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London Writers Awards

In 2018, Spread the Word are launching a major new initiative – the London Writers Awards.

Stories and creative writing change the conversations that people have. They impact on the society we live in and the culture we share. They open up people’s imaginations, ambitions, aspirations and knowledge. Stories matter.

Everyone should be able to tell their story.

Our 2015 Writing the Future Report showed that emerging writers from diverse backgrounds face multiple barriers to artistic progression and to being published. To achieve the aspiration of many writers to be agented, published or to have work performed, one of the key parts of development for writers is the need for sustained professional input and quality feedback. Launching in June 2018, the London Writers Awards is a year long development programme that supports talented emerging (unpublished and unagented) writers develop their craft and career, and bring their project to publishable standard.

Who are the London Writers Awards aimed at?

Emerging unpublished and unagented London writers aged over 18 with a focus on writers who are currently underrepresented in publishing; BAME, low income, LGBTQ+ and disabled writers, who are writing in one of the Award’s five categories: literary fiction (including short stories); commercial fiction (e.g. romance, crime, science fiction); narrative non-fiction; YA/children’s and poetry.

The Awards will work intensively with 30 talented writers each year. Winners will be selected via open application and participation in the programme is free.

What does it involve?

The Award winners will take part in an annual development programme of writing groups, masterclasses and WriterLabs. Built into the programme are points of contact and networking opportunities with professional writers and the publishing industry. Bursaries will be offered to low income and/ or disabled writers.

Each year the London Writers Awards will deliver:

5 writers group attended by 30 writers overall with 75 sessions taking place;

10 masterclasses by professional writers attended by 300 writers;

2 WriterLabs, attended by 60 writers alongside professional writers, agents and publishers;

30 1-2-1 professional development coaching sessions;

10 bursaries for writers on low income and/ or disabled writers.

How can you be involved?

If you are a publisher, agent or professional writer and interested in finding out more and potentially becoming a supporter or partner to the Awards, please contact: Ruth Harrison, Director at Spread the Word.

If you are a London based emerging writer, please join our mailing list for updates about the London Writers Awards, including when we will be open for applications.

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