Northern Writers’ Awards

Logo for New Writing North's Northern Writers' Awards

Closed for 2021, re-opening 2022. If you’re aged 12-18 you can enter the young people’s categories of the New Writing North’s Northern Writers’ Awards. If you are older, you can enter many of the other categories.

The Northern Writers’ Awards are open for entries until 18th February 2021.

We are looking for talented young writers to submit creative work in any form, including prose, poetry, scripts, blogging, songwriting and rap. There are three awards available for writers in Y7 upwards (up to a maximum of 18 years of age). You could win cash prizes of up to £150, or a package of writing support worth up to £500. Young people can enter themselves, or be nominated by an adult.

Find out more about the awards here.

The Young Northern Writer Award is part of New Writing North’s mission to recognise and support writing of exceptional promise. There are two categories: Y7–Y9 and Y10+ (to a maximum of 18 years of age). The winners in each category will receive a £150 cash prize, and there are two Highly Commended awards up for grabs here too! If you are a young person you can enter yourself by following this link. Adults can nominate young people for the award by following this link.

The Matthew Hale Award helps support a young writer who shows promise but lacks the opportunity to pursue their talent. This could be for a number of reasons, including physical or mental ill-health, family circumstances, lack of access to cultural opportunities or another limitation. The prize consists of a package of support created by New Writing North, and is worth £500. The package will be tailored to the specific interests and needs of the winning young writer, and could include anything from one-on-one mentoring with a professional writer or enrolment on a course, to books, theatre tickets or a pass to a literature festival. No matter your writing experience, if you’ve got something you want to say then they want to read it. The judges aren’t looking for perfect, they are looking for potential. If you are a young person you can enter yourself by following this link. If you’re an adult and know a young person you think should be entered, you can nominate them here. Entry is free!

Other Awards for poetry more generally include:

Northern Writers’ Awards for Poetry

Winning poets will receive awards of between £1000 and £5000 to support them to develop work in progress and to complete promising collections. These awards are open to applications from both emerging and established poets, but poets yet to publish a full-length work should consider entering the New North Poets Programme. Winners may also receive membership of the Society of Authors, should they meet the Society’s eligibility criteria. Judged by Don Paterson.

TLC Free Reads Scheme

For this award, they welcome entries from people who may have faced barriers to seeing their work progress for financial reasons or issues connected to disability, ethnicity and/or sexuality. For more information, see TLC’s website.

In conjunction with The Literary Consultancy they are offering up to three poets, prose writers and children’s writers the chance to receive an in-depth editorial report on their work in progress, worth up to £300 each. You must be working towards a full-length work (e.g. a novel, work of creative non-fiction, poetry collection or short-story collection), but your manuscript does not have to be complete. Unpublished and previously published writers may enter work in this category.

In addition to the Free Read, writers will receive a £500 bursary from New Writing North; the option of a visit to Oneworld publications; and an invitation to New Writing North’s Pitching Workshop and London Talent Party.

Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award

This award, worth £2000, is open to writers of fiction and poetry who are either final-year students or recent graduates from any discipline at Northumbria University who are based in the North of England. The award is open to students and graduates from any discipline who are: final-year undergraduates; current postgraduate students or alumni who have graduated from an undergraduate or postgraduate programme at Northumbria University within the last two years (since 2016).