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Northern Writers’ Awards

Established in 2000, the Northern Writers’ Awards supports work-in-progress by new, emerging and established writers across the North of England. The Awards support writers creatively as they develop their work towards publication, as well as helping them to progress professionally and navigate their way through the publishing industry.

The awards are produced by New Writing North with support from Northumbria University and funding from Arts Council England.

GASP: The New North Poets

GASP is an anthology by the New North Poets: Jasmine Chatfield, Michael Brown, Elizabeth Gibson, Maria Isakova Bennett and Rosa Walling-Wefelmeyer. Introduced by Clare Pollard. Published by Poetry School with New Writing North.

At a glance

Work in progress

The Northern Writers’ Awards recognise work in progress. Winning an award can buy time to complete work or can lead to development opportunities with New Writing North and some of our literature sector partners, Arvon, And Other Stories, the Word Factory and The Literary Consultancy.


Often, winning an award is just the beginning of the relationship that writers will go on to have with New Writing North. As well as introductions to agents and publishers, we can offer advice and further support over the long term.


Each summer we hold a Summer Talent Salon in London for literary agents and editors to meet our writers. We take a group of Northern Writers’ Awards winners whose work we feel is ready to be considered for publication, along with writers from other programmes such as the SI Leeds Prize, Mslexia and The Writing Squad.

Helping writers achieve their creative ambitions

Since 2000, the Northern Writers’ Awards have recognised more than 200 writers from the North of England. We are committed to supporting new work in progress and nurturing new talent. We read over 1000 entries each year and our judges – leading writers and industry professionals – seek writing that can be supported towards publication.

We work to help writers achieve their creative ambitions. The Northern Writers’ Awards are not just for new and emerging writers; we also support new work by established writers, particularly those whose work is changing direction. We also support the next generation of writers, and offer a range of awards for young people aged 18 and under.

Over 75% of writers we support go on to achieve publication. Past recipients of Northern Writers’ Awards include Chloe Daykin, Andrew McMillan, Carys Davies, Benjamin Myers, Mari Hannah, Zaffar Kunial, Andrew Hankinson, Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Carolyn Jess-Cooke and Niel Bushnell.

Full details of the awards and previous winners can be found at

Andrew McMillan talks about how winning a Northern Writers’ Award has helped him.

Jayshree Patel, winner of the 2016 Channel 4/Northumbria University Writing for Television Award, talks about what the Northern Writers’ Awards has done for her career.

Get involved

Enter for a Northern Writers’ Award

The 2019 Northern Writers’ Awards will open for applications in November 2018.

Eligibility and entry criteria

We accept works of poetry, fiction of all genres, children’s fiction, creative non-fiction, graphic novels and children’s picture books from writers living full-time in the North of England.

Support the awards

We are incredibly grateful to the individual donors who help fund the Northern Writers’ Awards. Help us to support new writing by making a donation at JustGiving.

“Winning a Northern Writers’ Award in the summer of 2013 was enormously important to me in all kinds of ways. Not only did it buy me much needed time to finish my second collection of short stories, The Redemption of Galen Pike, it also – and I think even more importantly – gave me so much confidence; I felt really certain at last that I could write exactly the kind of stories I wanted to write. By the autumn I’d finished the manuscript; Salt made an offer soon afterwards, and the book came out in October 2014. The following spring it was shortlisted for the Wales Book of the Year and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, and went on to win both the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, which is the world’s richest prize for a collection of stories. Overseas book rights have so far been sold in five counties: Australia and New Zealand (Text Publishing), Canada and North America (Biblioasis), and Macedonia (Ars Lamina). This spring I was awarded a 2016-17 New York Public Library Cullman Fellowship to work on my next collection of stories.”

Carys Davies, author of The Redemption of Galen Pike

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