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From 2023, Northern Writers’ Awards opening dates will be staggered throughout the year, please see below for dates.

Awards open between 6 December 2022 and 22 February 2023 

You may enter for one award, except that you may also enter the Finchale Award for Short Fiction in addition to another award.  

All applicants will hear from us by 9 June 2023. 

Northern Writers’ Awards for Poetry

Award details

Winning poets will receive awards of between £2000 and £5000 to support them to develop work in progress and to complete promising collections. These awards are open to applications from both emerging and established poets but poets yet to publish a full-length collection should consider entering the Northern Debut Awards: Poetry. 

Winners will also receive access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network. 

Entry details

To enter poets should submit up to 30 poems or an equivalent amount of longer sequences. Each submission of work must be accompanied by a commentary of up to 600 words that describes the proposed project. Please answer the application questions. 

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Working on a full-length collection of poetry. 

This award will be judged by Caroline Bird. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.     

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

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Northern Debut Awards: Poetry

Award details

This programme will offer a package of support to three poets who are yet to publish a full-length collection. 

The programme has been devised by New Writing North to offer developmental support to poets with a work in progress showing potential for publication. 

Three awards will be made in this category. Each winner will receive £2000, mentoring and access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network. 

Additionally, the three awardees will be offered a group Writing Weekend at Lockhaugh Farm in Rowlands Gill. We are very grateful to the generosity of Deborah Hunter at Lockhaugh Farm for providing this unique retreat. This will take place from 29 September to 1 October 2023. 

Two of the three winners will be accepted onto the Out-Spoken Press Emerging Poets Development Scheme and receive mentoring from Anthony Anaxagorou.    

Entry details

To enter poets should submit up to 30 poems or an equivalent amount of longer sequences. Each submission of work must be accompanied by a commentary that describes the proposed project. 

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • A debut poet: you may have published a pamphlet and had individual poems in magazines and anthologies but you should not yet have published a full collection.

This award will be judged by Caroline Bird and Anthony Anaxagorou. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.     

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

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Northern Writers’ Awards for Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction

Award details

Winners will receive awards of between £2000 and £5000 to support them to develop work in progress and to complete promising manuscripts. They will also be given access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network. 

These awards are open to applications from both emerging and established writers, but we recommend that as-yet-unpublished writers consider entering the Northern Debut Awards: Fiction programme or the Hachette Children’s Novel Award. Please read the Eligibility criteria carefully to see if you can enter this award. 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit a sample of 3000–6000 words and a synopsis of up to 600 words. Please answer the application questions. 

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Working on a full-length novel, work of narrative non-fiction or a short-story collection. 

This award will be judged by Sairish Hussain and Ross Raisin. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.     

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

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Northern Debut Awards: Fiction, Narrative Non-Fiction and Young Adult

Award details

This programme will offer a package of support to two writers of fiction or narrative non-fiction and one writer of young adult fiction who are yet to publish a full-length novel or collection of short stories. 

The programme has been devised by New Writing North to offer structured developmental support to writers with a work in progress showing potential for publication. Each winner will receive £2000, mentoring and access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network. 

Additionally, the three awardees will be offered a group Writing Weekend at Lockhaugh Farm in Rowlands Gill. We are very grateful to the generosity of Deborah Hunter at Lockhaugh Farm for providing this unique retreat. This will take place from 3 November to 5 November 2023. 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit a sample of 3000–6000 words and a synopsis of up to 600 words. Please answer the application questions. 

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • A debut author of fiction or narrative non-fiction or an debut author of young adult fiction; you may have published short work in magazines and anthologies.

Two awards will be selected by Sairish Hussain and Ross Raisin (Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction).  

One Young Adult winner will be selected by Lucy Irvine.  

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

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Sid Chaplin Award

Award details

The Sid Chaplin Award is 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; a manuscript appraisal from The Literary Consultancy; advisory sessions from the writer Michael Chaplin; an introduction to the North Agency; and access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network. 

