Developing Skills and Talent in the Creative Industries


Here you can find help and advice on writing. This comprehensive guide includes a list of links related to: careers, communities, courses and developing skills.


Visit Studio12’s Opportunities Guide for current writing events, funding, jobs & opportunities

Careers Guidance  

Visit the ScreenSkills website to view the Games Writer job profile.
Visit the ScreenSkills website to view the Screenwriter job profile.
Visit the ScreenSkills website to view the Script Supervisor job profile.

Writer’s Community – Poetry / Spoken Word

Apples and Snakes:
We are spoken word trailblazers, with artists at our heart. By bringing together important voices in interesting ways, we create inspiring experiences for audiences. We champion the development of extraordinary artists. As England’s leading spoken word poetry organisation, we exist to support poets at all stages of their careers. Working with inspiring people and organisations, we run regular live events and artist development programmes across the country. Through our Book a Poet scheme, we can help you find the best visiting artists for your workshops and events. We produce work in collaboration with other charities and organisations, including libraries, prisons, and housing associations. Visit Apple and Snake’s website to find out about their projects, events, how to get involved in the community, and sign up to the monthly newsletter. You can also follow Apple and Snakes on Facebook.

Hyde Park Book Club:
Based in Hyde Park, Leeds. This bar serves drinks and meals in addition to running music, comedy and other live events. They have run many spoken word events in the past. Visit Hyde Park Book Club’s website to check their current events.

Leeds Writers Circle:
A group of members that meet alternate Mondays at The Carriageworks in Millennium Square, Leeds. Every two weeks they have a manuscript evening where members are invited to read their work to the group, and receive constructive feedback from people who are writers themselves. They also run workshops on Saturdays, both by professional writers and by their members, and have three competitions a year. Follow Leeds Writer’s Circle on Twitter to find out about writing competitions and other opportunities. Visit the Leeds Writers Circle website to find out more about the member’s group. 

Leeds Young Authors (LYA):
A creative writing program for young writers and mentorship training. The lead in poetry slam and live performance in the UK with the Sunday practise. The project was developed with the aim to stimulate a love for poetry and literature as a whole among inner-city young people. LYA now meet weekly at the Host Leeds Media Centre in Chapeltown, where the group was originally started, to study poetry, word power and performance skills. Formed in September 2003 by Khadijah Ibrahiim, LYA have been performing their brand of hard-hitting, fast paced poetry not only locally, but as the first non-Americans in the Brave New Voices competition in Los Angeles 04, San Francisco 05, New York 06, San Jose 07 and Washington DC 08. LYA were also 2nd place winners in the hometown of slam poetry Chicago 09 and were the first UK team to be selected to be part of the BNV future Corp in Los Angeles 2010 and also represented in San Francisco 2011. Their work has extended across the UK, Gambia and the Caribbean. Follow Leeds Young Authors on Facebook to find out about opportunities and network with the community.

LS6 Cafe:
Based in Headingley, Leeds they have run ‘Outspoken’ spoken word events hosted by Say It With Your Chest, usually the 3rd Friday of each month. They also run an open mic night the 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month, hosted by Muted Productions. Visit the LS6 Cafe website to find out about their current events.

National Centre for Writing:
Support from Arts Council England has helped us create an early career digital programme, providing free resources, professional development and industry advice for new writers. Tailored early career support for the award winning writers will include residency opportunities, mentoring and industry support to help them build a sustainable career. Visit the National Centre for Writing website to access free writing resource packs, free online courses and tips for writers.

New Writing North:
We commission new work, create development opportunities, nurture talent and make connections that supports writing and reading in the North of England. We work with new writers and seek out talent across the North of England. We also work with more established writers, often in ways that allow them the freedom to experiment and grow creatively. We are inspired by new ideas and commission new writing across all forms. Visit the New Writing North website to find out about their projects, resources, events and training.

Nymphs & Thugs:
We are an independent spoken word record label established in 2015. Based between Leeds and London, our aim is to provide vital and accessible spoken word content at the heart of the UK’s thriving scene. As well as digital albums, we’ve released CDs, vinyl, zines, t-shirts, pin badges, tote bags and limited edition prints. We also produce national spoken word tours and ‘LIVEwire’ events around the UK. Our Twitter feed provides news and content from around the globe. And our Instagram feed features poetry excerpts from around the globe as well as weekly 30-minute Insta sessions with guest poets. You can also visit the Nymphs & Thugs to find out more about their work with artists and work they have released, in addition to news and events.

