The national mentoring scheme for short story writers.

We are pleased to be partnering the Word Factory to support a writer in the south west alongside our fellow regional literature development agencies New Writing North and Writing West Midlands and the Northern Writers’ Awards who will support a writer from their region under this scheme.

The Word Factory is seeking five emerging short story writers to be individually mentored by leading authors for FREE* as part of their renowned Word Factory Apprentice Award running from June 2019-March 2020.

The chosen writers will be talented, supportive of their inclusive ethos and willing to participate in their activities. They will have access to The Word Factory’s events and masterclasses – a programme offering creative inspiration, writer development and bringing together leading and emerging writers.

* 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. The Word Factory will also consider writers from other parts of the United Kingdom but their bursaries only cover writers resident in England.

Literature Works is supporting ONE place on this apprenticeship scheme, for a writer based in the South West. Please follow this link to the map which defines the South West.

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

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.

How to apply:
You will need to send Literature Works two files:

1. Your best 2,000 word story (or part of a story)

2. 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, their apprentices have offered some of the following: social media skills; helping them 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.

To validate your application, you will need to:

Click here to pay a £10 admin fee, please include the receipt number for your admin fee payment in your email. Unvalidated applications will not be accepted.

Please email your files and receipt number to:

Unwaged applicants can still apply. Please send your story, covering letter and short explanation of your circumstances to:

Applications open on 16th November

Applications CLOSE on February 1st 2019 at 11:30PM.


* Announcements at the Word Factory and Northern Writers’ Awards June 2019.

* Mentorship completes March 2020.

The 2019/20 mentors bring a vast range of experience to the award – plus a passionate commitment to the literary and social values of the Word Factory. 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, associate director Paul McVeigh and renowned short story writer Irenosen Okojie. In all cases, The Word Factory’s key judges will also be involved in the final decision-making with partners in the north, south-west and West Midlands.

Find out more about the Apprentice Award on the Word Factory website