? 

To apply for the Free Reads scheme via Spread the Word, you must live in London and be on a low-income, meeting one of the following criteria: 

– You are in receipt of Job seeker’s allowance, Disability benefit, Income support, Working tax credit, Universal Credit or Child benefits
– You earn less than the London Living Wage of £10.85 per hour or a £23,500k annual salary**
– You are a full-time student
– You are aged 60 or over 

If you identify as being on low-income but do not meet one of the criteria listed above then please get in touch as we are able to evaluate applicants’ eligibility on a case-by-case basis. 

How to Apply 

Please apply via our Submittable form: spreadtheword.submittable.com/submit/199172/free-reads-2021-22

All applicants must submit: 

– A completed TLC Free Reads Scheme form (available to download here as a PDF and here as a Word document)

– The first 1,000 words of your writing or up to 20 pages if your writing is poetry or script-writing

– A complete synopsis of the written work submitted. The synopsis must clearly show your story’s outline and should not exceed 1,000 words. We highly recommend that you check out our Pocket Guide to Writing a Synopsis before sending yours in. https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/a-pocket-guide-to-writing-a-synopsis/

– Documentation that shows you meet the criteria to apply for a Free Read. This may be in the form of a tax benefit letter, payslip, confirmation of your student status or a pension. Please check out our FAQs for more information on this.  

The window for submitting: Monday 19 July-Thursday 30 September 2021 

We have an FAQ page for any enquiries on entering the scheme, but if yours is not listed there, please get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.  

We look forward to receiving your submission.  

*Writers of colour: Black, Asian, Arab, Mixed-Raced and Non-white Latinx 

**Please note that if you are currently or recently furloughed and taking in less than £23,500k annually, you’re eligible to apply for the scheme. 

 

 Published 19 July 2021