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 To make the step change from unpublished writers to being agented, writers need good sustained professional input and quality feedback to produce work that will be published.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:
– 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.
The 2021 Awards will be judged by author judges: Michael Donkor, Season Butler, Ayisha Malik, Luke Turner and Samantha Baines. The industry judges are: Ellah P. Wakatama , Ludo Cinelli , Katherine Armstrong , Angelique 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Awards are financially supported by Arts Council England, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and sponsored by the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society.
Independent Publishers Guild,
The Society of Authors,
Bonnier Books UK,
Bell Lomax Moreton, and
Eve White Literary Agency.