London Writers Awards 2019 open for applications during May


“My experience on London Writers Awards has been one of the happiest experiences for me both professionally and personally. I’ve made friends who have shown me that writing a novel is a collaborative process and I’ve learnt so much along the way. I feel as though we’re all on the brink of something special and feel that we are leaving the programme with success and a lot of confidence.” – Tice Cin, London Writers Awards Writer 2018

We’re excited to let you know that Spread the Word’s London Writers Awards, an annual development programme for talented London prose writers, will be open for applications from 1 May – 31 May 2019. Judges for this year’s Awards will be announced on 1 May. If you are interested in applying, we’re letting you know that applications are opening so you can have more time to put your application together. You can contact us to find out more.

Now entering its second year, the aim of the Awards is to increase the number of writers from currently under-represented communities being taken up by agents and publishers.

What is the London Writers Awards?

In order to make the step change from unpublished to published writer, valuable and sustained professional input with quality feedback is crucial. The London Writers Awards will offer this as part of its programme.

The London Writers Awards will support thirty prose writers to develop their writing project – maybe you are working on a novel, or on a collection of short stories, or on a longer piece of non-fiction.

The programme offers each Awardee an intensive programme of development over 9 months (September – May) that consists of:

  • A structured programme of writing craft and career masterclasses;
  • Critical feedback group sessions;
  • Writers’ labs;
  • 1-2-1 support from a Spread the Word team member;
  • Ad-hoc workshop opportunities;
  • Industry networking opportunities.

Why is the programme for London writers? 

Spread the Word is London’s writer development agency, funded to support writing opportunities in London. There are other writer development organisations across England that can support you if you’re not living in London.

Application information

The Awards will open for applications on Wednesday 1 May 2019 and close on Friday 31 May 2019 at 11.59pm. The London Writers Awards will work intensively with 30 talented writers each year. The Awards will support writers of:

  • Literary fiction;
  • Commercial fiction;
  • Narrative non-fiction and
  • YA/children’s fiction.

The Awards are focused on supporting un-agented and unpublished London-based writers who are:

– BAME and/or
– Disabled and/or
– LGBTQIA+ and/or
– Working Class.

Awardees will be selected via open application and interview. Participation in the programme is free.

There is an access fund available for writers who would like to apply for access support to enable them to participate in the Awards.

There are also bursaries available for writers most in need.

About the application
We will ask entrants to apply on Spread the Word’s Submittable page. We will have an alternative format for application if you require. Please contact us for if you would like to apply via an alternative format to Submittable.

The application form will go live on 1 May 2019 and will close on Friday 31 May at 11.59pm.

The application will ask for:

  • Information about you and what your hope to achieve as part of the programme;
  • A 3,000 word extract from the project you’d like to develop;
  • A short synopsis of your project;
  • Whether you would like to apply for a bursary or access fund and why.

We will soon be releasing some supporting material to help you make your application, including an FAQ, terms and conditions and eligibility.

Please note that writers shortlisted for the Awards will be invited to interview at Spread the Word’s offices in Deptford on one of the following dates: 30July, 31 July and 1 August 2019. 

The London Writers Awards receive support from Arts Council England, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and sponsorship from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society.




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