Poetry Daily:
They help make poetry part of daily life, presenting a new poem each day from new books and journals, along with poetry news links and more. Visit Poetry Daily’s website to sign up to the daily newsletter, and read the daily past poems.

Poetry London:
A leading international magazine, where new names share pages with acclaimed contemporary poets. We also publish a wide range of poetry in translation. The magazine is published in February, May and September. We receive a vast amount of submissions, so reading can take up to three months, and if your work is shortlisted, maybe even longer. You might find it helpful to read the magazine first, to see if your work is suitable. We pay poets £30 for one poem and £20 for each subsequent poem. Appropriate adjustments may be made for very long poems. Review and interview fees are agreed in advance with the Reviews Editor and benchmarked at £45 per 1,000 words. Visit Poetry London’s website to submit your poems and get paid if they feature in the magazine.

Poets & Writers, Inc:
The primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers. Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers. Our mission? To foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public. Each year, tens of thousands of poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers benefit from P&W’s programs, which include its eponymous magazine; a dynamic, information-rich website; financial support for readings and other literary events; and sponsorship of several notable writing prizes and awards. Visit the Poets & Writers website for information on publishing and promoting your writing, networking, support for writers undertaking literary readings and conducting writing workshops, and much more. You can also follow Poets & Writers Inc. on Twitter to find out about opportunities.

Sunday Practise:
A live music and poetry night at Sela Bar, Leeds – and so much more! If you want to be part of the biggest spoken word community in Leeds and meet like-minded people, this is where to go! It’s free and takes place the first Sunday of each month featuring spoken word, an open mic, DJ and drinks. Since being set up in April 2013, The Sunday Practise has featured both local and international acts. It’s is a great networking event that encourages artist collaborations. Run by Leeds Young Authors alumni, the team also offer creative writing workshops to schools, youth groups and young adults. Due to Covid-19 The Sunday Practise may be running events online, so follow them on Facebook. You can also follow the Sunday Practise on Instagram.

The Poetry Society:
Founded in 1909 to promote “a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry”. Since then, it has grown into one of Britain’s most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has more than 5,000 members worldwide and publishes the UK’s leading poetry magazine, The Poetry Review, which has been published since 1912. With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, The Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages. As well as the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, The Poetry Society runs the National Poetry Competition, one of the world’s longest-running and most prestigious prizes for an individual poem. The Poetry Society also ran the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry – the prize founded and supported by Carol Ann Duffy during her 10 year tenure as Poet Laureate. Visit The Poetry Society website to find out about competitions, events and projects. You can also follow the Poetry Society on Twitter.

The Rialto:
An independent poetry magazine (published three times a year) and poetry publisher. Visit the website to read poems from the magazine for free. The Rialto is part funded by Arts Council England. Visit The Rialto website to learn how to submit your poetry for possible publication, plus read articles and blogs by the editors, poets and guest writers.

Write Out Loud:
A national hub for participation in poetry, encouraging everyone who writes poetry – from still-too-nervous-to-do-open-mic to Nobel Prize winner – to share their words with others. The Write Out Loud website has been around since 2005, with over 45,000 people visiting the website each month. Here’s a guide to what you’ll find there:
• News: The latest news from the world of poetry, including reviews of events and books, details of competitions, and much more.
• Gig guide: Poetry events are an opportunity to share your work, meet up with other poets, socialise, and listen to a wide range of styles, ideas, forms, voices, and experiences. The gig guide is the best way to find out what’s going on in your area.
• Profiles: Creating a profile when you join Write Out Loud gives you the opportunity to tell us a bit about yourself.
• Galleries: Photos from poetry events and readings, showing poets of all ages, backgrounds, poetic styles and levels of experience.
• Discussions: Want to chat about a particular subject or issue in depth? This is the place to go.
• Poetry directory: A directory of festivals, publishers, poetry magazines, competitions and more.
Visit Write Out Loud’s website to access their free poetry resources.

Young Poets Network:
The Poetry Society’s online platform for young poets up to the age of 25. Here you’ll find features about poets and poetry, challenges and competitions to inspire your own writing, new writing from young poets, and advice and guidance from the rising and established stars of the poetry scene. We also bring you the latest news and ideas from the writing world, and a list of competitions, magazines and writing groups which particularly welcome young writers. Follow the Young Poets Network on Twitter to network and find out about opportunities for poets under age 25.

