Word Factory Seeks Four Writers for Free Mentorship

Word Factory Apprentice Award Application

The National Mentoring Scheme For Short Story Writers

We are seeking four emerging short story writers to be individually mentored by leading authors for FREE as part of our renowned Word Factory Apprentice Award running from July 2019-March 2020.

The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of our inclusive ethos and willing to participate in our activities. They will have access to our events and masterclasses — a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and collaboration between leading and emerging writers.

SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS WILL ALSO:

  • Be invited to read their work with their mentor at a special Word Factory event in London.
  • Receive free membership to the Society of Authors.
  • Become part of the distinguished Word Factory Apprentice Award alumnae. Previous winners have achieved industry recognition including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber; awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize and Wasafiri prize; reviewing for journals and publications including the TLS, Economist and New Statesman and representation by leading literary agents.
  • Be eligible for a series of NEW bursaries to ensure writers from anywhere in England can benefit. We will also consider writers from other parts of the United Kingdom but our bursaries only cover writers resident in England.

The Word Factory Apprentice Award is celebrating its sixth year with a series of partnerships offering additional financial and developmental support to short story writers who live outside London. We would like to thank Arts Council England, who have offered specific funding to strengthen the national reach of the award. We are also delighted that the Northern Writers’Awards and New Writing North, will support a northern short story writer and mentor for the second year — and to be joined this year by Writing West Midlands and their Room 204 Writer Development Programme (supporting a writer from the West Midlands) and Literature Works, the writer development agency for South West England (supporting a writer from the south-west).

How To Apply

We are open to applicants from throughout the UK, and can offer small bursaries to cover the expense of travelling to London and/or meeting your mentor for writers living in England. Please read the following instructions carefully if you are a writer living in the north, the West Midlands or the South-West of England.

The award is offered to talented authors on the way to their first collection of stories or beginning to send work out for publication. In exchange, we look for individuals willing to support other writers and be part of the growing team.

The Word Factory is London based but this is no barrier to working with writers from across the UK. We are committed to opening the award to writers with no access to literary mentorship and from communities who are often excluded. At least one place a year is held open for talented BAME writers.

Please Note: the scheme is not suitable for anyone with novels or collections already published or under contract (self-published and non-fiction books may apply). Also, application is only open to residents of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Bursaries are focussed on writers living in England.

Application is simple:

You will need to send us two files: your best 2,000 word story (or part of a story) and 500 words explaining both what you intend to work on during your mentorship and what skills and commitment you will bring to the Word Factory. In the past, our apprentices have offered some of the following: social media skills; helping us run events; creating a flash fiction prize; supporting the running of festivals. In your letter, please tell us where you live and whether you have a BAME background.

What you do:

  • Use the link below to apply and pay a £10* admin fee.
  • Full details on how to send us your files will be included in your receipt.
  • Lastly, email us your story and supporting letter.

*Please note: there is an admin fee but the year’s mentoring and Word Factory membership is entirely free. Unwaged applicants or those who can’t afford this fee can still apply. Please send your story, covering letter and short explanation of your circumstances direct to Paul McVeigh at paul@thewordfactory.tv

APPLY HERE

 

IMPORTANT – You need to apply separately if:

  • You live in the North of England
  • You live in the West Midlands
  • You live in the South-West

Please look at this BOUNDARIES MAP for the purposes of this award.

If you live in the North of England:

One place is open to a writer living in the North who will also be offered a bursary to attend events in London, developmental support and access to other opportunities near to home. The northern apprentice will also benefit from our new partnership with independent publisher and short story champions, Comma Press, offering our northern winner publishing opportunities on at least four anthology projects over two years. This award also sponsors a northern mentor — this year, Carys Davies.

To apply for the Northern apprentice place, follow this link: www.northernwritersawards.com

Northern Applications

If you live in the West Midlands:

One place is open to a writer living in the West Midlands. In partnership with the Word Factory, Writing West Midlands will select a winner to become a Word Factory Apprentice as part of their Room 204 programme.

To apply for the West Midlands apprentice place, follow this link: www.writingwestmidlands.org and click on Room 204 Writer Development.

West Midlands Applications

If you live in the South-West:

One place is open to a writer living in the Sout-West.

For further information about how to apply via Literature Works and about their work supporting writers in the South West, follow this link: Literature Works Apprentice Application page.

