Skip navigation

£40,000 support for new writing

12th December 2016

Writers from across the North of England are invited to submit their work in progress to the Northern Writers’ Awards 2017, supported by Northumbria University and Arts Council England.

The Northern Writers’ Awards have been running since 2000 and exist to recognise talent and support new work towards publication or broadcast. They include a flagship award worth up to £5,000 for writers, a Channel 4/Northumbria University Writing for Television award, and a special award aimed at Northumbria students and alumni.

The awards, which are produced by New Writing North and supported by Northumbria and Arts Council England, have a reputation for identifying some of the best unpublished writing in the UK, with recent winners including the novelist Benjamin Myers, short story writer Carys Davies, and poets Andrew McMillan and Zaffar Kunial. Literary agent Elise Dillsworth, writer Richard T Kelly, poet Clare Pollard, YA writer Juno Dawson and journalist Peter Wilby will judge the 2017 awards, which are open for entries until Thursday 2 February 2017.

Dr Heather Robson, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor for Strategic Planning and Engagement (Arts Design and Social Sciences), said: “Northumbria is delighted to see the Northern Writers Awards enter their 18th year. These excellent awards for new and emerging writers are at the heart of Northumbria’s partnership with New Writing North and demonstrate our continued investment in celebrating and supporting creative talent in the region.

“The University will be keeping a close eye on all of the talented writers who win this year’s awards and will have a special interest in the Northumbria Student and Alumni Award, which launched for the first time in 2016 and is open to final year students and alumni of the University.”

Heather added: “Every year, the University’s partnership with New Writing North grows stronger as we develop new and innovative collaborations for our students, staff and the wider cultural community. This allows us to share knowledge, drive research and provide a wide range of specialist creative opportunities.”

The full suite of awards is made possible by a range of partnerships with Channel 4, Lime Pictures, North East Chamber of Commerce, The Society of Authors, Arvon, The Literary Consultancy, The Poetry School and Oneworld Publications. There are awards for writers at different stages of their careers, including mentoring, developmental support and cash awards to buy time to write.

In addition to individual awards, New Writing North supports its winners with ongoing tailored support. In 2017, selected winners will be offered additional opportunities including: the chance to pitch work to literary agents and editors at the Summer Talent Salon in London; membership of The Society of Authors; and a professional development opportunity with the leading independent publisher, Oneworld Publications.

The awards available for 2017 include the flagship Northern Writers’ Awards, which offer cash prizes of up to £5,000 for writers of fiction, narrative non-fiction, children’s, YA, graphic novels, short stories and poetry, the Northumbria University Student and Alumni Award, worth £2000, for fiction or poetry, open to final year students and recent graduates of the university, and the Channel 4/Northumbria University Writing for Television Awards offers three writers development opportunities within television. Two winners will be offered the unique chance to work closely with Lime Pictures through a mentoring placement on the serial drama Hollyoaks. A further award will offer a writer the opportunity to work closely with an independent northern production company involved in creating original TV drama. Each winner will receive a bursary of £3000.

A number of other awards are also available and anyone interested should go to for a full list of this year’s categories and full eligibility criteria.

Claire Malcolm, chief executive of New Writing North, said: “We always open the Northern Writers’ Awards with a real sense of anticipation. We know that the North of England is rich in creative talent. This is the 18th year we have run the awards, and each year we find incredible new work – often from writers we haven’t encountered before – which we feel we can support towards publication or broadcast.”

“Last year we received over 1000 entries, so it is a very competitive process, but we know that winning an award can have a real and lasting impact on a writer’s career. For many writers, winning a Northern Writers’ Award is just the start of a long-term relationship with us and we can support them to progress their careers in all kinds of ways.”

Northumbria University offers a range of courses in Humanities, including Creative Writing and English Literature. In the Complete University League Table 2017, Northumbria’s Creative Writing course was rated Top 20 in the UK, while English Literature was ranked Top 15 in the UK for the quality of its research publications in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.

To find out more about studying at Northumbria go to: or sign up for one of our Open Days. To enter the Northern Writers Awards 2017 go to:

comments powered by Disqus
a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

NU World

Explore NU World

Find out what life here is all about. From studying to socialising, term time to downtime, we’ve got it covered.

Latest News and Features

Graduates Abbie Smith and Frankie Harrison.
Northumbria student Saffron Sinclair being presented her award by Mark Dale, Principle Consultant at Nigel Wright Recruitment.
Henry Kippin
Cally Taylor
Eva Szewczyk grad and career success v2 180624   ES
a black and white x-ray image of painting of the baby Jesus in a crib

Back to top