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 depictions of working-class life in North East England. 

We are very grateful to the Chaplin family, the North Agency and Newcastle University for their support of this award. 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit a sample of 3000–6000 words and a synopsis and answer the application questions. 

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Identify as originating from a working-class background. 
  • Working on a memoir, novel, young-adult novel, short-story collection or work of literary essays.
  • An unpublished, emerging or established writer.

The award will be judged by the representatives of the North Agency, the Chaplin family and Newcastle University, along with a guest writer. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.     

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

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The Finchale Award for Short Fiction

Award details

This award is for a single unpublished short story of up to 1500 words. This opportunity is open to new, emerging and established writers. 

The winner of the Finchale Award for Short Fiction will receive £1000 and access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network. 

The award is named after Finchale Priory, a place of retreat for the monks of Durham during the Middle Ages. We’re massively grateful to the writer Benjamin Myers, whose generous support has made this unique opportunity possible.  

To enter writers should submit a short story of up to 1500 words and answer the application questions. 

Entry details

Please note, you may enter this award in addition to one other award. 

To apply for this award you should be: 

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months. 
  • Over the age of 18. 

This award will be judged by Zaffar Kunial and Adelle Stripe.  

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

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Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award

Award details

This award, worth £2000, is open to writers of poetry, fiction and narrative non-fiction who are either final-year students or graduates at Northumbria University who are based in the North of England. Writers can be at any stage in their career. 

The award is open to students and graduates from any discipline who are: final-year undergraduates; current postgraduate students; or alumni who have graduated from an undergraduate or postgraduate programme at Northumbria University within the last ten years. 

Entry details

We will accept the following for this award: 

  • A single standalone piece of work of 3000-6000 words. This can be a short story, poem, short script or a narrative non-fiction essay related to memoir, the arts, health or well-being.

Or  

  • An extract from a longer work of up to 3000–6000 words and a synopsis of up to 600 words. Please answer the application questions.

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • A final-year undergraduate; current postgraduate student or alumni who has graduated from an undergraduate or postgraduate programme at Northumbria University within the last ten years.

A shortlist will be selected by Northumbria University staff with the winner chosen by judges Sairish Hussain and Ross Raisin. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

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Young Northern Writers’ Awards

Award details

This award is open to young writers aged 11-18 in the North of England. Young writers can submit creative work in any form including prose, poetry, scriptwriting, blogging, songwriting and rap. 

There are two age categories, 11-14 and 15-18. Entrants must be 18 years or under on Thursday 22 February 2023 when the awards close. The winner in each category will receive prize money of £150. Up to two writers may also be highly commended across the age categories. 

Entry details

Applications for the awards are accepted in two ways: 

  • through nomination from an adult working with the young person (for example, parents, teachers or other adults)
  • by application directly from the young person

This award will be judged by Lucy Irvine. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.

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Matthew Hale Award

Award details

The Matthew Hale Award is open to young writers who show promise but have had limited opportunities to pursue their talent. This could be due to a number of factors, including physical or mental ill-health, family circumstances, financial circumstances, lack of access to cultural opportunities or any other reasons. 

This award is for a young person aged 11-18 based in the North of England. Entrants must be 18 years or under on 22 February 2023 when the awards close. Young writers can submit creative work in any form including prose, poetry, scriptwriting, blogging, songwriting and rap. 

There is one award winner each year. The award consists of a package of support created by New Writing North and is worth £500. The package will be tailored to the specific interests and needs of the winner, but could include anything from one-on-one mentoring with a professional writer, enrolment on a course, books, theatre tickets or a pass to a literature festival. 

This award is judged by the family of Matthew Hale and New Writing North. 

