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Exclusive award seeks to find next literary star from Northumbria

12th January 2016

Northumbria’s final year students and alumni have the chance to show their literary promise this month.

Applications are now open for a brand new award exclusively created for Northumbria students and alumni as part of this year’s Northern Writers Awards. The Northumbria Student and Alumni Award is open to final-year undergraduates, current postgraduates or alumni who have graduated from the University since 2013. Worth £2,000, the award is open to writers of fiction and poetry who are based in the North of England. To enter you must submit between 3,000 and 6,000 words of prose, up to three short stories (of no more than 6,000 words in total) or up to 30 poems, by the deadline of 3 February 2016. The award will be judged by Professor Michael Green and colleagues from the Creative Writing team at Northumbria.

Supported by Northumbria University and Arts Council England, the Northern Writers Awards are the country’s leading talent development programme for writers and attracted more than 850 entries from across the region last year. Organised by New Writing North, this year’s awards are worth more than £40,000 to emerging writers and poets.

Northumbria University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Engagement) Lucy Winskell OBE said: “The Northern Writers’ Awards are a fantastic opportunity for new and emerging writers in the North of England and I’m delighted to see the awards open for submissions once again in their 16th year.

“I’ll be very excited to see which talented writers win this year’s awards and I’m especially pleased to see a number of new categories, including the new Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award, which is open to final year students and alumni of the University.”

She added: “The awards are at the heart of Northumbria’s partnership with New Writing North and we were delighted to confirm a further three years of support earlier this year. Our continued investment demonstrates our commitment to celebrating and nurturing creative talent in the region. Northumbria’s partnership with New Writing North goes from strength to strength each year as we develop exciting collaborations for our students, staff and the wider writing and cultural community. This enables us to share expertise, develop innovative research and provide a wealth of unique creative opportunities.”

For aspiring writers, winning a Northern Writers’ Award can offer introductions to publishers and agents, support from New Writing North and the possibility of mentoring and other professional development advice.  The awards available for 2016 include the flagship Northern Writers’ Awards, which offer cash prizes of up to £5,000 for writers of prose and poetry, New Fiction Bursaries, which provide new writers an in-depth editorial report from The Literary Consultancy, and the new Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award.

The Channel 4/Northumbria University Writing for Television Award and The Clare Swift Short Story Award, sponsored by the North East Chamber of Commerce, are also among the categories. To find out much more about these awards and to read the full terms and conditions for all categories go to: www.northernwritersawards.com

The Northern Writers’ Awards are open for entry until Wednesday 3 February 2016.  Winners will be notified in June 2016, with the awards ceremony taking place on Thursday 30 June 2016. Northumbria University offers a wide range of courses in English Literature and Creative Writing. To find out more go to: www.northumbria.ac.uk/humanities

Photo: Northern Writers award winners 2015 - Nuzhat Ali and Sharma Walfall 

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