You must be over the age of 18 to enter.
There are two winners for this award. The winning writers will be offered a financial prize of £3000 each; and a programme of mentoring opportunities with the publisher 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 rights. Any reasonable travel expenses would be covered by the publisher. Additionally, the winner will receive access to New Writing North’s programmes of support.
Hachette Children’s Group reserves the right to consider any of the longlisted entries for publication. Each entrant of a longlisted entry (including the winners) agrees to enter into good faith discussions with Hachette Children’s Group if their entry is considered for publication.
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.
For the purposes of this award, ‘debut’ is defined as an author who has not published, nor is contracted to publish, a full-length work in children’s or early teen fiction. Writers previously published in other genres such as poetry, non-fiction and writing for adults may apply for this award. The writer must be unagented at the time of submission.
The initial work entered for this award will be a submission of 3000-6000 words, supported by a synopsis that fully describes the book. This must be submitted by the award deadline. A longlist of up to 10 writers will then be invited to submit the full-length draft of their novel at a later date. The longlist will considered by representatives of Hachette and New Writing North, with a shortlist of up to 6 writers submitted to the judges. Full-length manuscripts must be no shorter than 15,000 words and no longer than 65,000 words.
The Northern Writers’ Awards support new work in progress. The work that you enter for the awards must be your current work in progress. Applicants are not eligible if the work that they are submitting is currently part of a book deal that they have received a publishing contract and advance for. If you receive a book deal for your work during the judging period, it is your responsibility to inform us of this fact.
The award is open to submissions of work written in World English by writers of any nationality or descent who at the time of entering are permanently resident in the North of England. Applicants must currently live full-time in the North of England. The North of England is defined as the areas covered by Arts Council England in Yorkshire, North East and North West. We regret we are unable to accept submissions from outside these areas due to conditions in our funding from Arts Council England. Undergraduate and postgraduate students may enter if they are permanently based in the North of England.
To be considered, work does not have to be of a ‘northern’ flavour or have a ‘northern’ theme. Writers who are writing books set in the North of England but who do not live in the region are not eligible.
All entries must be made through the online submissions portal. To qualify, a submission must consist of two items: the online application form and the creative work in progress. To be eligible submissions to the awards must have been made by the award deadline. Submissions received after the deadline will not be eligible for entry.
The judging panel for this award consists of representatives of Hachette and New Writing North, alongside publishing professionals from unrelated organisations (such as literary agents or booksellers) and a writer.
New Writing North will make final decisions on eligibility. Our decisions will be final, and no communication will be entered into on the subject.
For more advice and guidance on your application, visit our FAQs.