South West Applications

Important Dates:

  • Applications OPEN on November 16th 2018.
    Please follow the separate application process if you live in the North, South-West or West Midlands.
  • Applications CLOSE on February 7th 2019 at 11:30PM.
  • WINNERS INFORMED May 2019.
  • Announcements at the Word Factory and Northern Writers’ Awards June 2019.
  • Mentorship completes March 2020.

Due to the high numbers of applications expected, we will not be contacting you if your application has been unsuccessful. Good luck! Look forward to seeing you in 2019.

The Mentors

Our 2019/209 mentors bring a vast range of experience to the award — plus a passionate commitment to the literary and social values of the Word Factory. We are delighted to announce that they are: Chris Power, Lisa Blower, Leone Ross and Carys Davies.

General applications will be judged by the two founders of the award — Word Factory founder and director Cathy Galvin and associate director Paul McVeigh, and this year they are joined by renowned short story writer Irenosen Okojie. Word Factory will also be involved in the final decision-making with our other partners in the north, south-west and West Midlands.

Sincere thanks to everyone who has supported our scheme to date, most particularly our previous mentors Adam MarekStella DuffyAlex PrestonNicholas Royle; Jacob Ross; Vanessa GebbieProfessor Ailsa CoxAlexei Sayle; Zoe Gilbert; Jarred McGinnis; Nikesh Shukla; Courttia Newland; Tom Lee; K.J.Orr and Jenn Ashworth.

Previous Apprentices

Trusted relationships are vital to the development of a writer. Our apprentices — Rebecca Swirsky, Holly Dawson, Kerstin Twatchmann, Uschi Gatward, Claire Adam, Divya Ghelani, Emily Devane, Melissa Fu, Durre Shawar, Avani Shah, Fergus Evans, Natalia Theodoridou, Georgina Aboud, Farhana Khalique and Sharon Telfer — have all become members of the Word Factory team in addition to winning awards and being published in leading magazines and journals.

The Word Factory Apprentice programme is a truly remarkable award that invites and fosters growth. The Word Factory masterclasses and salons have not only inspired me to improve my own craft but have also challenged me to use writing to connect with others and build understanding. With Zoe Gilbert’s generous mentorship, I have grown so much, taking risks and experimenting with form. I have loved every aspect of the award and highly recommend that aspiring writers apply for 2018. It is a wonderful community and I am so proud to be part of it.

Melissa Fu, 2017 Apprentice, mentored by Zoe Gilbert — in 2017 Melissa was published in The Nottingham Review, The Lonely Crowd, International Literature Showcase and Word Factory online. She was shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Prize and had a Special Mention for Spread the Word’s inaugural Life Writing Prize.

Working with Nikesh has been amazing for both my ego and my word count. With his support and advice, my novel has grown in ways I couldn’t have expected. As for the community – the Word Factory gang have welcomed me with open arms. I’ve found myself a part of a group of readers and writers who cheer each other on, share work, and always have great suggestions for what to read next.

Avani Shah, 2017 Apprentice, mentored by Nikesh Shukla — in 2017 Avani was shortlisted for the Guardian BAME Prize.

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Word Factory Apprentice Award

WordFactory Logo is seeking four emerging writers to be individually mentored by leading authors, for FREE* as part of our renowned Word Factory Apprentice Award. The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of our inclusive ethos and willing to give their time to participating in our activities. They will have access to the Word Factory events and masterclasses – a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and a unique community of supportive writers. They will also be invited to read their work with their mentor at a special Word Factory event. They will also be given a year long membership of the Society of Authors with alll the benefits and support of that organisation.

Our apprentice alumnae have achieved industry recognition including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber; awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize and Wasafiri prize; reviewing for journals and publications including the TLS, Economist and New Statesman.

The award is offered to talented authors on the way to their first collection of short stories or beginning to send work out for publication. We are committed to the development of our apprentices in the long-term. In exchange, we look for individuals willing to support other writers and be part of the growing team.

The 2018 Word Factory Mentors

Our 2018/19 mentors bring a vast range of experience to the award – plus a passionate commitment to the literary and social values of the Word Factory. We are delighted to announce that they are: BBC National Short Story Award-winner KJ Orr, Courttia Newland, Tom Lee and for the Northern Apprentice, Jenn Ashworth.

Apprenticeship Application 2018

We are seeking four emerging writers to be individually mentored by leading authors, for FREE* as part of our renowned Word Factory Apprentice Award. The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of our inclusive ethos and willing to give their time to participating in our activities.

