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Please note: you may only submit to one award, with the exception that you may additionally apply for a TLC Free Read. If you apply for any other award than a TLC Free Read, your submission will be discounted.

This award is for writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction who identify as originating from a working-class background. Submissions may be on any theme or topic and can include memoir, novels, young-adult writing and short-story collections, and works of literary essays. Unpublished, emerging and established writers may apply for this award.

The winner of this award will also receive a week’s retreat at Calder Cottage in the Northumbrian coastal village of Embleton. The award-winning fully equipped cottage overlooks Embleton Bay and Dunstanburgh Castle. The retreat is offered by EmbleArts, a new venture from Emble, a local farming business. The stay must be taken between Friday 29 October and Friday 5 November 2021. The retreat should be used to progress work on the project submitted for the award. We will also ask the writer to write a short piece for Emble and New Writing North’s blog on their experiences during the retreat.

We’re delighted to be partnering with the Society of Authors to offer certain Northern Writers' Awards poetry and fiction winners a year’s free membership to this professional trade union for writers.

You will need to prepare the following information to submit your application through our website entry portal. Please note the specific word count limits to the sections.

The creative work that you are submitting

To enter writers must submit between 3,000-6,000 words of prose or two or more short stories (of no more than 6,000 words in total). This work should be prepared as a separate PDF or Word document that can then be uploaded via our application portal (you will be prompted to attach it when you are submitting).

Your synopsis

Each submission of work must be accompanied by a synopsis that describes the proposed project. For novelists the synopsis should describe the tone and narrative of the book and for short stories collections the synopsis should give us a clear idea of the themes and content of the collection that you are working towards.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.