Writer’s Community – Screen Industries

BBC Writers Room:
You could work in TV or radio as a scriptwriter. BBC Writersroom has information, advice and workshops on writing and submitting scripts.

BBC Writers Room Free Resources:
Interviews, advice, toolkits, guidelines and other resources to help and support your writing. Includes:
– Scriptwriting Essentials: Watch a series of ten videos covering the essentials of writing a successful script.
– Tips & Advice: For writing TV and Film Drama, Continuing Drama, Comedy, Children’s and Radio.

BBC Writers Room Comedy Room is a 1-year development scheme for writers identified through our open submission script room and other talent searches. There are normally between 15 and 20 writers or writing pairs on the Comedy Room.  They usually meet once a month for six months and receive targeted training and development including workshops (with practical writing exercises), masterclasses, introductions and networking events, and writing briefs with the opportunity to pitch. Following this they receive the support of a Script Editor for a further 6 months to develop their original spec’ script. The aim of the scheme is to encourage and develop the best in new comedy writing and to give these writers the opportunity to build strong connections with producers and help them gain BBC broadcast commissions. To find out how to submit your script to the Comedy or Drama Room visit BBC’s website. You can also visit the BBC website to access the Comedy Room.

BBC Writers Room Script Library:
Read BBC TV, Radio and Film scripts

Channel 4 Commissioning:
Ever wondered what Channel 4 are currently looking for in pitches and scripts? Channel 4’s Content and Commissioning pages provide in-depth information. In each department (comedy, drama, daytime, E4, Film4 etc.) you’ll find an overview, information about specific areas of programming, a contacts list and FAQs. Visit the Channel 4 website to find out more about their commissioning process and how you can pitch your script.

Film Hub North – Online Filmmaker Roundtable:
Introduce yourself to our Talent Team. Our Online Filmmaker Roundtables give local writers, directors and producers the opportunity to connect with our Talent Development Team remotely. Each Roundtable is hosted by one of Film Hub North’s BFI Network Talent Executives and involves up to 10 local filmmakers. The sessions are informal events primarily for creatives who have not yet had a 1-2-1 meeting with our team. They’re a chance to introduce yourself to our team and find out about the film funding and training opportunities available through BFI Network. You’ll also get to meet some of the region’s filmmakers, chat about your work and lay the foundations for future collaborators. Visit Film Hub North’s website to find out more about the Roundtables and how you can join in.

Film Hub North – Script Mixer:
A regular online meet up for creatives in the North to talk storytelling. Script Mixers are informal events that provide creatives in the North the chance to meet up, chat over a drink and form new filmmaking teams. We’re continuing to bring writers, directors and producers together remotely through our online series of Mixers. We’ll be using Zoom breakout rooms to recreate the friendly spirit of our in-person events. Our BFI Network team will mix small groups of filmmakers together and rotate the rooms throughout the evening. And we’ll be on hand to make introductions, help workshop ideas and answer any questions about our film funding and talent development opportunities. Visit Film Hub North’s website to find out more about the Script Mixers and how you can join in.

ScreenSkills Masterclass: Writing International TV Dramas by Brendan Foley. Jeff Melvoin and Brendan Foley break down the differences between the US and UK writing systems and the lessons to be learned from each of them. Visit ScreenSkill’s website to view the masterclass.

Courses / Talent Development Schemes

BBC Comedy Room:
A 1 year development scheme for writers identified through our open submission script room and other talent searches. There are normally between 15 and 20 writers or writing pairs on the Comedy Room.  They usually meet once a month for six months and receive targeted training and development including workshops (with practical writing exercises), masterclasses, introductions and networking events, and writing briefs with the opportunity to pitch. Following this they receive the support of a Script Editor for a further 6 months to develop their original spec’ script. The aim of the scheme is to encourage and develop the best in new comedy writing and to give these writers the opportunity to build strong connections with producers and help them gain BBC broadcast commissions. To find out how to submit your script to the Comedy or Drama Room visit BBC’s website. To access free comedy resources and industry guidance, visit the BBC Comedy Room.

