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A Writing Chance

Fresh Stories from Under-represented Voices

A Writing Chance opened in February 2021 to new and aspiring storytellers from under-represented backgrounds. We sought fresh perspectives and great stories from people whose voices have historically not been heard in publishing and the media. 

The 11 writers selected for A Writing Chance will receive £1,500 bursaries, one-to-one mentoring with industry leaders, publication or broadcast of their work and more. 

This UK-wide project is co-funded by Michael Sheen and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and supported by media partners New Statesman and Daily Mirror. The project is delivered by New Writing North and literature organisations nationally, with research from Northumbria University.

Adjusting the lens

Representation matters. The media frames how we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. The best writing shows us who we are by shining a torch on untold stories and experiences, illuminating truths and bringing injustices and structural inequalities into the light. 

But research tells us that the people writing and setting the agenda do so through a relatively narrow prism of experience. We think it’s time to open up the industry so we can all benefit from a richer culture. 

A Writing Chance is a positive intervention, designed to discover new talent, support new writers from under-represented backgrounds to break into the creative industries, and empower publishers and editors to make space for a broader range of perspectives. 

Michael Sheen: Margins to Mainstream

The Margins to Mainstream podcast featuring all 11 of our A Writing Chance writers is now available on BBC Sounds, produced for BBC Wales by Working Word.

In this 10-part series, Michael Sheen introduces new writers from under-represented backgrounds on a journey to reveal truths from the margins of society.

A Writing Chance 2021 Writers

2021 Shortlist

  • Caitlin Magnall-Kearns
  • Vik Bennett
  • Linda Wang
  • Helen Rochester
  • Kayla Jenkins
  • Sarah Jane
  • Alex Ramsden
  • Cathy Chapman
  • Karl Knights
  • Amgad Abdelgadir
  • Hannah Davenport
  • Lucy Elliott
  • Catheryne Fairbairn
  • Joseph Powell
  • Fahima Islam
  • Rieethaa Dhamne
  • Kay Ean Leong
  • Patricia Hallam
  • Rebecca Hannant

Resources for writers

Get into journalism

How to find opportunities for aspiring journalists
What kind of qualifications or training do I need to be a journalist?
How to pitch a story to newspapers and magazines
Working as a freelancer

Get started with creative writing

Who to follow and where to find opportunities
When writers sit to formulate ideas
Submit your work to literary magazines and websites
Preparing your work for awards and competitions

Preparing for publication

Writing a synopsis
Author contracts
Working with a publisher
Self-publishing your book

Build your profile and network

Writing an author biography
Social media for new writers
Finding your writing network

Finding a job in the arts

Getting into publishing
Preparing for a career in the arts
Writing your CV and covering letter for jobs in the creative industries

Project Partners

New Writing North logo monogram

New Writing North

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