The London Writers Awards – an annual development programme for diverse writers from across London – is open for submissions. 

Sponsored by Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and supported by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the London Writers Awards 2021 is organised by Spread the Word – a London’s literary development charity –  and it is focused on developing authors of Literary Fiction, Commercial Fiction, YA/Children’s Fiction and Narrative Non-Fiction.

Now in its third year, the free-to-enter award was launched in 2018 in response to Spread the Word’s 2015 report Writing the Future, in which it discovered that ‘the publishing industry’s poor commitment to diversity is putting it at risk of becoming culturally irrelevant’.

Since its initial launch, the award programme has since agented 15 winning writers and confirmed 5 book deals.

The London Writers Awards is open to diverse writers, in particular, those ‘from Black & Ethnic minority communities to apply as well as those from working class communities, LGBTQIA+ and disabled writers’.

Successful applicants will receive a 10-month development programme, bursary support and an access fund to ‘ensure equity for all writers’ plus the opportunity to network with agents and publishers.

Ruth Harrison, Director, Spread the Word comments: “There is an urgent need for more stories from London’s diverse communities. The London Writers Awards is the only development programme in the UK that has equity at its heart, is free to participate in with bursaries and an access fund. It offers writers the opportunity to become part of a community, improve your craft and connect with the publishing industry. We are looking forward to receiving applications from talented writers from across London’s communities for the third year of the Awards, and to continuing to make change for writers and readers.”

Check here for more information about the award programme and deadline for applying is 30th September 2020.

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