BBC Writers Room Drama Room:
A 1-year writer development scheme for writers identified through our open submission script room and other talent searches.
There are normally between 15 and 20 writers on the Drama Room scheme. They usually meet once a month for six months and receive targeted training and development including workshops (with practical writing exercises), masterclasses, introductions and networking events, and writing briefs with the opportunity to pitch. Following this they receive the support of a Script Editor for a further 6 months to develop their original spec’ script. The aim of the scheme is to encourage and develop the best in new drama writing and to give these writers the opportunity to build strong connections with producers and help them gain BBC broadcast commissions. To find out how to submit your script to the Comedy or Drama Room visit BBC’s website. To access free drama resources and industry guidance, visit the BBC Drama Room.

BBC Felix Dexter Bursary:
A six-month bursary awarded to aspiring comedy writers to develop their skills at the BBC. The bursary is open to black, Asian and other ethnic minority writers (or writing duos) who are aged 18 or over. An opportunity, offered by BBC Comedy in partnership with the BBC Writersroom, which is designed to find writers with a fresh, unique point of view and the potential to help shape the future of comedy, whether in the BBC or elsewhere in the industry. It aims to make a positive intervention to address an under-representation of BAME professionals in comedy production in broadcasting. On a practical level, the bursary gives up-and-coming talent the chance to make comedy writing their main focus for six months, while immersed in comedy production. They hone their skills while gaining experience on a range of BBC comedies across radio, TV and online, on panel shows, shorts, sitcoms or comedy entertainment shows. The programme offers the writers the support they need to take the next step in their career. Visit the BBC website to find out when the Felix Dexter scheme reopens.

BBC Studios Writers’ Academy:
Are you an up-and-coming screenwriter? Do you want a career writing TV Drama? The BBC Studios Writers’ Academy gives writers the opportunity to learn from some of the biggest names in the industry, the chance to develop their skills on the BBC’s flagship shows (EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City, Doctors, and River City), and the opportunity to work with some of the UK’s best television drama production companies. The Writers’ Academy will give a minimum of eight writers a year’s paid training, with guaranteed commissions on the BBC’s flagship shows as well as the chance to develop an original project with BBC Studios, or one of the BBC’s independent production partners. We want writers who are passionate about television drama, bursting with ideas and a love of popular drama. Past Graduates’ Successes:
• 2000 hours of British and Irish TV drama produced from graduates.
• 35 original commissions including Grantchester, Pure, Watership Down, Father Brown, My Mad Fat Diary, Shakespeare and Hathaway, The Victim, and Red Rock.
• 47 original drama series/films in development.
• 50 members of core writing teams on shows including: Casualty, Doctors, EastEnders, Holby City, River City, and Coronation Street.
• 37 Lead Writers/Showrunners on original and continuing drama series.
• Nominations and wins for a range of awards including Oscar, Emmy, BAFTA, Royal Television Society Award, Writer’s Guild Award, Soap Awards. Visit the BBC Studios website to find out more about the Writers’ Academy.

Channel 4 Screen Writing Course (paid opportunity, for ages 18 and over):
The purpose of the course is to offer 12 writers new to television drama an insight into how the industry works and to provide a “dry-run” of what it can be like to write under a television drama commission, specifically for one hour series and serial drama, and to work with them as they write an original drama script. Writers will be expected to write an original C4 / E4 one-hour drama series or serial pilot episode, and 2-3 page outline / pitch for the series / serial as a whole. Each writer will be assigned a script editor, who is currently working in the industry, to guide them through this process. Writers will meet at least twice with their script editor and should complete a 2nd draft script before the 2nd weekend of the course. Completed, 2nd draft scripts will be sent to the script editor and two other writers on the course, for workshop discussions at the second weekend. Eligibility: Only writers who do not have a broadcast credit as a television writer or theatrical release as a feature film writer may apply (although produced short films – 20 minutes or less – are exempt). Visit the Visit the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course website for more details and to find out when applications reopen.

New Writing North – Northern Writers’ Awards:
Established in 2000, the Award supports work-in-progress by new, emerging and established writers across the North of England. The Awards support writers creatively as they develop their work towards publication, as well as helping them to progress professionally and navigate their way through the publishing industry. The awards are produced by New Writing North with support from Northumbria University and funding from Arts Council England. Winning an award can buy time to complete work or can lead to development opportunities with New Writing North and some of our literature and broadcast sector partners, including Channel 4, Hachette Children’s Group, Arvon, and The Literary Consultancy. Visit New Writing North’s website to find out more about the Northern Writers’ Awards. 

