Frequently Asked Questions

The New Writers Awards 2017 are now closed for applications. The deadline for applications was midday, Wednesday 6 July 2016. 

We aim to contact all applicants by the end of December 2016 with the result of their application. Find out what happens to your application next here

Which category should I apply to?

The awards are divided into three different categories: Fiction and Narrative Non-fiction in English and ScotsPoetry in English and Scots and Children’s and Young Adult Fiction in English and ScotsYou will have to decide which category best represents your work. We can only accept one application per writer each year. Scottish Book Trust cannot assess your writing sample for you. 

Can I apply if I am unemployed, a carer or unable to work for health reasons?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for the awards. If you have any questions or concerns about how this works in your circumstances, please email

I am a student. Am I eligible to apply for an award?

Students are not eligible for apply for a New Writers Award. The award requires you to work intensively on your writing and previous experience has shown that this is not compatible with study. However, you may apply if you are in the process of applying for a course. If you are accepted onto the course you must let us know as soon as possible, with the understanding that this will make you ineligible for an award.

If you are currently a student but will no longer be by the beginning of the award year (ie. January 2017) you may still apply. If your course continues for any reason, you will be ineligible.

Can I submit a graphic novel or illustrated book?

Graphic novels or illustrated books can be submitted but please bear in mind that the panel will only consider the writing, not the illustrations. Illustrations will also only be seen in black and white.

Can I apply if I have previously published non-fiction?

If you have previously published a non-fiction book (e.g academic text book or guidebook) you are still eligible to apply.

Can I apply if I am self-published? (eg. Amazon Kindle) 

If your work has only been self-published you are eligible to apply. If you aren't sure about your specific circumstances, please email

What should I submit for my writing sample? Can I submit a sample from a  work in progress?

Scottish Book Trust cannot read or assess your writing prior to application. However, you should submit a piece which best reflects your story and writing style. The sample doesn’t have to come from a completed piece of work and it can also currently be under consideration or published elsewhere (eg. A short story anthology or writing competition). You can submit one long piece or several smaller pieces, so long as the total word/page count for your writing sample meets our guidelines. 

How do I demonstrate a commitment to writing in my application?

One way to is to set out your writing achievements in that section of your application form.

Although those achievements can be publication credits or prizes, you can also tell us about the time you’ve dedicated to your writing or steps you’ve taken to learn more about writing – if you consider something a writing achievement, it’s relevant to your application.

If you’d like to ask more about this, please just email We’ll do our best to help. 

How should I format my application?

Please follow  the guidelines on the application form carefully. All text should be written in font Arial 12 – including personal statement and achievements.

Your writing sample should be:

  • Double line spaced (except poetry)
  • Anonymous (please only include your name in ‘personal details’)

Your application should only include the information requested. Additional material will not be considered.

If you require the application form in another format, please let us know.  Please make sure your application form is clear and complete.

When will I get confirmation of my application?

You will receive an automatic reply from when you submit your New Writers Awards application. This is your confirmation email, please keep it for your records. However, please bear in mind that we will be dealing with a high volume of applications, particularly near the deadline. Allow at least a week for a response (not including the weekend) before contacting us.

Do I have to include a reference with my application?

We no longer need a reference with your initial application, but we may request references at the shortlisting stage in certain circumstances.

Can I get feedback on my writing sample or application?

Due to the high volume of submissions, we are unable to give individual feedback on applications.

When will the awardees be announced?

We will let all applicants know whether their application has been successful by the end of December 2016, so please don’t email for an update on your application before then. The awardees will be announced on our website in early 2017.

Can I submit more than the word limit?

No. Any additional material will not be considered by the panel. Your application may not be considered if you significantly breach our guidelines. We cannot make exceptions.

Can I apply for the Next Chapter Award and a New Writers Award?

You can apply for both awards but you can only accept one award. If you are successful in applying for both, you will be asked to choose which award best suits your circumstances.