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Eligibility and conditions of entry

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Eligibility criteria

We accept works of poetry, fiction of all genres, children’s fiction, creative non-fiction, graphic novels and children’s picture books. Our mission is to support writing of exceptional literary merit. For the Matthew Hale Award we also accept other forms of writing – please see the specific entry information for that award. For the Northumbria University Channel 4 Writing For Television Awards, writers may submit scripts or any other form of creative writing that demonstrates their ability to write dialogue.

Works of factual, technical, journalistic and scientific writing, local history, travel writing, translation or self-publishing projects are not eligible for entry.

The awards are open to submissions of work written in World English by writers of any nationality or descent who at the time of entering are permanently resident in the North of England.

Writers applying for the awards must currently live full-time in the North of England. The North of England is defined as the areas covered by Arts Council England in Yorkshire, North East and North West. We regret we are unable to accept submissions from outside these areas due to conditions in our funding from Arts Council England.

The Northern Writers’ Awards support new work in progress. The work that you enter for the awards must be your current work in progress. For poets, this means that we expect you to be able to present work in progress from a collection of poetry or pamphlet and to give information about the scope of the manuscript that you wish to complete. For prose writers we expect to see an extract of work supported by a synopsis that fully describes the book that you are working to complete.

To be considered, work does not have to be of a ‘northern’ flavour or have a ‘northern’ theme. Writers who are writing books set in the North of England but who do not live in the region are not eligible.

Prose writers are not eligible to enter for an award if the work that they are submitting is currently part of a book deal that they have received a publishing contract and advance for. If you receive a book deal for your work during the judging period it is your responsibility to inform us of this fact.

New Writing North will make final decisions on eligibility. Our decisions will be final and no communication will be entered into on the subject.

To be eligible submissions to the awards must have been made by 11:59pm on Thursday 2 February 2017. Submissions received after this point in time will not be eligible for entry.

Conditions of entry

All submissions to the awards must be made via the awards website.

Incomplete submissions will not be considered or acknowledged.

Writers entering the TV Awards may enter both strands (TV Drama and Serial Drama). Writers entering all other awards may only enter for one award each year. Please browse the criteria for each of the awards before choosing the one that is the best fit for your needs, age, gender and aspirations. There is one exception to this rule:

  • writers based in the North East may also make a submission for the Clare Swift Short Story Award in addition to any other awards they may have entered.

The work that you enter must be your own original work.

All submissions must be written by a single author.

If you win an award you will be asked to prove your place of residence and identity.

Entrants must be over the age of 18 for all of the Northern Writers’ Awards except for the Cuckoo Young Writer Award (which is for young people aged 14-18 years old) and the Matthew Hale Award (which is for young people aged 12-18 years old).

Undergraduate and postgraduate students may enter certain awards if they are permanently based in the North of England.

New Writing North withholds the right to withdraw and reclaim the financial value of an award if it is discovered that a writer has fabricated any information in their submission.

The awards are not open to employees of New Writing North or of our major supporters, Arts Council England and Northumbria University.

To qualify, a submission must consist of two items: the online application form and the creative work in progress. The Matthew Hale Award has specific entry requirements which you can review here.

Submissions received after the deadline will not be eligible for entry.

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence or discussion about the judging process will be entered into.

Winning writers must be available to participate in the prize ceremony in Newcastle upon Tyne on Thursday 29 June 2017. Winning authors will be expected to resource their own travel and accommodation costs in relation to attending the event. Winners who are under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Not all winning writers will be invited to the Summer Talent Party in London on 13 July. Those who are invited will be expected to resource their own travel and accommodation costs in relation to attending the event.

We reserve the right to withdraw an award if the author is not available to come to the event.

All winning authors must be available to participate in media and PR for the award around the time of the awards ceremony and related events.

We reserve the right to vary the rules and conditions of entry and to make any amendments to the published schedule as are deemed necessary.

Work that has already being self-published as a book online is not eligible for entry to the awards. All work entered must be unpublished.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your submission is eligible for the prize.

By entering your work for the awards you are confirming to us that the work that you are submitting is your own original work, and that you have read and agree to the Conditions of Entry of the awards.

We reserve the right to vary the rules and conditions of entry and to make any amendments to the published schedule as are deemed necessary.

We will write to everyone who entered for an award and inform them of the outcome of their application once the judging process has concluded. You will hear from us by early June 2017.

We apologise in advance that we are unable to enter into individual correspondence with writers about submissions that do not win awards or to give specific feedback on every submission that is made. This is due to the exceptionally large amount of entries that we have to process as part of the awards.

We intend that entering your work for the awards is an accessible process. If you are unclear about any aspect of the submission process please read our Frequently Asked Questions here. If your query can’t be answered this way please email us at We will endeavour to reply to your email in good time.

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