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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 To make the step change from  unpublished writers to being agented, writers need good sustained professional input and quality feedback to produce work that will be published.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 2020, Commercial Fiction 

WHO ARE THE AWARDS FOR?  

The Awards is for London-based prose writers who identify as being from a background currently underrepresented in publishing. We consider these backgrounds to be: 

– Disabled
– LGBTQIA+
– Working class
– Writers of colour*  

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

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 A 2021 AWARD  

The third year of the London Writers Awards will run from January 2021-October 2021.

Applications to the third year of the programme are open and will close on Wednesday 30 September. We welcome submissions in audio and video format from disabled writers.

Full details on how to apply alongside the relevant links that you need can be found here. This includes a short video about the London Writers Awards 2021, translated into BSL by Benjamin Alexander Gorman, RSLT, inclusive read and large print documents.

https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/applications-are-open-for-the-london-writers-awards-2021

The 2021 Awards will be judged by author judges: Michael Donkor, Season Butler, Ayisha Malik, Luke Turner and Samantha Baines.  The industry judges areEllah P. WakatamaLudo CinelliKatherine ArmstrongAngelique Tran Van Sang and Lauren Gardner

You can find out more about them here: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/announcing-the-london-writers-awards-2021-judges

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,
Bloomsbury
Bonnier Books UK,
Bell Lomax Moreton, and
Eve White Literary Agency.

London Writers Awards 2021 Judges

Michael Donkor

Literary Fiction Author Judge


Season Butler

Literary Fiction Author Judge


Ellah P. Wakatama

Literary Fiction Industry Judge


Ludo Cinelli

Literary Fiction Industry Judge


Ayisha Malik

Commercial Fiction Author Judge


Katherine Armstrong

Commercial Fiction Industry Judge


Luke Turner

Narrative Non-Fiction Author Judge


Angelique Tran Van Sang

Narrative Non-Fiction Judge


Samantha Baines

YA/Children's Fiction Author Judge


Lauren Gardner

YA/Children's Fiction Industry Judge


London Writers Awards Alumni

Adam Zmith

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Ahmed Hassan

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2020


Alex Falase-Koya

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Alex Marshall

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2020


Alexis Keir

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2020


Alexis Rigg

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Anne Chen

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Annie Hayter

Poetry Alumni 2019


Arun Das

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Ayesha Braganza

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2020


Bunmi Ogunsiji

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Caroline Gardiner

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2020


Chris Simpson

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Christina Caré

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Davina Tijani

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2020


Denise Rawls

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2020


Elaine Williams

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Elliot F. Sweeney

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2020


Esther Poyer

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


F Fiaz

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2020


Han Smith

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Helen Bowell

Poetry Alumni 2019


Henry Fry

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2020


Iqbal Hussain

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Isha Karki

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Jamie Hale

Poetry Alumni 2019


Jemilea Wisdom-Baako

Poetry Alumni 2019


Kira McPherson

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Koyer Ahmed

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Liam Konemann

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Lily Paine

Poetry Alumni 2019


Loretta Ramkissoon

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Lui Sit

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Mark Mukasa

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2020


Marta Bausells

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Merrie Joy Williams

Poetry Alumni 2019


Michael Mann

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2020


Nadia Attia

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2020


Natasha Brown

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Nina Duttaroy

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2019


Pam Williams

Commercial Fiction Alumni 2020


Peter J Coles

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Priscilla Mante

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


RX Campbell

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2020


Riley Rockford

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Ruth Goldsmith

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


S. Niroshini

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Sahar Halaimzai

Children's and Young Adult Fiction Alumni 2019


Salma Ibrahim

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Sara Jafari

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Shane White

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2020


Sofia Fara

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Stacey Ng

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Stephen Wrench

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2019


Sue Hann

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2020


Taranjit Mander

Literary Fiction Alumni 2020


Tice Cin

Literary Fiction Alumni 2019


Zad El Bacha

Narrative Non-Fiction Alumni 2020