New Writing North – Verb New Voices:
This writing development programme discovers and commissions exciting new writers from the North of England to make innovative work for BBC Radio 3 programme, The Verb. Verb New Voices 4 is a partnership between the BBC, The Writing Squad, Arvon, and New Writing North, who manage the project. The writers each receive a paid commission to write an 8-minute piece for BBC Radio 3’s The Verb, which will also be performed live at Contains Strong Language, a BBC poetry festival in Hull, and BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. The development package includes a 2-day workshop with the BBC, a residential course at Arvon, and other support from partners as identified by the artist. The writers receive a £2,000 bursary to support their involvement in Verb New Voices 4. Visit New Writing North’s website to find out more about Verb New Voices.

Peggy Poole Award:
The award helps emerging writers develop their craft, and gives poets in the North West of England the chance to win a year of mentoring from a leading poet, running alongside the National Poetry Competition. To be eligible for the Peggy Poole Award, you just need to enter the National Poetry Competition and be living in one of the following postcode regions: BB, BD, BL, CA, CH, CW, FY, IM, L, LA, M, OL, PR, SK, WN and WA. When you make your entry, you’ll be able to opt in to being considered for the award. Last year’s winner was Saiqa Khushnood, who is now being mentored by Malika Booker. The National Poetry Competition is open for entries in 2020 and the closing date is 31st October. You can enter online at:

Scratch Me: 
A filmmaking lab for people who don’t make films – yet! It’s a talent development programme for writers and writer-performers from a range of disciplines who want to experiment with the moving image. You might be a comedian, spoken word artist, scratch performer, theatre maker, social media storyteller or DIY filmmaker. Whatever your existing practice, the most important thing is your creativity. Scratch Me will help you realise your ideas on screen. Scratch Me is all about characters. Exciting, original, can’t-look-away characters. Over the course of a two-month programme of workshops, mentoring sessions and writing challenges, lab participants will develop a fully-formed character who has the potential to lead to a short film, TV series or feature film. At the end of the programme, our writers will collaborate with a team of emerging filmmakers to create a short scratch monologue film which will be presented to industry executives at a special showcase event. You’ll leave Scratch Me with a powerful new addition to your creative portfolio and the confidence to develop your film and TV skills further. Scratch Me is a Film Hub North and BFI NETWORK project delivered in partnership with Screen Yorkshire and SIGN (Screen Industries Growth Network). Visit Film Hub North’s website to find out when applications reopen.

The Writing Squad:
A 2 year programme development programme for writers aged 16-21 living, working or studying in the north of England. Every two years we recruit 30 writers aged 16-21 from across the north of England. We offer a free programme of workshops, one to ones, project activity and professional development. After writers have completed the 2 year programme, the Squad continues to work with them and support the development of their writing and careers. We provide continued support with their writing plus professional development advice, investment and invitations to attend residential courses and special workshops. Applications next open Dec. 2021. To make sure you don’t miss us out on the talent development scheme, visit Writing Squad’s website and sign up to the newsletter.

Awards / Competitions

Alfred Bradley Bursary Award:
The Award is a £5,000 writing bursary to Northern writers new to radio and the chance of a Radio 4 drama commission. The Award was established in 1992 to commemorate the life and work of Alfred Bradley, the distinguished BBC Radio Drama Producer and is run by Radio Drama North in conjunction with BBC Writersroom. Entrants must submit an original and complete drama script written for radio, TV, stage or film which should be at least 30 pages long. Previous winners include Lee Hall (Billy Elliot, War Horse), Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Debt) and Cat Jones (Doctors, Waterloo Road) who have all gone on to have huge success across radio, TV and film. To apply you must be aged 18 or over and currently reside in the North of England on a permanent / full time basis. The North of England is defined by the Boundary Committee for England which includes the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber. Visit BBCs website to find out more about the Alfred Bradley Bursary Award.

Cranked Anvil:
We produce theatre, film, radio, podcasts, written word, events, as well as collaborating with other artistic companies and professional practitioners, to create and develop cultural and artistic work. Since Cranked Anvil formed in 2012 as a small-scale touring theatre company it has grown rapidly and ambitiously, and now it encompasses all manner of artistic and literary endeavours. 2020 sees the development of the publishing arm of Cranked Anvil Media. There will be more information on the website as it develops – including details of submission guidelines. Visit Cranked Anvil’s website to find out about the Short Story and Flash Fiction competitions, with several deadlines throughout each year.

