Penguin Random House looking for new and under-represented writers from the North

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We are delighted to once again be working with the UK’s largest publisher, Penguin Random House UK, to encourage new and under-represented writers from the North to apply to its WriteNow programme. 

In partnership with New Writing North, Penguin Random House will be coming to Liverpool on Saturday 15 September to host a free workshop for 50 writers about how to get their book published, with advice and insights from established authors, literary agents and other industry experts. The event will also give each attendee the unique opportunity to receive one-on-one feedback from a Penguin Random House editor on their manuscript.

Penguin Random House will be holding similar workshops in London and Nottingham, with budding illustrators from around the country invited to learn more about becoming a picture book illustrator at the event in Nottingham on 29 September. Ten exceptional writers/illustrators from across the three workshops will be invited to join a year-long mentoring programme, during which time they will be paired with a Penguin Random House with an editor or designer with experience and expertise in their genre to develop their manuscript or illustrations further.

We are looking for unpublished writers in fiction, non-fiction, and children’s/Young Adult genres, as well as illustrators of children’s picture books, who consider themselves under-represented in publishing to apply.

50 talented writers will be invited to attend the free workshop in Liverpool in September, with 10 illustrators invited to attend the Nottingham event.

WriteNow is Penguin Random House’s flagship campaign which aims to seek out, mentor and publish new and under-represented voices on the UK’s bookshelves. This includes writers and picture book illustrators from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, those who have a disability, or come from a socio-economically marginalised background. This is also the first year that Penguin Random House is calling for entries from picture book illustrators; an area of publishing which has historically seen less representation.

WriteNow is already achieving real change: of the 23 writers who are currently part of the WriteNow mentoring programme, five have already been offered publishing deals, with the first book by a mentee – Charlene Allcott’s The Reinvention of Martha Ross – published in July this year. Two further current mentees are from Liverpool: Emma Morgan, whose literary debut A Love Story for Bewildered Girls has also been bought by Penguin; and Christine Brougham, who is writing a memoir about growing up with cerebral palsy. Penguin Random House wants to find more talented voices from the region this year.

WriteNow Liverpool takes place on Saturday 15 September. 

The application period is open until midnight on Monday 9 July (for writers) and midnight on Monday 23 July (for illustrators), with further information about how to apply available at