stw-icon

London Writers Awards

THE LONDON WRITERS AWARDS IS SPREAD THE WORD’S ANNUAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR TALENTED LONDON WRITERS.

Launched in 2018, the London Writers Awards aim 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 To make the step change from  unpublished writers to being agented, writers need good sustained professional input and quality feedback to produce work that will be published.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 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 are free to participate in. Bursaries are available for writers in need and there is an Access Fund for disabled writers.

“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 

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.  

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 be fully accessible. 

APPLY FOR AN AWARD  

Applications are currently closed. They will reopen on Monday 17 August 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 are 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

ANNOUNCEMENT ON YEAR 3 OPENING FOR APPLICATIONS

The London Writers Awards is Spread the Word’s flagship development programme for unpublished and unagented London-based writers of colour and writers from disabled, LGBTQ+ and working class backgrounds. Over the last two years 60 writers have taken part with 9 signing up with literary agents, 4 book deals, and one book already published.

Originally due to open in May, applications to the third year of the programme will now open on Monday 17 August 2020 and close on Wednesday 30 September. This is to allow more time to shape the programme in response to Covid-19 and ensure that we reach more writers in need.

In the build up to opening applications we will be running sessions for people to find out more about the programme and hear from previous awardees. Information about these will be in our newsletter and on our social media.

Year three of the programme will run from January-October 2021 for 30 writers of commercial, literary, YA/children’s and 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

London Writers Awards Alumni

Adam Zmith

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Ahmed Hassan

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Alex Falase-Koya

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2018


Alex Marshall

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Alexis Keir

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Alexis Rigg

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2018


Anne Chen

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2018


Annie Hayter

Poetry Alumni 2018


Arun Das

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Ayesha Braganza

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Bunmi Ogunsiji

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Caroline Gardiner

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Chris Simpson

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Christina Caré

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Davina Tijani

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Denise Rawls

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Elaine Williams

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Elliot F. Sweeney

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Esther Poyer

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


F Fiaz

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Han Smith

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Helen Bowell

Poetry Alumni 2018


Henry Fry

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Iqbal Hussain

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Isha Karki

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Jamie Hale

Poetry Alumni 2018


Jemilea Wisdom-Baako

Poetry Alumni 2018


Kira McPherson

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Koyer Ahmed

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Liam Konemann

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Lily Paine

Poetry Alumni 2018


Loretta Ramkissoon

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Lui Sit

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2018


Mark Mukasa

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Marta Bausells

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Merrie Joy Williams

Poetry Alumni 2018


Michael Mann

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Nadia Attia

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Natasha Brown

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Nina Duttaroy

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2018


Pam Williams

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Peter J Coles

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Priscilla Mante

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2018


RX Campbell

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Riley Rockford

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Ruth Goldsmith

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


S. Niroshini

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Sahar Halaimzai

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2018


Salma Ibrahim

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Sara Jafari

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Shane White

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Sofia Fara

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Stacey Ng

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Stephen Wrench

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2018


Sue Hann

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Taranjit Mander

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Tice Cin

Literary Fiction Alumni 2018


Zad El Bacha

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019