Creative Writing Ink:
Visit Creative Writing UK’s website to find out about writing competitions. You can also follow them on Twitter to find out about writing development opportunities.

Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction:
Comma Press and the University of Central Lancashire are proud to host the annual Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction. It is open to anyone age 18 or over who is a UK resident.The winning writer will receive £500 and all 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an ebook anthology which will be published by Comma Press and sold online. The winner will also have their story published online by our media partner Northern Soul. It is free to submit your entry, but only one per writer please. To find out more about the Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction visit the Comma Press website.

Globe Soup:
The online space for creative travellers. Read travel stories, get travel tips, discover new places. Take part in creative competitions to win prizes. Get paid to write… Globe Soup is an online space for creativity inspired by the world around us. We’re not just a travel site, we run international competitions open to anyone. We hope that by bringing together creatives from around the globe we can help inspire each other. Globe Soup hosts four main writing competitions each year: Travel Writing, Short Story, Poetry and Flash Fiction.
We also run photography and film making contests. Competitions are a great way to hone your skills, practice working to a deadline, gain exposure and of course, all our competitions offer cash prizes, which is a great way to fund future travel! Visit Globe Soup’s website to view competition opportunities.

Laura Kinsella Fellowship:
The Fellowship will support one exceptionally talented early career writer of literary fiction. This exciting new Fellowship is an inclusive platform for writers at the beginning of their career. Set up to support writers experiencing limiting circumstances, or whose voices are underrepresented in mainstream literary fiction, one writer will receive not only a cash prize but a bespoke programme of support delivered by National Centre for Writing. The chosen Laura Kinsella Fellow will be committed to their development and show extraordinary promise. The selected writer will receive:
• A prize of £4,000
• A programme of bespoke professional development and promotional opportunities, which may include space and time to write, mentoring, residency or research trips, introductions to the industry, or engagement with our existing programmes
The Laura Kinsella Fellowship is part of the National Centre for Writing’s Early Career Awards. Visit the the National Centre for Writing’s website to find out more about the Laura Kinsella Fellowship.

Merky Books New Writers’ Prize:
Merky Books is an award-winning book publishing imprint launched by Stormzy and Penguin Random House UK in 2018. Merky Books New Writers’ Prize is their annual writing competition that is open to young, underrepresented, and unpublished writers from across the UK and ROI. The winner of the New Writers’ Prize will receive a publishing contract with #Merky Books. All longlisted writers will also be invited to our Writers’ Camp, where they will be able to participate in writing workshops, panel talks, editorial one-to-ones, and meet the #Merky Books team. The prize will also aim to provide all applicants the tools, information and access they need to develop their ideas, progress their writing and set off on the path to publication. We’re looking for unpublished writers aged between 16 and 30 who are currently a resident in the UK or ROI. If you have a manuscript you are working on, or an idea ready to be put onto paper, we want to hear from you. We are looking for writers telling the stories that are not being heard, and the stories that deserve to be read, across fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Unfortunately we will not be accepting children’s books this year, but aim to open the New Writers’ Prize for this next year. Visit Penguin Books to find out more about the New Writers’ Prize and to apply.

NAWE’s mission is to advocate for Creative Writing: enhancing knowledge and understanding of the subject and supporting writers and good practice in teaching and facilitation in all settings. NAWE is a registered charity, supporting both members and the sector as a whole, providing information and advice on professional development for writers and other literature professionals. NAWE’s website has details of all the latest jobs, competitions and events for writers throughout the UK. 

New Writing North The Gordon Burn Prize (for fiction / non-fiction novels):
The prize seeks to reward a published title – fiction or non-fiction – which represents the spirit and sensibility of Gordon’s literary methods. We love novels which dare to enter history and to interrogate the past and non-fiction brave enough to recast characters and historical events to create a new and vivid reality. The winning writer will receive £5,000 and the chance to undertake a writing retreat of up to three months at Gordon Burn’s cottage in Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders. Visit New Writing North’s website to find out more about the Gordon Burn Prize.

New Writing North The Julia Darling Travel Fellowship (for novelists, poets or playwrights):
The Fellowship supports a creative writer or writers for a period of travel and exists to remember the late writer Julia Darling. The fellowship is worth £2,000 and is supported by a wide range of Julia’s friends and family, including many leading writers. The Julia Darling Travel Fellowship can be used to fund travel in the UK or internationally, and is open to individuals or groups of writers. Applicants must live in the North of England and may be novelists, poets or playwrights and should have at least one professionally produced or published work to their name. Visit New Writing North’s website to find out more about the Travel Fellowship.

