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The Northern Writers Awards 2022 are now open

6th December 2021

Writers based in the North of England are now able to apply for £40,000 worth of support through the Northern Writers’ Awards 2022.

The awards, supported by Northumbria University and Arts Council England, exist to recognise talent, and support new work towards publication or broadcast.

Now in their 23rd year, the awards are the largest writing development programme of their kind in England and have a reputation for identifying some of the country’s best unpublished writing. 

Professor Katy Shaw, Professor of Contemporary Writings and Director of Cultural Partnerships at Northumbria University, said: “The Northern Writers’ Awards are a landmark suite of regional writing awards that have a distinguished record of identifying the next generation of new Northern talent for the wider UK creative industries.

“The Northern Writers’ Awards are the jewel in the crowd of the Northern literary scene and Northumbria University is proud to be their long-term sponsor, supporting their aim to amplify talent from the North, for the world.”

The Northern Writers’ Awards offer a wide range of support and opportunities for writers at all stages of their careers, including publication, mentoring, manuscript assessment, writing placements, retreats and cash awards to buy time to write. 

The 2022 winners will join an impressive list of 360 writers who have been previously supported through the programme, many of whom have gone on to critical acclaim. 

Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive of New Writing North, said: "As our main platform for identifying the writers and works that we'll support towards publication and broadcast over the years that follow, the Northern Writers' Awards are an incredibly special part of our programme, so we’re thrilled to open the 2022 Awards and can’t wait to read the work that comes in.

“If you’re a writer at any stage of your career in the North, we’d love to hear from you. As always, we are grateful that our awards partners and sponsors are as passionate as we are about discovering and supporting new writing talent from the North of England.” 

New opportunities for 2022 include a development opportunity for emerging poets in partnership with Out-Spoken Press, seminars given by The Soho Agency and a short story award sponsored by previous winner Benjamin Myers. All winners will have the chance to be part of a new Northern Writers’ Awards Talent Network to receive a package of opportunities.

Benjamin Myers has gone on to critical acclaim since winning a Northern Writers’ Award in 2013, for his novel Beastings. Some of Benjamin’s more recent titles include The Offing, Male Tears and The Gallows Pole, which is currently being filmed by Shane Meadows for a BBC TV series. Now he is supporting other writers with the introduction of a new award, The Finchale Award for Short Fiction.

Of launching the new Finchale Award for Short Fiction, Benjamin said: “Winning a Northern Writers’ Award was the first crucial step in my writing career. I always vowed that if I were in a position to give back the £5,000 prize money via an annual competition, I would, and fortunately now with one of my novels being adapted for the screen, I can.

“The prize is named after Finchale Priory, once a medieval place of retreat for the monks of Durham cathedral, and a place that’s special to me. I’m excited to read the entries and encourage writers of any background or ability to enter. I firmly believe that here in the North we don’t wait for things to happen – we make them happen.”

Enter online at by Thursday 17 February 2022. Donate to the Northern Writers’ Awards to support new writing from the North of England at

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Department of Humanities

Humanities At Northumbria Is Composed Of Three Subject Teams: History, Literature & Creative Writing, And English Language & Linguistics, And Is Also Developing Strengths In The Fields Of American Studies And Heritage Studies.

Katy Shaw

Professor in the Department of Humanities and lead researcher into twenty-first century writings.

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