Entry details

Applications for the awards are accepted in two ways: 

  • through nomination from an adult working with the young person (for example, parents, teachers or other adults)
  • by application directly from the young person

Click the button below to apply for or nominate for the awards. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

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Award open between 18 January and 10 March 2023

Hachette Children’s Novel Award

Award details

The Hachette Children’s Novel Award is open to debut writers of middle-grade children’s fiction and early teen fiction.

We accept all kinds of debut children’s and early teen fiction, including but not limited to, romance, comedy, historical fiction, crime, mystery and fantasy. Please do not submit collections of short stories or individual short stories. Middle-grade fiction is for children aged approximately 8-11, and teen fiction is for readers aged 11/12+ and excludes high-end or explicit content including swearing, sex and drugs. We do not accept young adult fiction for this award.

In terms of target age group, we are looking for fiction for children aged 7-11 (at the younger end of this bracket the word count can be 15-30K; at the older end, approx. 40K), or teen fiction for readers aged 11-13 (50-65K words), this should still exclude high-end or explicit content including swearing, sex and drugs.

There will be two winners of this award. The winning writers will be offered a financial prize of £3000 each; and a programme of mentoring opportunities with professionals at Hachette Children’s Group and a children’s publishing agent, including a minimum of 4 professional development sessions in a nine-month period, across editorial and design, sales, marketing and publicity and rights. Any reasonable travel expenses will be covered by the publisher. Additionally, the winners will receive access to New Writing North’s programmes of support.

Entry details

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • A debut author of middle-grade and early teen fiction.

Please submit your initial 3000-6000 words and synopsis by the award deadline. Authors longlisted for the award will be contacted by 3 April 2023 and asked to deliver a complete draft of their manuscript by 17 April 2023.

This award will be judged by Polly Lyall Grant, Lauren Gardner, Rachel Faturoti and Will Mackie.

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected]

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Award open between 23 February and 10 April 2023 

Word Factory Apprentice Award

Award details

We are delighted to be working with the Word Factory to offer a short story writer based in the North access to the Word Factory Apprentice programme. This opportunity is open to writers who have not yet published a full-length work of fiction (either novels or short story collections). Previously self-published writers and published authors from other genres such as non-fiction and poetry may apply. 

The Word Factory Northern Apprentice will receive mentoring from the writer Jessie Greengrass; a £1000 bursary from New Writing North; and access to Word Factory and New Writing North activities. More information about the Word Factory can be found at www.thewordfactory.tv. 

This award will be judged by: The Word Factory and New Writing North 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit a short story of up to 2000 words and answer the application questions. 

Awards open between 1 March and 5 June 2023

Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Lime Pictures

Award details

There is one award available. The winner will be offered the unique chance to work closely with Lime Pictures through a placement on the serial drama Hollyoaks, mentoring support and a bursary worth £3000. 

No writing experience is necessary. For these awards, we want to discover new writers from Northern England who would like to work in television. We especially welcome submissions from people of colour and those from LGBTQ+, disabled and lower socio-economic backgrounds, who are particularly under-represented in this area of the TV industry. 

This award will be judged by: Lime Pictures, Channel 4 and New Writing North. A shortlist of candidates will be invited for interview in August/September 2023. 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit an outline of an original TV drama storyline (up to 400 words) and a sample script of no more than ten pages, and answer the application questions. Please note that writers who enter this award may also enter for Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Bonafide Films and Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Rollem Productions. 

To apply for this award you should be: 

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Writing for television and willing to commit to developing your work through the programme on offer.

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Rollem Productions

Award details

There is one award available. The winner will be offered the unique chance to work closely with Rollem Productions through a long-term placement, a bursary worth £3000 and mentoring support. The winner will also be given access to the C4/NWN Northern Talent Network. 

No writing experience is necessary. For these awards, we want to discover new writers from Northern England who would like to work in television. We especially welcome submissions from people of colour and those from LGBTQ+, disabled and lower socio-economic backgrounds, who are particularly under-represented in this area of the TV industry. 