They will have access to the Word Factory events and masterclasses – a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and a unique community of supportive writers. They will also be invited to read their work with their mentor at a special Word Factory event. All winners will also receive free membership to the renowned Society of Authors.

Our apprentice alumnae have achieved industry recognition including publication with independent and mainstream publishers such as Salt and Faber; awards and shortlistings including the Guardian BAME prize, Bath Flash Fiction Prize and Wasafiri prize; reviewing for journals and publications including the TLS, Economist and New Statesman.

The award is now in its fifth year and we are delighted to announce a new 2018/19 partnership with the Northern Writers’Awards and New Writing North. One of our four places will be open to a writer living in the North who will also be offered a bursary to attend events in London, developmental support and access to other opportunities offered by New Writing North.

Please follow the link to the map which defines the North for purposes of this award: BOUNDARIES OF THE NORTH. And see www.northernwritersawards.com from November 16 2017 for full details of the Northern Word Factory apprenticeship, eligibility and how to apply.

Applications will be judged by the Word Factory and Sunday Times EFG short story award founder Cathy Galvin and associate director Paul McVeigh, winner of the Polari First Book Prize. The Northern Apprentice applications will be judged through the Northern Writers’ Awards, in consultation with the Word Factory and Jenn Ashworth.

The Word Factory is London based but this is no barrier to working with writers from across the UK. We are committed to opening the award to writers with no access to literary mentorship and from communities who are often excluded.

At least one place a year is held open for talented BAME writers.

Please Note: the scheme is not suitable for anyone with novels or collections already published or under contract (self-published and non-fiction books may apply). Also, application is only open to residents of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Application is simple:

If you DO NOT live in the north of England— you will need to send us two files: your best 2,000 word story (or part of a story) and 500 words explaining both how the scheme will benefit you and what skills and commitment you will bring to the Word Factory. In the past, our apprentices have offered some of the following: social media skills; helping us run events; creating a flash fiction prize; supporting festivals. In your letter please tell us where you live and whether you have a BAME background.

What you do:

Use the link below to apply and pay a £20 admin fee.

Full details on how to send us your files will be included in your receipt.

Lastly, email us your story and supporting letter.

*Unwaged applicants can still apply. Please send your story, covering letter and short explanation of your circumstances direct to Paul McVeigh at paul@thewordfactory.tv

If you live in the North of England:

Follow this link: http://www.northernwritersawards.com

Important Dates:

Applications CLOSE on February 1st 2018.

WINNERS INFORMED May 2018.

Announcements at the Word Factory and Northern Writers’ Awards June 2018.

Mentorship completes March 2019.

Due to the high numbers of applications expected, we will not be contacting you if your application has been unsuccessful. Good luck! Look forward to seeing you in 2018.

Contact for Information.

 

Application Fee:  £20
Deadline: 02/01/2018

UK/Turkey Short Story Competition

UK/Turkey Short Story Competition

The British Council in Turkey aims to build a bridge between Turkish and UK writers, facilitate dialogue between literary professionals in both countries, and create a platform to showcase works by Turkish and British writers to new audiences.

To support this initiative, the British Council is launching a short story competition, on the theme of ‘diversity’, in partnership with two literary institutions: ITEF -Istanbul Tanpınar Literature Festival in Turkey, and Word Factory in the UK.

The winner will have the opportunity to work with Word Factory and The British Council and have their story published on a new British Council digital platform, alongside specially-commissioned stories by established authors from Turkey and the UK. The winning writer will receive £300 and will see their short story translated into Turkish accompanied by a specially commissioned illustration.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Entry is free
  • Writers must be based in the UK, writing in English
  • One story submission per writer
  • Writers must be at least 18 years old, and ‘early-career’ (may have had single stories published on printed or online media, but not a full collection, or novel). Stories should be 1,500 words or less
  • Stories should be broadly themed on the concept of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (though we welcome original and unusual takes on this theme). Please check the British Council website for further information about the British Council’s approach to EDI. 
  • The competition is open to all fiction genres
  • By submitting a story, you agree that it may be edited (with your final approval) by Word Factory prior to publication
  • Submission deadline is midnight 31 December 2017
  • By submitting a story, you agree that you have read and accept the full terms and conditions (see below)

The winner will be chosen by a panel from The British Council and Word Factory and announced by 28 February 2018 on the British Council website.

