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London Writers Awards

The London Writers Awards

The London Writers Awards  is  Spread the Word’s annual development programme for talented London writers. The aim of the Awards is to increase the number of writers from under-represented communities being taken up by agents and publishers. To make the step change from unpublished writers to being agented, writers need good sustained professional input and quality feedback to produce work that will be published. The London Writers Awards offer this opportunity. 

The 2019 Awards focus on four genres of prose writing: literary fiction (including short stories), commercial fiction (for e.g.: crime, science fiction, romance), narrative non-fiction and YA/children’s (including middle grade and Young Adult fiction, excludes picture books) 

The Awards run from September to May each year. They are free to participate in. Bursaries are available for writers in need and there is an Access Fund for disabled writers.   

WHO ARE THE AWARDS FOR?  

The Awards support 30 London-based writers of colour and working class, LGBTQ+ and disabled writers each year.   

Writers are selected through a free and open application process. The programme is for writers who are committed to developing their work, their craft and their career.  

Author judges for the 2019 Awards were: Abir MukherjeeSaieda Rouass, Kate DaviesDanielle Jawando and Derek Owusu. The industry judges are: Elise Dillsworth (independent literary agent),  Emma Finn (literary agent at Conville and Walsh) Katie Brown (commissioning editor for fiction at Trapeze, an Orion Publishing Group imprint), Philippa Milnes-Smith (managing director and agent for children’s and YA, The Soho Agency) and Rupert Lancaster (non-fiction publisher at Hodder & Stoughton).  

WHAT HAPPENS ON THE PROGRAMME?  

Awardees become part of a critical feedback group meeting twice a month. Critical feedback groups are a proven way to take writing forward, and participants will receive feedback on their work at least four times, as well as getting 1-2-1 professional development sessions.  

Writers will participate in craft masterclasses run by professional, aspirational writers, and career masterclasses run by industry speakers and experts. The career masterclasses will help Awardees to build industry and business knowledge and gain practical skills.  

Awardees take part in two WritersLabs. The first WritersLab is an opportunity for writers get to know their peers; ask questions about the programme; be introduced to the critical feedback model through their group facilitator; meet and hear from the Judges and about the current publishing landscape and trends.  

The second WritersLab is where writers will get to network with invited editors, publishers and agents.  

All Awardees receive 1-2-1 professional development sessions with members of the Spread the Word team to support their development, progress and wellbeing whilst on the programme.

All Awards activity will take place at venues with good transport links and full accessibility.  

APPLY FOR AN AWARD  

Applications are currently closed. They will reopen in May 2020. 

CALL OUT TO THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

If you are a publisher, agent or professional writer and interested in finding out more about becoming a supporter, partner or patron to the London Writers Awards, please contact Bobby Nayyar at Spread the Word: bobby@spreadtheword.org.uk 

The Awards is financially supported by Arts Council England, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and sponsored by the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. 

Partners are: 
Independent Publishers Guild
The Society of Authors, 
Conville and Walsh
The Soho Agency
Hodder and Stoughton
Trapeze / Orion Publishing and 
The Elise Dillsworth Literary Agency

LONDON WRITERS AWARDS AWARDEES 2019

ADAM ZMITH

Literary Fiction


Ahmed Hassan

Narrative Non-Fiction


Alex Marshall

Commercial Fiction


Alexis Keir

Narrative Non-Fiction


Ayesha Braganza

Children's and Young Adult Fiction


Caroline Gardiner

Children's and Young Adult Fiction


Christina Caré

Literary Fiction


Davina Tijani

Children's and Young Adult Fiction


Denise Rawls

Commercial Fiction


Elliot F. Sweeney

Commercial Fiction


F Fiaz

Narrative Non-Fiction


Han Smith

Literary Fiction


Henry Fry

Commercial Fiction


Isha Karki

Literary Fiction


Liam Konemann

Literary Fiction


Loretta Ramkissoon

Literary Fiction


Mark Mukasa

Commercial Fiction


Michael Mann

Children's and Young Adult Fiction


Nadia Attia

Children's and Young Adult Fiction


Natasha Brown

Literary Fiction


Pam Williams

Commercial Fiction


Peter J Coles

Literary Fiction


RX Campbell

Children's and Young Adult Fiction


Ruth Goldsmith

Literary Fiction


S. Niroshini

Literary Fiction


Salma Ibrahim

Literary Fiction


Shane White

Narrative Non-FIction


Su Yin Yap

Narrative Non-Fiction


Taranjit Mander

Literary Fiction


Zad El Bacha

Narrative Non-Fiction


‘There’s a lot of talk in publishing circles these days about inclusivity and the need for a diversity of published voices. However, these calls often ignore the structural factors which hold back writers from minorities and other under-represented communities: factors ranging from a lack of financial support to an unfamiliarity with how the industry operates. In such an environment, the London Writers Awards aim to make a concrete difference, nurturing raw talent and helping writers through mentoring, masterclasses and financial support where necessary. I’m proud to be involved with such a worthwhile endeavour.’ 

Abir Mukherjee, Author and London Writers Awards Judge 2019

Growing up, I decided that science was my best option for leaving the poverty which surrounded me behind, and so I put far-fetched dreams away. Following that path seemed a necessity, but it is one which left me incomplete. The London Writers Award has helped to revive those far-fetched dreams, in ways that would have been almost impossible otherwise, and made me feel more confident about my destination than I have in years.

Alex Marshall, London Writers Awards Awardee 2019, Commercial Fiction

London Writers Awards 2018 Alumni

ALEX FALASE-KOYA

Young Adult / Children's Fiction Alumni 2018


Alexis Rigg

Young Adult / Children's Fiction Alumni 2018


Anne Chen

Young Adult / Children's Fiction Alumni 2018


Annie Hayter

Poetry Alumni 2018


Arun Das

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Bunmi OGUNSIJI

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Chris Simpson

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Elaine Williams

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Esther Poyer

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Helen Bowell

Poetry Alumni 2018


Iqbal Hussain

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Jamie Hale

Poetry Alumni 2018


Jemilea Wisdom-Baako

Poetry Alumni 2018


Kira McPherson

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Koyer Ahmed

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Lily Paine

Poetry Alumni 2018


Lui Sit

Young Adult / Children's Fiction Alumni 2018


Marta Bausells

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Merrie Joy Williams

Poetry Alumni 2018


Nina Duttaroy

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Priscilla Mante

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2018


Riley Rockford

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


SAHAR HALAIMZAI

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2018


Sara Jafari

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Sofia Fara

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Stacey Ng

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Stephen Wrench

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Tice Cin

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


CONTACT US

T 020 8692 0231 ext 249

E bobby@spreadtheword.org.uk