Roundhouse Poetry Slam:
The Slam hapens annually and has been running 14 years. If you’re age 18-25 this is a great way to get your poetry recognised, and raise your writing profile. By taking part, you’ll get….
• The chance to showcase your talent in front of live and online audiences.
• The opportunity to make industry contacts, raise your profile and network with peers and professionals in the spoken word industry.
• Have the opportunity to compete for the title of Roundhouse Slam Champion and win a cash prize if you finish in the top three or win the audience vote.
• Finalists’ performances will be professionally filmed and uploaded to the Roundhouse YouTube Channel, which has over 16,000 subscribers. Past finalist videos have been reposted by global online publications and accumulated views in excess of 5 million.
• Cash prizes for the runners up
Visit Roundhouse’s website to find out more about the Poetry Slam.

SI Leeds Literary Prize (for unpublished fiction by UK Black and Asian women):
The Prize exists to act as a loudspeaker for Black and Asian women’s voices, enabling fresh and original literary voices from a group disproportionately under-represented in mainstream literary culture to reach new audiences. In addition to providing a platform for these new voices, a key part of the Prize’s ethos is to support our shortlisted writers through a package of speaking events, network development, training and mentoring to enable them to fulfil their potential. The Prize is Leeds-based but national in its remit, and is for Black and Asian women writers aged 18 or over who are resident in the UK. Unusually, it is a prize for unpublished fiction, which makes it distinct from many other literary prizes for which only published works are eligible. The Prize’s focus on unpublished fiction means that, importantly, it encourages the broadest range of entries, separate from publishing trends or expectations about the sorts of book that our eligible writers might choose to write. Previous winners have received a £3,000 award plus a host of additional valuable benefits through the Prize’s unique Prize Plus writer development scheme, including a free place at an Arvon creative writing course; free manuscript assessment of their work from The Literary Consultancy; invitation to New Writing North’s London summer salon event for publishers and agents; workshops and support; speaking engagements, including at Ilkley Literature Festival 2018 and serious consideration for publication by Peepal Tree Press. Visit the SI Leeds website to find out more about the Literary Prize.

Society of Authors’ Awards:
Seven awards are available spanning fiction, poetry, non-fiction and illustrated children’s books. The Society of Authors’ Awards are run for authors and judged by authors, annually recognising the best and most promising voices of the year. Our awards for fiction are open to work from writers at all stages of their careers, from short stories to novels, and we accept submissions from both self-published and traditionally-published authors. We also administer two awards that celebrate the best in non-fiction writing from young authors. Our poetry awards are amongst the most prestigious in the UK. They celebrate excellence in poetry from those just starting out as well those established in their careers. Visit Society of Author’s website to find out more about the annual Awards and how you can apply.

The National Poetry Competition (for unpublished poems):
The 2020 National Poetry Competition is one of the world’s most prestigous prizes for an unpublished poem of up to 40 lines, open to anyone 18 or over. First Prize: £5000, Second Prize: £2000, Third Prize: £1000, Commendations: £200. Applications for the National Poetry Competition are now open and close 31st October 2020. Visit the Poetry Society’s website to find out more about the National Competition and to apply.

UEA New Forms Award:
The Award seeks fiction that explores the boundaries of possibility. We are seeking fiction writers at the beginning of their careers whose work does some of the following:
• Collaborate with other art-forms or in site specific/site responsive ways
• Experiment with forms of performance or print
• Challenge traditional form or experiment with theme, style, voice, structure or language
• Inhabit a digital space through online collaboration, gaming, virtual or augmented realities or other virtual ecologies
• University of East Anglia has a reputation for creative writing spanning half a century. In collaboration with National Centre for • Writing this brand new award exists to champion bold innovation in craft, rewarding a daring new voice in fiction.
One winning writer will receive:
• A prize of £4,000
• A bespoke period of development – mentoring, learning opportunities and promotional platform, depending on the writer’s ambition and need. The UEA New Forms Award is part of the National Centre for Writing’s Early Career Awards.
Visit National Centre for Writing’s website to find out more about the UEA New Forms Award.


Academic Positions: Browse all the latest literature jobs.

Arts Council England (ACE): Browse all the latest literature jobs.

The Guardian: Browse all the latest literature jobs.



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