Northern Writers’ Awards 2019 open with £55,000 for writers

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We’re delighted to launch the Northern Writers’ Awards 2019 with a host of new awards and both new and renewed partnerships to support new writing, including a new three-year agreement with Channel 4.

Entry is free and you must apply online by 7 February 2019.

This year, our award fund is our biggest ever, with £55,000 worth of awards for writers based in the North of England.

The awards are for work-in-progress and there are opportunities for writers at all stages of their careers, from young people aged 12-18 to established writers. Please read the entry criteria closely for each award to decide which will be most beneficial to you at your current stage.

In addition to individual awards, we support winners with ongoing tailored support. In 2019 selected winners will be offered additional opportunities including the chance to pitch work to literary agents and editors at the Summer Talent Salon in London; membership of The Society of Authors; and a professional development session with the leading independent publisher, Oneworld Publications.

New for 2019, we have partnered with All3Media to give All3Media the chance to read Northern Writers’ Awards’ submissions with a view to considering their potential for TV development. All3Media is the creator, producer and distributor of television programmes and digital, from dramas like Call the Midwife, The Missing, Liar, and Informers, to factual entertainment formats such as Gogglebox, The Only Way is Essex, Undercover Boss, The F-Word, Gold Rush and The Undateables. 

The awards available for 2019 are:

NEW: The Hachette Children’s Novel Award, worth £5000, is a major new award for children’s writers in the North of England, which will see its winner’s children’s book published by the Hachette Children’s Group, whose prestigious fiction list includes authors such as: David Almond (Skellig); Cressida Cowell (Wizards of Once and the How To Train Your Dragon series); Jessica Townsend (Nevermoor and Wundersmith); Will Mabbitt (Embassy of the Dead); Patrice Lawrence (Orange Boy); Liz Kessler (Emily Windsnap); and Piers Torday (The Last Wild series and The Lost Magician). The writer will also have access to other developmental opportunities offered by New Writing North.

NEW: The NorthBound Book Award, supported by UCLan Publishing and Saraband, is a flagship award open to new, emerging and established writers of fiction or narrative non-fiction. This award is for a full manuscript and the winning writer will receive £5000, a guarantee of publication with Saraband and access to New Writing North’s development programmes. The award celebrates the innovative spirit of independent publishing and the richness of writing from the North of England. Saraband is a leading award-winning independent publisher, now based in North West England, whose list includes Graeme Macrae Burnet, Chitra Ramaswamy and Ever Dundas.

NEW: The Northern Debut Awards programme offers structured developmental support to four writers of fiction, young adult fiction or narrative non-fiction who are yet to publish a full-length novel or collection of short stories. The package of support includes a £2000 bursary, mentoring from a practising writer and development sessions with a publishing professional. One place will be made in the name of Andrea Badenoch to a debut female writer over the age of 42.

NEW: The Sid Chaplin Award, in partnership with the North Literary Agency, is a new award for writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction who identify as originating from a working-class background. The winning writer will receive a bursary of £2000 and a comprehensive package of support including mentoring from the North Literary Agency and a manuscript appraisal from The Literary Consultancy. The award is made in memory of the writer Sid Chaplin (1916–1986) whose novels such as The Day of the Sardine and The Watchers and the Watched are celebrated for their stylistic mastery and their vivid and poignant depictions of working-class life in North East England.

The flagship Northern Writers’ Awards, which offer cash prizes of up to £5000 to support writers of fiction, narrative non-fiction, children’s, YA, graphic novels, short stories and poetry.

The Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards offer two emerging writers development opportunities within television. One writer will receive a mentoring placement with Lime Pictures working on their award-winning serial drama Hollyoaks for Channel 4 and E4. Another writer will develop an original TV drama project with Bonafide Films, whose recent shows include The Last Post by Peter Moffat for BBC One. Both winners will receive a bursary of £3000.

The New North Poets programme, produced by New Writing North and the Poetry School, is open to poets who are yet to publish a full-length collection.

Winning poets will receive a structured package of support on the programme, including a writing residency, group mentoring and workshops from the poet Clare Pollard, professional-development support and publication in a digital anthology.

The Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award, worth £2000, for fiction or poetry, open to final year students and recent graduates of the university.

TLC Free Reads Scheme, which offers up to three poets or prose writers an in-depth editorial report from The Literary Consultancy and a £500 bursary.

The Word Factory Apprentice Award is open to short story writers who have not yet published a collection. The winner will receive £1000; mentoring from the writer Carys Davies; and a package of support and opportunities with The Word Factory and Comma Press.

The Arvon Award, which offers a prose writer the chance to undertake an Arvon residential creative writing course.

The Young Northern Writer Award, worth £200, will recognise one young writer between 12 and 18 years old whose work shows exceptional promise.

The Matthew Hale Award, for writers aged 12-18 and worth £500, is for talented young writers who might otherwise lack the opportunity to pursue their writing promise.