New Writers Awards: What happens to your application

Image by Drew Coffman from Flickr Creative Commons
Category: Writing

The deadline is near and your New Writers Awards application is the best it can be. You’ve proofed and agonised and eventually pressed the send button, but what happens next to your application?

1. Collation

The majority of applications are submitted five minutes before the deadline

After the deadline, your application will be quickly checked to make sure that everything is included and that it adheres to the guidelines. There isn't enough time to check applications as they come in so we're relying on you to make sure your application includes everything we need and is the best it can be. Please read the eligibility criteria and guidelines on the application form carefully before submitting.

As the majority of applications are submitted on the deadline day, or in fact, five minutes before the deadline, sorting through all the applications can take a while.

2. Anonymous writing samples

Once all the applications have been checked and collated we will then separate the writing sample from the full application and save it anonymously with only a reference number as identification. This is the first thing that the panel will read – your writing sample, on its own – and therefore it is the most important part of your application. These files will then be sent to the panel (only the poetry category applications are printed) and the reading process begins!

3. Initial panel longlisting

Each panellist will then read every writing sample in their category (poetry, fiction and narrative non-fiction, children’s and young adult), and from that they will whittle it down to a longlist of writers that they would like to discuss at the panel meeting.

4. Panel read the full applications

Depending on the level of agreement between longlists, there will be between fifteen to twenty applications to re-read. At this point we will circulate the longlisted applicant’s personal statement and writing achievements so that the panel can find out more about the writer’s experience, history and hopes for the award.

5. Panel meeting

During this meeting every longlisted application will be discussed, a lot of coffee will be consumed, a lot of biscuits will be eaten, and by the end of the day they will have agreed on the lucky recipients of the New Writers Awards. They will also have a few extra writers to whom they would like to offer additional encouragement; these are the writers who will be shortlisted. 

6. Contacting writers

We aim to get in touch with everyone who has applied for the New Writers Awards by the end of December. It may seem like a long time to wait but there are plenty of opportunities to keep you busy in the meantime!

If you have any further questions about the awards you can contact: