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Applying for the New Writers Awards

Applications for the New Writers Awards are currently closed

Applications are now closed for the New Writers Awards 2024. This page is for information only. Please contact [email protected](this link will open in a new window) if you have any questions.

The awards are free to apply to, all travel expenses are covered and awardees are chosen by a panel of judges. We have an Access Fund to help support our awardees with any barriers they may face. The programme is flexible and we work closely with awardees to help them participate as fully as possible.

How it works

The Awards will run from January 2024–January 2025. During the programme, awardees receive:

All mentoring, training and performances include an option for remote attendance as needed. We're very happy to discuss anyone's individual access requirements prior to applying.

Entries are invited in English, Scots and a combination of both. There are also two awards for Gaelic writers, run in association with the Gaelic Books Council. There is a separate application form for writers interested in applying for a Gaelic award.

The New Writers Awards will only go ahead in 2024 if Scottish Book Trust secure the funding required to run the programme. The retreat is also subject to circumstances and dependent on any applicable travel restrictions.

How do I apply?

First, check out our category guidelines for help preparing your submission. There are five categories:

You can only apply to one category per year. 

Who can apply?

You can apply if you:

What do we mean by 'haven't published'?

We welcome applications from carers, people who are unemployed or who are unable to work for health reasons. Find out more about our access fund below.

Who can't apply?

You can't apply if you:

By submitting your application, you're confirming you meet the criteria to the best of your knowledge. Anyone who doesn't meet the criteria will be deemed ineligible and may be asked to return the award or withdraw their application.

Access fund and useful information

'It's extremely important that writing opportunities such as the New Writers Award have access built in, including an access fund. If access is built in and funding is available, it immediately makes disabled people feel welcome and takes the onus off disabled writers to inquire about access (which is a lot of labour, including worry about how an access enquiry will be met).

Disabled writers often have extra costs they need to budget for, such as assistive equipment (for example, a keyboard with wrist support, dictation software etc.); travel costs (including taxis if public transport isn't accessible to them); the cost of travel and accommodation for a personal assistant or companion to accompany them; or the disabled writer may need extra overnight accommodation if, for instance, they have an energy impairment, and need time to recover after travelling. Without these access needs and costs factored in, disabled writers might not be able to access opportunities, which marginalises them and impoverishes the publishing industry and writing communities. 

It's fantastic that Scottish Book Trust realise how important an access fund is, and I hope more organisations follow suit.' 

Ever Dundas, author and co-founder of Inklusion

Access fund and support

Equality and Diversity