London Writers Awards – what the Awardees say part 3
What significant developments have you made during the London Writers Awards?


In a series of blogs, we asked former London Writers Awards awardees about their experience being part of the programme. These thoughts maybe particularly useful and interesting if you’re thinking of applying to the London Writers Awards 2022

What significant developments have you made during the London Writers Awards?

a person with long dyed red hair Nilesha Chauvet, Commercial Fiction 2021:

“The programme was life-changing for me in so many ways. I was approached by Nelle Andrew of Rachel Mills Literary whilst on the program, and I signed with her just days after she was crowned Literary Agent of the Year, 2021. It was a significant moment. It was also a huge relief to have such a champion of writers, offering her individual support, and professionally steering my work moving forward. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. My novel was also shortlisted for the Spotlight Novel Award 2021.”

a person with a bald head and tortoishell glassesTommy Rowlands, Literary Fiction 2021: 

“The most significant development was my response to the first masterclass. I took my first draft and basically binned it! Not because I thought it was bad but because I knew that I could, and wanted to, write something far less safe. I’m so glad I did because writing this novel with the gracious support of my peers has been a once in a lifetime experience.”

a person with a long bob wearing a beretEmma Lowther, Commercial Fiction 2021: 

“I have completed further drafts of my novel. I also now have more confidence in my abilities and a greater understanding of where my work might fit in the industry.”


a person wearing black glasses and an orange turtleneck jumper smiling at the cameraThomas Newlands, Literary Fiction 2021: 

“I restructured and finished my novel! I now have an award winning author as a mentor, and interest from several agents.”

a closeup of a person with glasses and long dark hairTracey Weller, Commercial Fiction 2021: 

“Lots of things! I have finished the first draft of my novel and I am now working on the second; I am not sure if I would even be at that stage if I was working in isolation. I have a very clear idea about the kind of work I want to do in the future and I have already begun planning my second novel. While on the scheme, I had a piece of flash fiction published in the Legerdemain anthology for National Flash Fiction Day.”

a person smiling widely wearing their hair tied back and gold hoop earringsDeshani Shan, Children’s / YA Fiction 2021: 

“I have completed a first draft of my novel, been shortlisted for the FAB prize, shortlisted for the Write Now scheme and won a Golden Egg Award since joining the LWA scheme. “

a person with long dark hair wearing clear see-through glassesMegan Preston Elliot, Commercial Fiction 2021: 

“I’ve now finished the first draft of my novel, at a whopping 120,000 words (I’m a pantser, if you were wondering). I never thought I’d get here, and it just goes to show that little by little, and with this fantastic support network, you can. I still have a way to go but now I have the confidence that I can edit and redraft the novel to an agent-submittable standard. I’ve also received interest from agents simply from being on the awards and I will be sharing material with them later on down the line when it is ready. “

a person with long dark blonde hair, a wide smile and glasses on the top of their headSarah Clement, Narrative Non-Fiction 2021: 

“The scheme helped me to finish writing the first draft of my memoir. It felt amazing to type ‘The End’ and see my word count reach 80k. Although there will be a lot more rewriting and editing to do, it felt like an important milestone. The London Writers Awards is a flexible programme so each writer will be at a different stage, but it provided a framework which really helped me to push on with my writing. Also, the masterclasses and feedback sessions with agents have helped me to write a pitch and synopsis which, hopefully, capture the essence of my book. These are tricky things to write, so that feels like a significant development.”

a close up of a woman's face with a big smile

Serena Rozana, Children’s / YA 2021:

“I have been shortlisted for the Penguin Write Now Programme and Faber’s Fab Prize which is super exciting.  I will be eternally grateful to Spread the Word for running the London Writers Awards.”


Lavendhri Arumugam, Narrative Non-Fiction 2021

“I was able to address some major structural issues I’d been struggling with for years. I was able to rewrite my manuscript and am already three quarters of the way through it. I no longer feel like my story is insignificant and I hope to be published in the coming years.”

The London Writers Awards 2022 is open for applications from London writers from backgrounds underrepresented in publishing from 1 – 31 October 2021. For more information please visit:

Published 1 October 2021