A Writing Chance: fiction programme with Faber & Faber

Are you currently working on a novel or non-fiction book? Are you interested in a career in writing? With A Writing Chance, you will have the opportunity to join a 12-month programme where you will develop your work in progress, hone your creative and professional skills, and learn all about the writing and creative industries.

A Writing Chance aims to open access to the writing industries for new and aspiring writers from working-class and lower-income backgrounds and for those who face barriers due to intersecting challenges, including but not limited to ethnicity, disability, sexuality, gender identity, age and religious beliefs. This strand is open to people who are interested in writing fiction, non-fiction, and narrative non-fiction, and who are not yet earning their main income from writing. Successful applicants to this strand will be placed with Faber & Faber: an independent publishing house based in London with a track record of publishing an array of best-selling and prize-winning authors, such as Sally Rooney, Barbara Kingsolver, and Kazuo Ishiguro.

You can be at any stage in the writing process to apply – you might be starting work on your first draft, or you might have a draft already completed. You can be writing fiction of any genre, non-fiction or narrative non-fiction such as memoir or biography or short stories.

The successful writers will begin the programme in April 2024. Over the course of the 12-month programme, you will spend your time developing your work in progress. You will receive a bursary of £2000, which you will be able to use at your own discretion. You will be assigned a mentor from the Faber & Faber team and their associated writers who you will meet with virtually on a monthly basis, and you will receive committed support and guidance from New Writing North. You will work with your mentor and New Writing North to develop personalised goals that you wish to achieve during the programme, and your mentor will advise on professional development and provide editorial feedback on extracts from the work in progress.

You will have the opportunity to attend exciting industry events hosted by the project partners, which will offer a varied introduction to the writing industries. These will include a publishing insight day at the Faber & Faber London offices, an audiobook development session hosted by Audible, and you will have access to further creative and professional development training online. You will be invited to attend an Arvon residential writing retreat at the Hurst, a 19th-century house and gardens located in the Shropshire Hills. During the retreat, you will have the opportunity to meet your A Writing Chance cohort, work with and learn from knowledgeable Arvon tutors, devote uninterrupted time to writing, and share your work and receive feedback. Towards the end of the programme, your work will be showcased as part of a celebratory event along with your fellow participants and the project partners.

All travel and accommodation costs involved in attending the industry events and the residential writing retreat will be covered by A Writing Chance. There will also be an access fund to cover any other costs that may arise in relation to your participation in the programme.

To apply for the Faber & Faber strand of A Writing Chance, we ask that you submit the opening 10 pages of your work in progress or your first chapter (of any length). We accept fiction in any genre, non-fiction, narrative non-fiction (such as biography or memoir), and short stories that will be part of a short-story collection. We do not accept poetry, children’s writing, or work in translation. You can be at any point in the writing process when applying: there is no expectation that you have a full draft of your work at this stage. We ask that you provide a brief summary (maximum 50 words) of your work in progress: this can be as general or specific as you like, and will help to give the judges an understanding of how your pages sit within the broader work. If you are successful in applying, you will spend your time on the programme progressing your manuscript over the course of the year, drawing on the expertise of your mentor and building your skills through A Writing Chance resources, events and activities.

Please check the FAQs and Conditions of Entry before making an application. 

Apply by 10am, Monday 8 January 2024