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. Most writers cannot apply for the same project they were previously awarded for but there are two exceptions to this: if you are entering either the Hachette Children’s Novel Award or the Northbound Book Award.
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 Young Northern Writer and Matthew Hale awards are for writers aged 12 to 18 years of age. Female writers over the age of 42 are eligible for the Andrea Badenoch Award.
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.
Can I enter more than one award?
Usually, you may only enter one award but there are the following exceptions:
- Writers may enter for a TLC Free Read in addition to an application to one of the other awards categories.
- Writers may enter for both strands of the Channel 4 Writing for Television Awards.
- Writers eligible for the Andrea Badenoch Award will also be considered for a Northern Debut Award.
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, published and established writers?
- Unpublished: you have never published in magazines, websites or anthologies or your work has not been broadcast or staged yet.
- Emerging: your work has appeared online, in magazines, pamphlet form or anthologies, but you are yet to publish a full-length work. If a scriptwriter, your work has begun to be performed or broadcast.
- Published: you have published one full-length work (novel, collection of short stories or poetry collection) or you have had a full script performed or broadcast.
- Established: you have published two or more full-length works (novels, collections of short stories or poetry collections) or had two or more plays or TV episodes staged or broadcast.
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 Northbound Book Award and The Hachette Children’s Novel Award are 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.
Can I enter sample pages for the TV awards that don’t relate to the synopsis I have provided?
Yes, your sample writing does not have to come from the same synopsis you have given in your submission questions
Can the ten page sample of writing for the TV award be comprised of more than one scene?
Yes, whilst we have asked for one scene of up to ten pages, if your scene is shorter than ten pages you may supply multiple scenes. Just remember not to go over ten pages.