Announcing the Word Factory Apprentice Awards 2023/24

We are delighted to announce forthcoming dates for submission to the Word Factory Apprentice Awards 2023/4  – a unique award programme offering one-on-one mentorship and creative development to emerging short story writers. 

This year we will be offering two nine-month long mentorships – one open to emerging short story writers in the north of England and another exciting new project supporting an emerging short story writer whose work makes a significant political impact, open to writers throughout the UK.

Entry for both Word Factory Apprenticeships is free. Applicants must be over 18 and serious about short story writing and becoming part of a dynamic writing community. In addition to their mentorship, winners will benefit from the advice and development programmes of the Word Factory, in association with Arts Council England, and all supporting partners: New Writing North, Writing Our Legacy, Galley Beggar Press and the Society of Authors. There will also be opportunities to read your work. In exchange, we expect dedication to the craft and ethos of the Word Factory. We are looking for writers who will contribute their time in helping us support other writers through events, social media and reviewing. 

This is your chance to join the distinguished Word Factory Apprentice Award alumnae. Previous winners have achieved industry recognition, publication with independent and mainstream publishers and awards, including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize, Wasafiri and McKitterick Prizes and continue to work in senior roles at the Word Factory. 

Winners will be announced online in July 2023. 
The mentorships will run from August 2023-May 2024.

Word Factory Northern Apprentice Award 

Mentor: Jessie Greengrass
Judges: Jessie Greengrass and Cathy Galvin
Submission window: Extended to 3 May 2023. 

>> Apply Now

Word Factory Political Short Story Award

In memory of Uschi Gatward 

Mentor: Jacob Ross
Judges: Sam Jordison, Amy Zamarripa Solis, Cathy Galvin, and Paul McVeigh
Submission window: 1 March – 31 May 23

[Writers are] there to help make sense of things, to keep notes, to bear witness, to offer a commentary and a critique, to add to the conversation, and to contribute to the permanent record.

Uschi Gatward

In partnership with Writing our Legacy and Galley Beggar Press we are delighted to announce an important new mentorship to support a short story writer whose work demonstrates quality of writing with a strong political ethos. This apprenticeship has been created in memory of former Word Factory Apprentice Award winner Uschi Gatward, whose debut collection, English Magic, was published by Galley Beggar Press to critical acclaim in September 2021, the same month Uschi also received a diagnosis of cancer. Uschi’s spare writing style embraces an acute social and political awareness shaped by personal experience and observation. In her writing, and in her support of other writers, she is deeply missed.

>> Apply Now

Please apply to these mentorships if you are working seriously on your writing and you would benefit from our scheme at this stage of your career. You may have already had stories published or be at the stage of thinking about sending work out for publication. We will be looking for dedication and understanding of the art and craft of the form and for individuals willing to work within our team. Please Note: the scheme is not suitable for anyone with novels or collections already published or under contract (writers of self-published and non-fiction books may apply).

Due to the high numbers of applications expected, we will not be contacting you if your application has been unsuccessful. 

The Society of Authors

Apprentice Award Alumnae & Mentors

Read more…

Private Mentorship

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