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Established in 2000 by New Writing North, the Northern Writers’ Awards supports work-in-progress by new, emerging and established writers across the North of England. The Awards support writers creatively as they develop their work towards publication, as well as helping them to progress professionally and navigate their way through the publishing industry.

The Northern Writers' Awards

The awards support both new and established writers to develop their work towards publication and to progress their careers as writers. For new writers, winning a Northern Writers’ Award can help to connect you to the publishing industry and to develop your work towards publication; for established writers, awards can help to buy time to write to support the development of new work and offer creative opportunities.

With high-profile literary judges and support and interest from across the publishing industry, the awards are now recognised nationally as a major talent-spotting programme that identifies and supports great writing and writers. Browse our previous winners to see the published work that the awards have supported.

Success stories

The Northern Writers’ Awards have played a significant role in the career development of many writers since they were established in 2000. Writers such as Okechukwu Nzelu, Yvonne Battle-Felton, Andrew McMillan, Mari Hannah, Clare Shaw, Rommi Smith, Zaffar Kunial and Chloe Daykin are just some of the writers that we have helped to develop their careers and to move their work forward.

More than just pure financial support (though we recognise how important that is too) the awards build confidence, create relationships and often fast-track writers towards the career opportunities that they have struggled to find by themselves.


Our Northern Writers’ Awards Ambassadors are Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Pat Barker, who lives in County Durham, and award-winning poet Simon Armitage, the current Poet Laureate.

‘To an emerging writer, an award of this kind can often be the difference between carrying on and giving up, and can be a huge boost to confidence as well as providing financial backing. Many writers, like myself, can look back to an award or bursary at an early stage in their career as being the pivotal moment, one that gave them the courage and means to continue.’

Simon Armitage

Hachette Children’s Novel Award Ambassador

David Almond

‘I’m proud to be an ambassador for this brilliant new award. Congratulations to Hachette and to New Writing North for forging this powerful new partnership. Writing for young people is at the heart of our literary culture. It’s wonderful that new writers are being encouraged in this way.’

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey, The Colour of the Sun and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcières (France) and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’s authors. David speaks at festivals and conferences around the world. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, inspirational and innovative children’s authors writing today. He has one amazing daughter. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle, the city in which he was born.


New Writing North

The Northern Writers’ Awards are produced by New Writing North, the reading and writing development agency based in Newcastle upon Tyne. We work on projects across the North of England that support and promote writers of all ages and at all stages of their careers. All of our current opportunities and an overview of our regular project work is detailed on our website at We publish monthly newsletters for writers, which you can subscribe to at our website below.

Follow New Writing North

New Writing North is a registered charity, number 1062729.

We can be found on Twitter @NewWritingNorth

Queries about the Northern Writers' Awards

If you have any questions about the awards, please check the Enter page, which has eligibility requirements for each individual award, and the FAQs. If your question is not answered on our site, please get in touch with New Writing North at

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