Women’s Prize for Fiction launches programme for aspiring writers

What have you done with all of your extra time during lockdown? Developed a new fitness routine ? Spent some time looking after your mental health ? Or did you knuckle down and write that book you always said you would?

If you’re in the latter category, the team at the Women’s Prize for Fiction wants to hear from you.

The literary prize, which champions female writers in the UK and Ireland, is currently in its 25th year. As part of its celebrations it’s launching a new writers programme called ‘Discoveries’.

The writers development programme, powered by NatWest and publisher Curtis Brown, is looking to offer aspiring female writers of any age and background the chance of mentorship packages from Curtis Brown as well as free or discounted places on Curtis Brown’s creative writing courses.

To be considered, writers will need to submit a sample of their book from September 7 with entries closing on January 17 and it will need to be the first three chapters of their book or the first 10,000 words.

From here, a longlist of 16 writers will be chosen and subsequently a shortlist of six. All of the short and long-listed writers will receive a place on the mentorship programme. The winner will be offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency as well as a cash prize of £5,000.

Kate Mosse, novelist and founder director of Women’s Prize for Fiction, said in a statement: “Somewhere out there, our Women’s Prize winner of the future is considering whether to pick up the pen – to her I want to say: do it.

“’Discoveries’ is here to help you on your way. For 25 years, the Women’s Prize has championed female writers to tell their own stories and make sure as diverse and wide a range of voices are heard. Whether you’re 88, 48 or 18, the beginning of one’s writing journey is a crucial time and the authors of tomorrow, whoever they are, wherever they are, deserve support today.”

The programme is free to enter and it will accept novels in any genre of adult fiction. The short and longlist will be announced in spring next year.

To find out more about the programme, visit

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