Aspiring writers in the North East will be in line for a share of £40,000 prize money for new talent.
The Northern Writers’ Awards which works with writers across the region to develop their literary careers has announced that their prize fund will increase from £25,000 to £40,000 from October 2012.
And the annual prize scheme for writers in the North East of England will now be available to those in the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside too.
Claire Malcolm, Chief Executive of New Writing North, said: “The awards form a key strand of a new partnership between Northumbria University and New Writing North which sees the University support the awards with the sum of £60,000 over the next two years.
“The development of this strategic partnership will see Northumbria University deliver on its ambition to be the university for new writing.
“The awards have a tremendous track record of spotting talented new writers in the North East.
“Bringing Northumbria University on board as awards supporters will allow us to increase the prize money available to writers and to expand the possibilities we offer them.”
The flagship awards, created and run by Newcastle-based writing agency New Writing North, were created in 2000 to support talented new and established writers to develop their work towards publication through cash prizes, mentoring, networking opportunities and critical feedback.
Northern Writers’ Awards success stories
Northumberland novelist Mari Hannah won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2010. A few months after picking up her prize, Mari signed a three-book deal with Pan Macmillan for a series of crime novels set in the North East and featuring detective Kate Daniels. The first book in the series, The Murder Wall, will be published in early 2012.
Carolyn Jess-Cooke received an award of £3,500 in 2008 to help her develop her work. At our London industry networking event, Carolyn met agent Madeleine Buston, who helped her to place her first novel, The Guardian Angel’s Journal. The novel went on to sell in the UK and in another 13 territories internationally.
Gateshead poet Toby Martinez de las Rivas received an award in 2008 and was mentored by poet Gillian Allnutt. In 2009 he was selected to be part of the Faber New Poets scheme at Faber and Faber, who also published his first chapbook. He toured the UK as part of the Faber New Poets promotion in autumn 2009, stopping off at Durham.
Newcastle novelist Alice de Smith received an award to support her new novel, Welcome to Life. In May 2008 she completed the novel and one week later it was purchased at auction by Atlantic Books. It was published in June 2009 and was promoted as part of the 2009 Read Regional campaign.
Newcastle novelist Dan Smith received an award to support the writing of his novel, Dry Season. In 2008 he signed a two-book deal with Orion. Dry Season was published in spring 2010.
Cumbrian novelist John Murray received an award in 2001 to support the writing of his novel Jazz etc (Flambard Press, 2003). The novel went on to be long listed for the 2003 Booker Prize for Fiction.
Darlington poet Joanna Boulter received an award to help her complete the manuscript of her first collection of poetry, Twenty Four Preludes and Fugues on Dimitri Shostakovich (Arc, 2006). The collection was nominated for the Forward Best First Collection Prize in 2007.
Tyneside novelist Carol Clewlow received an award to support the development of her novel Not Married, Not Bothered (Harper Collins, 2005). The book went on to become a popular bestseller.
Newcastle novelist Kitty Fitzgerald received an award to enable her to complete her novel Pigtopia (Faber, 2005). The novel went on to take second place in the prestigious Barnes & Noble Discover Awards in the USA in 2006.
An award enabled Durham novelist Avril Joy to develop her first novel, The Sweet Track (Flambard Press, 2007). The novel was nominated for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the McKitterick Prize.
Tyneside poet Paul Batchelor received an award to help him complete his first collection of poetry, The Sinking Road (Bloodaxe Books, 2008). The collection was nominated for The Jerwood Aldeburgh First Collection Prize.
Northumberland poet Peter Bennet received an award to work on his collection Goblin Lawn: New and Selected Poems (Flambard Press, 2005). The book was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and the author was also nominated for the prestigious TS Eliot Award in 2008.
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