Calling all budding writers! Discoveries is now open for entries

Photo of woman writing for article launching discoveries programme

In honour of the 25th anniversary year for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and in recognition of untapped diverse and exceptional writing talent across the country, the Women’s Prize Trust, powered by NatWest and Curtis Brown, is launching Discoveries. Discoveries is a unique and ambitious writers’ development programme offering aspiring female writers of all ages and backgrounds encouragement and support at the beginning of their creative journeys.

For people across the country, the coronavirus pandemic has meant a radical change to their daily lives, and limited access to arts and culture. Although most women have increased pressures on their time, many are picking up their pens for the first time or tackling a writing project they have always dreamed of starting.

Kate Mosse, Novelist & Founder Director of Women’s Prize for Fiction, said:

“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.”

Discoveries, first announced at the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist celebratory event on 3rd March, invites women of all ages and backgrounds to submit their work of fiction from September 2020. The Discoveries programme doesn’t require writers to have finished a novel – only the opening three chapters or up to 10,000 words – and it is free to enter.

To inspire budding writers to enter, the Women’s Prize Trust, NatWest, Curtis Brown Literary Agency and Curtis Brown Creative Writing School will curate a programme of free online content, including interviews with publishing industry professionals, practical advice and inspiration from former winners and shortlistees of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and teaching notes by Curtis Brown Creative Writing School to help writers craft their submissions.

A longlist of 16 and shortlist of six writers will be selected by a judging panel, with the winner offered representation by Curtis Brown Literary Agency and a cash prize of £5,000. All longlisted and shortlisted authors will be offered personalised mentorship packages from a Curtis Brown agent or industry expert tailored to their needs, and free or discounted places on Curtis Brown Creative’s creative writing courses.

NatWest, who have been one of the title partners of the Women’s Prize since 2018, will gift the Discoveries winner access to space, tools and events in one of their entrepreneurial accelerator hubs and provide membership to the NatWest Business Builder community. These offerings – financial planning tools, coaching and access to free office space, including wi-fi and printing –  in addition to the seed funding that has enabled the programme to take place, will help assist the budding novelist navigate their fledgling career as they begin their new journey, building their confidence to help reach their potential.

Discoveries is now open for entries and the deadline is 17th January 2021. The programme is open to all women aged 18 and above, residing in the UK or Ireland and writing in English. The programme accepts novels in any genre of adult fiction.

The longlist and shortlist of Discoveries will be announced in the spring of 2021 and will be invited to attend the 2021 Women’s Prize for Fiction award ceremony in summer 2021.

Find out more information on how to enter on the Curtis Brown Creative website > 

Make sure you follow the @WomensPrize channels on Twitter and Instagram to get the latest Discoveries news and writing inspiration.

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