Please fill out the form and submit your application.

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Word Factory #41 & Masterclass – 19th March – London

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Join the Word Factory in March for a day, or evening, of inspiration!

Masterclass: A.L. Kennedy – He, She & Me: writing in and out of gender
2-4pm

This is the second masterclass of our Sublime Women series, linking classes, salons, our reading club and offering opportunities to hear your work throughout the year

In her book On Writing, A.L. Kennedy takes the line, ‘A man walks through a door’, to demonstrate the difficulties and potential of a simple beginning. If you are a woman writing this scene, is the task even harder? Can male authors write convincingly about women? Writing in and out of gender offers liberation, complication and inspiration. In an afternoon talk looking at writing outwith and within one’s own sexual orientation and drawing on her own work, A.L. Kennedy will take approaches to character in general as a staring point for further discussion. Audience members may participate in exercises and conversation or feel free to simply listen to one of the UK’s most accomplished authors.

Book your place here – limited to 25 spaces.

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Short Story Club
4.15-5.15pm

Join the Word Factory’s short story club and enjoy an espresso shot of great literature followed by a thought-provoking discussion. It’s fun – and free!

More info here, or email sophie@thewordfactory.tv for this month’s story.

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The Word Factory #41
6-8pm

Short-story writer, novelist and performer extrordinaire A.L.Kennedy leads our evening of readings as K.J. Orr launches her first collection, Light Box. They will be joined by two emerging authors selected in advance to read that night who were inspired by . Hosted by short story club maestros Sophie Haydock and Zoe Gilbert.

Get your salon tickets here.

 

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Word Factory Membership – Fellow and Friends
Become a Word Factory Fellow or Friend and enjoy priority booking and other exclusive offers.

fellowTo help you make the most of the dynamic Word Factory programme of interlinked salons, classes and other events throughout 2016 – featuring unmissable writers including Marina Warner, A.L.Kennedy, Tobias Wolff, Neil Gaiman and Tracy Chevalier, we would love to offer you access to our exclusive Word Factory Friendship Scheme.

The scheme is of particular value to writers who, in coming to our club, salon and classes, are being inspired in their work by some of the most accomplished writers in the world.

By becoming a Fellow or Friend, you are also helping the sustainability of the only organisation in the UK promoting and supporting quality short story writing – a unique not-for-profit literary company run by and for writers.

Find out about being a Friend or a Fellow.

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Year of Sublime Women

SublimeWomenMarina Warner, Helen Simpson, A.L. Kennedy, Tracy Chevalier, Helen Dunmore, Tobias Wolff, Kirsty Gunn, Deborah Levy, Neil Gaiman, Janice Galloway, Sarah Hall, David Constantine, Michele Roberts, Tessa Hadley, David Vann and many more Word Factory friends are joining us in a long overdue celebration of female short story writers.

Throughout 2016, they will be reading work by their favourite female writers, giving exclusive salons and lectures, and from this exciting literary platform we will be asking you to produce work inspired by our events.

Whether you want to savour the conversation or take up your pen and write a story inspired by Angela Carter, Alice Munro, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, Katherine Mansfield or Flannery O’Connor, we will find a space for you.

Full details of the classes and talks, content, class size and price, can be found on our events page.

Word Factory Apprenticeship

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Join the Word Factory for readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers. 2016 is going to be an exciting year, and here’s how you can get involved.

The Word Factory Apprenticeship 2016

Apprentice2016Word Factory is accepting applications for our 2016 apprentice scheme. We have places for four writers and will, this year, seek at least one applicant from the north of England and one from a BAME background. Applicants must be over 18, serious about developing their short story writing and passionate about working with the Word Factory team. The mentors are Ailsa Cox, Jacob Ross, Paul McVeigh & Vanessa Gebbie.

Deadline is 15th January 2016. Full details on how to enter here.

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Word Factory Membership – Fellow and Friends
Become a Word Factory Fellow or Friend and enjoy priority booking and other exclusive offers.

fellowTo help you make the most of the dynamic Word Factory programme of interlinked salons, classes and other events throughout 2016 – featuring unmissable writers including Marina Warner, A.L.Kennedy, Tobias Wolff, Neil Gaiman and Tracy Chevalier, we would love to offer you access to our exclusive Word Factory Friendship Scheme.

