Northern Writers’ Awards 2022 open for entry

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Publication, mentoring and cash awards to support outstanding unpublished works from the North of England

It’s that time of year again and we’re absolutely thrilled to open the Northern Writers’ Awards 2022.

People living in the North – whether they have been published before or are completely new – are invited to submit their unpublished work-in-progress to the Northern Writers’ Awards 2022, for the chance to win a share of £40,000 in publication and professional development opportunities.

New opportunities for 2022 include:

  • The Finchale Award for Short Fiction sponsored by previous winner Benjamin Myers
  • a development opportunity for emerging poets in partnership with Out-Spoken Press,
  • seminars given by The Soho Agency.

All winners will have the chance to be part of a new Northern Writers’ Awards Talent Network to receive a package of money-can’t-buy opportunities.

The Northern Writers’ Awards were founded in 2000 and exist to recognise talent and support new work towards publication or broadcast. They are produced by New Writing North with support from Northumbria University and Arts Council England and a range of partners.

Now in their 23rd year, the awards are the largest writing development programme of their kind in England and have a reputation for identifying some of the country’s best unpublished writing. The 2022 winners will join an impressive list of 360 writers who have been previously supported through the programme, many of whom have gone on to critical acclaim.

In 2021, published books which previously received Northern Writers’ Awards support as work-in-progress included:

  • The Unbelievable Biscuit Factory by James Harris (Hachette Children’s)
  • Diamond Hill by Kit Fan (Dialogue)
  • Castles from Cobwebs by J.A. Mensah (Saraband)
  • Approval by John D Rutter (Saraband)
  • The River Within by Karen Powell (Europa)
  • Much With Body by Polly Atkin (Seren)
  • Inscape by Kathleen Bainbridge (Vane Women)

In May 2022, Hachette Children’s Group will publish the middle-grade fantasy novel, Zeina Starborn and the Sky Whale, by Hannah Durkan, which won the Hachette Children’s Novel Award in 2020.

Other previous winners include Yvonne Battle-Felton, whose NWA-winning book Remembered was longlisted for the Women’s Prize; bestselling crime writer Mari Hannah, who found her literary agent through the awards; and poet Andrew McMillan whose debut collection, physical, supported by the awards, became the first poetry collection to win the Guardian First Book Award.

2013 award winner Benjamin Myers has gone on to critical acclaim since winning a Northern Writers’ Award for his novel Beastings; recent titles include The OffingMale Tears and The Gallows Pole, which is currently being filmed by Shane Meadows for a BBC TV series. Now he is supporting other writers with the introduction of a new award, The Finchale Award for Short Fiction.

The Northern Writers’ Awards offer a wide range of support and opportunities for writers at all stages of their careers, including publication, mentoring, manuscript assessment, writing placements, retreats and cash awards to buy time to write.

The Northern Writers’ Awards are produced by New Writing North with support from Northumbria University and Arts Council England. The full suite of awards is made possible by a range of vital partnerships with Arvon, Bonafide Films, Channel 4, Hachette Children’s Group, Lime Pictures, The Literary Consultancy, Madeleine Millburn Agency, Newcastle University, The North Literary Agency, Oneworld Publications, Out-Spoken Press, The Society of Authors, The Soho Agency, University of York, as well as generous donations from individual donors.

Find the full list of awards and apply by 17 February 2022 on the Northern Writers’ Awards site