Ian McMillan with Zaffar Kunial Cuckoo writer Hazel Atkinson Ian McMillan with Carolyn Jess-Cooke Slide 5

Welcome to the Northern Writers’ Awards 2014  

£40,000 worth of support for writers to be won

“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.”
Northern Writers’ Awards Ambassador, Simon Armitage

New Writing North, the writing development agency for the north of England established the pioneering Northern Writers’ Awards in 2000 as a programme that aimed to support both new and established writers to pursue their creative ambitions. Since then the awards have supported over 150 writers, many of whom have gone on to achieve publication of their work in the UK and internationally. The awards are supported by Northumbria University, Arts Council England, Potts Print, TLC and Arvon as well as by many individual writers and donors.

The awards are open to writers who live and work in the north of England. They support writers of prose, poetry, creative non-fiction, and children’s fiction. This year we are also launching two new awards to support young writers. The awards are an umbrella scheme that encompasses cash awards alongside a residency award and manuscript appraisal support. You can browse the different awards here and read our eligibility information and conditions of entry here.

For new writers, winning a Northern Writers’ Award helps to get them noticed by agents and publishers and lifts them onto the first rung of the ladder towards publication. For more established writers, awards can buy precious time to undertake a new project or to support work in progress that has not yet been commissioned. The support that winning writers receive includes cash awards alongside professional development support.

The Northern Writers’ Awards are unique as they support new work in progress rather than rewarding a published work, making them both more risky and more exciting than many existing awards and prizes. The developmental focus of the awards mean that for writers, winning an award is often just the start of the supportive relationship that they will go on to have with New Writing North.

You can browse our previous winners here and explore how their awards have supported them to publish new work and achieve their creative goals.

Please note that from 2014, writers 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.

The deadline for submission is 5pm on Friday 17 January 2014. The awards will be announced on Tuesday 17 June 2014. Please note that entry is by online submission only.

Latest news

New Writing North announces Northern Writers’ Awards 2013 winners

18 June 2013
New Writing North announces Northern Writers’ Awards 2013 winners
The 22 winners of the Northern Writers’ Awards 2013 were announced on Tuesday 18 June at the official awards ceremony in Newcastle upon Tyne. The newly-expanded awards are bigger in value and have a wider regional scope than ever before, enabling talented writers from the north of England to benefit from investment in their work and exceptional support programmes. Read more

31 May 2013
Decisions reached for 2013 Northern Writers' Awards
The judges’ meeting has now taken place and everyone who entered for a Northern Writers’ Award this year has been contacted by email with the outcome of their submission. We’ll be announcing the winners at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 18 June and will put the news up here as soon as they’re announced. Read more

31 January 2013
Submissions closed
Submissions are now closed for this year's Northern Writers' Awards. Read more

Featured author

Niel Bushnell

Niel Bushnell is a writer and artist from Hartlepool. His first novel, a children’s fantasy adventure called Sorrowline, won a Northern Promise award at the Northern Writers Awards 2011. The award helped clinch a two-book publishing deal with Andersen Press for Sorrowline and its sequel, Timesmith.  Read more

Featured award

The Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award

This award, worth £2,000 is supported by the friends and family of the late writer and was established in her name. This award is for first-time female writers over the age of 42, the age at which Andrea published her first novel. Read more


Support the awards

How you can help

There are many ways that you can support New Writing North to continue to develop support for writers and activities and events for young people and the general public. Individuals can donate funds to New Writing North to support our work with young people, to contribute… Read more

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