This award will be judged by: Rollem Productions, Channel 4 and New Writing North. A shortlist of candidates will be invited for interview in August/September 2023. 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit a pitch of an idea for an original storyline (up to 400 words) and a sample script of no more than ten pages. Please also answer the application questions. Writers who enter this award may also enter for Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Bonafide Films and Channel 4 Writing for Televison Awards – Lime Pictures. 

To apply for this award you should be: 

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Writing for television and willing to commit to developing your work through the programme on offer.

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Bonafide Films

Award details

There is one award available. The winner will be offered the unique chance to work closely with Bonafide Films, receive a bursary of £3000 and mentoring support. 

No writing experience is necessary. For this award, we want to discover new writers from Northern England who would like to work in television. We especially welcome submissions from people of colour and those from LGBTQ+, disabled and lower socio-economic backgrounds, who are particularly under-represented in this area of the TV industry. 

This award will be judged by: Bonafide Films, Channel 4 and New Writing North. A shortlist of candidates will be invited for interview in August/September 2023. 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit an outline of an original TV drama storyline (up to 400 words) and a sample script of no more than ten pages, and answer the application questions. Please note that writers who enter this award may also enter for Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Lime Pictures and Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards – Rollem Productions. 

To apply for this award you should be: 

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Writing for television and willing to commit to developing your work through the programme on offer.

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

Awards open between 12 June and 31 July 2023

Arvon Award

Award details

In conjunction with Arvon, we are offering a prose writer the chance to undertake an Arvon course. This may be either a tutored or untutored retreat, depending on what you think will be of most benefit to you. Both children’s writers and writers for adults may apply for this award. We are grateful to Arvon for their continued support of this award. 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit a sample of 3000–6000 words and a synopsis of up to 600 words. Please answer the application questions.  

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Be working towards a full-length work of fiction or narrative non-fiction.

This award will be judged by Arvon and New Writing North. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

TLC Free Reads

Award details

For this award, we welcome entries from people who may have faced barriers to seeing their work progress for financial reasons or issues connected to disability, ethnicity and/or sexuality. For more information, see TLC’s website. 

In conjunction with The Literary Consultancy we are offering up to three poets, prose writers and children’s writers the chance to receive an in-depth editorial report on their work in progress, worth up to £300 each. You must be working towards a full-length work (e.g. a novel, work of creative non-fiction, poetry collection or short-story collection). Although your manuscript does not have to be complete, you must be in a position to submit the manuscript for assessment during 2023. Unpublished and previously published writers may enter work in this category. 

In addition to the Free Read, writers will receive access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network.

Entry details

To enter writers should submit and extract of between 3000 and 6000 words and a synopsis of up to 600 words. Please answer the application questions. Please note, you may enter this award in addition to one other award. 

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Be working towards a full-length work of fiction, narrative non-fiction or poetry.

This award will be assessed internally by New Writing North. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.     

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected] 

Award Opening Later

This Award is currently closed

NorthBound Book Award

Award details

The NorthBound Book Award, supported by the University of York and in partnership with Saraband, is open to writers of fiction or narrative non-fiction who have completed a full manuscript. New, emerging or established writers may apply for this award. Please read the Eligibility carefully for further details. 

There is one winner for this award. The award is for a full-length work. The winning writer will receive an advance against royalties of £5000, publication with Saraband and access to the Northern Writers’ Awards Network. Royalties will be paid on Saraband’s standard terms. 

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 Karen Lloyd. 

Entry details

To enter writers should submit a full manuscript and a synopsis of up to 600 words. Please answer the application questions. 

To apply for this award you should be:   

  • Living in the North of England at the time of entering and planning to remain here for at least another 12 months.
  • Over the age of 18.
  • Have a full manuscript that you believe is ready to be considered for publication.

This award will open for application in 2023. The judging panel for this award is not yet announced. 

For more information, please read the Eligibility and Conditions of Entry carefully.   

For any enquiries, please read the FAQs. If you still need an answer, contact us at [email protected]