£40,000 in prizes for the region's new writers

THE Northern Writers’ Awards 2017 are inviting the region's writers to submit their work for £40,000 of cash prizes, with entry open until February 2.

Founded by New Writing North in 2000, the awards have a reputation for identifying some of the best unpublished writing in the UK. Recent winners include the novelist Benjamin Myers, short story writer Carys Davies, and poets Andrew McMillan and Zaffar Kunial.

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The literary agent Elise Dillsworth, writer Richard T Kelly, poet Clare Pollard, YA writer Juno Dawson and journalist Peter Wilby will judge the awards in 2017.

The Northern Writers’ Awards exist to recognise talent and support new work towards publication or broadcast.

In 2017 there is £40,000 worth of awards available for writers at different stages of their careers, including mentoring, developmental support and cash awards to buy time to write.

The flagship Northern Writers’ Awards offer cash prizes of up to £5,000 for writers of fiction, narrative non-fiction, children’s, YA, graphic novels, short stories and poetry.

TLC New Fiction Reads gives new writers an in-depth editorial report from The Literary Consultancy.

Poetry School New North Poets Mentoring Scheme, delivered with The Poetry School, offers five emerging poets a year-long mentoring programme led by Clare Pollard.

Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award, worth £2,000, for fiction or poetry, is open to final year students and recent graduates of the university.

The Channel 4/Northumbria University Writing for Television Awards – Serial Drama offers two writers development opportunities within television. Two winners will be offered the unique chance to work closely with Lime Pictures through a mentoring placement on the serial drama Hollyoaks. Each winner will receive a bursary of £3,000.

The Channel 4/Northumbria University Writing for Television Awards – TV Drama will offer one writer the opportunity to work closely with Bonafide Films, an independent production company involved in creating original TV drama, and will include a mentoring placement. The winner will receive a bursary of £3,000.

There is also the £1,000 Clare Swift Short Story Award open exclusively to North-East writers for the best unpublished short story; The Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award, worth £2,000, for debut female writers over the age of 42 (Andrea’s age when she was first published); The Arvon Award offering a residential creative writing course; The Cuckoo Young Writers Award, worth £200, a young writer between 14 and 18 years old and The Matthew Hale Award, for writers aged 12-18 and worth £500. Parents, teachers and other adults are invited to nominate talented young writers who might otherwise lack the opportunity to pursue their talent.

Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North, says: “Last year we received more than 1,000 entries, so it is a very competitive process, but we know that winning an award can have a real and lasting impact on a writer’s career. For many writers, winning a Northern Writers’ Award is just the start of a long-term relationship with us and we can support them to progress their careers in all kinds of ways.”

For details see northernwritersawards.com.