What kind of writer do I need to be to enter?
Please read the Eligibility and Conditions of entry for the awards that interest you.
Where do I have to live to enter?
Writers must be based 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.
Can I apply for an award if I am a previous winner of a Northern Writers’ Awards?
Yes, if you meet all the necessary eligibility criteria. You cannot apply for the same project you were previously awarded for, however.
How old do I need to be to enter for an award?
You must be over 18 years of age to enter for most of our awards. The Cuckoo and Matthew Hale awards are for writers aged 12 to 18 years of age. However, some of our awards have specific age restrictions – please check the individual information on each award before entering.
Are the awards only for younger or new writers?
No. We are interested in supporting talented writers, whatever age they are. We understand that the work of talented writers comes to fruition at different times for different people. When we refer to ‘emerging’ or ‘new’ writers, we are not making any assumptions about the age at which writers reach or arrive at these stages. Some of our awards have specific age criteria that is clearly stated in the information about those awards.
Do I have to have a track record to enter the Writing for Television Award? No, we are interested in identifying new writers and welcome entries by people who are new to writing as well as those with more experience of writing but who are not yet produced.
How do you define new, emerging and published writers?
By ‘published’ writers, we mean writers with a track record of publication, as in novels and collections of poetry published by recognised publishers. Writers whose work has appeared in magazines and anthologies and who are pursuing full publication of a longer piece of work we define as ‘emerging’ writers. Writers who are new to writing and who have not yet published their work, we define as ‘new’ writers.
Which award should I enter for?
Browse the awards that we offer and identify the particular award that best reflects both your aspirations and your current needs as a writer. Most of the awards require you to have a current work in progress, although the Northern Book Prize is for a completed, unpublished work.
Can I enter a self-published book or e-book?
No. The awards are aimed at supporting new work and work in progress, so work that has been previously published as a book or e-book is not eligible.
Can I enter a children’s picture book or a graphic novel? Yes, if you would like to enter a graphic novel or picture book either as the writer/graphic artist please do so through the applications portal. Please note that if you are entering for this award you must be entering work that is graphic as well as written, as we cannot accept just the written element of a project for the awards.
What is creative non-fiction?
There is no universally agreed definition of creative non-fiction. Creative non-fiction has stylistic and structural similarities to fiction but deals instead with factual or mostly factual subject matter. For the Northern Writers’ Awards, our definition of the work that fits in this category includes biography, memoir, nature writing and non-fiction with a strong literary intent.
Can I enter if I already have an agent?
Yes. It’s useful for us to know if you already have an agent representing your work. Please only mention having an agent if you have actually signed a representation agreement with an agency.
Can I enter if I already have a book deal?
As the awards exist to support work in progress you cannot enter work that is completed and for which a publishing deal is secured. If you have a book deal in place you could enter new work from your next project for an award. We define a book deal as being a contract with a publisher that involves you being paid an advance for your writing and a royalty on book sales.
Poets may enter work in progress from a collection as long as it is not yet completed and signed up to a publication schedule with a publisher.
You can enter for the Northumbria University Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards if you have a book deal.