The scheme is of particular value to writers who, in coming to our club, salon and classes, are being inspired in their work by some of the most accomplished writers in the world.

By becoming a Fellow or Friend, you are also helping the sustainability of the only organisation in the UK promoting and supporting quality short story writing – a unique not-for-profit literary company run by and for writers.

Find out about being a Friend or a Fellow.

—————————————–

Year of Sublime Women

SublimeWomenMarina Warner, Helen Simpson, A.L. Kennedy, Tracy Chevalier, Helen Dunmore, Tobias Wolff, Kirsty Gunn, Deborah Levy, Neil Gaiman, Janice Galloway, Sarah Hall, David Constantine, Michele Roberts, Tessa Hadley, David Vann and many more Word Factory friends are joining us in a long overdue celebration of female short story writers.

Throughout 2016, they will be reading work by their favourite female writers, giving exclusive salons and lectures, and from this exciting literary platform we will be asking you to produce work inspired by our events.

Whether you want to savour the conversation or take up your pen and write a story inspired by Angela Carter, Alice Munro, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, Katherine Mansfield or Flannery O’Connor, we will find a space for you.

Full details of the classes and talks, content, class size and price, can be found on our events page.

Word Factory #36 & Masterclass – 19th September – London

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Join the Word Factory for readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers.

The Word Factory #36 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Book your tickets here.

Our autumn salon season begins on Sept 19th at Waterstones Piccadilly with Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize winner Carys Davies, the inspirational Toby Litt and two powerful new voices, Tyler Keevil and Diriye Osman. Join us for their readings, and the Q&A afterwards chaired by Word Factory founder Cathy Galvin.

Short Story Club – 4.15-5.15pm
Ernest Hemingway:’Hills Like White Elephants’

Join us in September when we will be reading the classic Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants – one of the most iconic short stories in the English language. It’s a tale that seems simple and straightforward, but is laden with symbolism and meaning. What will you discover in Hemingway’s words?

Come and discuss this wonderful story with us at the Word Factory Short Story Club in September.

Email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

Masterclasses

Our masterclass with Toby Litt sold out quickly, but you’re now able to book October and November’s masterclasses via our website. Join us for place & atmosphere with Alex Preston and how to beat digital depression with Kristen Harrison.

www.thewordfactory.tv/events

Also in September…
Word Factory at Small Wonder
Wednesday 23 to Sunday 27 Sept 2015

Word Factory is delighted to partner with the Small Wonder Festival within the autumnal warmth of Charleston in Sussex. Reading at this event will be Kirsty Gunn, Stuart Evers and Janice Galloway, followed by a Q&A with Cathy Galvin.

Book your tickets here.

Word Factory #35 & Masterclass – 25th July – London

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Join the Word Factory for readings, conversation, masterclasses and publication with the most inspiring short fiction writers.

Story in Motion: with Jane Feaver

Jane Feaver is a novelist and short story writer, whose a collection of inter-linked stories, Love Me Tender, was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Read more about Jane.

‘…the essence of the story is motion. Do not let your chair be “a straight chair, with no arms and a hard wooden seat.” Let your heroine go over and take a firm hold of the back of a straight wooden chair, because at the moment it is stronger than she.’ Shirley Jackson ‘Notes for a Young Writer’. Jane Feaver, the novelist and short story writer, will explore the use of gesture and motion in the short story with reference to the work of Flannery O’Connor. Raymond Carver and more.

This workshop will study the gesture in the short story and some of the ways we might put ‘moveable articles’ to effective use. Suitable for writers sending work out and published, a chance to write and pay attention to detail.

SOLD OUT

Short Story Club – 4.15-5.15pm
Roald Dahl: The Great Automatic Grammatizator

Join us in July when we will read a dark and twisted (but bitingly funny) short story – The Great Automatic Grammatizator – by the brilliantly playful Roald Dahl. The story, written in 1954 (but still alarmingly relevant) imagines a world where stories are written by machines. This will strike a wry chord with all writers out there…

Email Sophie Haydock for more details and a copy of the story: sophie@thewordfactory.tv

The Word Factory #35 – the intimate short story salon – 6-8pm

Book your tickets here.

Join us for an unmissable evening of storytelling with award-winning children’s author Michael Morpurgo; short story champion Jane Feaver; and one of the UK’s best short story writers Stuart Evers, chaired by Word Factory founder Cathy Galvin.