Spread the Word is working with Historic England and the regional literature development agencies as part of the Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) project to create stories from seven towns across England exploring the communities who live there and the role that their high street plays for them. For London, the High Street Tales' focus is Woolwich HAZ.

Spread the Word is looking to recruit a writer to create a story about Woolwich High Street and we’re seeking, therefore, a writer who either lives there, is from there or who has a connection to the area that would inform and make richer this commission.

If you are a disabled writer, you can submit audio/visual files for your submission. There are additional funds available to support access needs. If you require this, please do tell us in the application form.

Find out more about this opportunity on our website: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/high-street-tales-writer-wanted-for-short-story-commission

If you have any queries about your application or this opportunity, please get in touch with aliya@spreadtheword.org.uk.

The deadline for applications is: 11:59pm, Monday 2 November 2020

Good luck! 

Spread the Word is delighted to be an official partner for The TLC Free Reads scheme, supporting applications from London writers. Over the last 10 years, we've supported 47 writers with receiving professional feedback.  

The Free Reads Scheme is managed by The Literary Consultancy and funded by Arts Council England. It is open to writers of fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, scripts and screenplays. It offers writers the opportunity to receive professional, editorial feedback on their writing. The Free Read scheme particularly welcomes applications from writers belonging to groups currently under-represented in publishing including disabled writers, writers of colour*, and members of the LGBQTIA+ community. 

From 2020-2021, the scheme is open from Monday 20 July 2020. There are two submission windows for writers to submit: Monday 20 July-Monday 2 November and Monday 2 November-Monday 22 February. 

To apply for the Free Reads scheme via Spread the Word, you must live in London and be on a low-income, meeting one of the following criteria: 

- You are in receipt of Job seeker’s allowance, Disability benefit, Income support, Working tax credit, Universal Credit or Child benefits
- You earn less than the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour or a £23k annual salary**
- You are a full-time student
- You are aged 60 or over 

If you identify as being on low-income but do not meet one of the criteria listed above then please get in touch as we are able to evaluate applicants’ eligibility on a case-by-case basis. 

For more details on how and what to submit please head to this page: https://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/projects/the-literary-consultancys-free-reads-scheme/ 

We have a FAQs page for any enquiries on entering the scheme, but if yours is not listed there, please get in touch and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.  

We look forward to receiving your submission.  

*Writers of colour: Black, Asian, Arabic, Mixed-Raced and Non-white Latinx 

**Please note that if you are currently furloughed and taking in less than £23k annually, you’re eligible to apply for the scheme. 

"The Future is Back: Black Teachers' Edition" is a FREE creative writing and mentoring scheme for LGBTQIA+ writers. Black and brown folks are especially invited to apply. The scheme is to help writers who wish to take their craft to the next level by providing a safe, supportive and stimulating environment, and giving insight into the professional writing world.

This scheme is led by writer Olumide Popoola, and features four guest facilitators: Ama Josephine Budge, Jay Bernard, Keith Jarrett, and Troy Onyango. Ten prose writers will be selected for this opportunity and will receive:

  • 10 creative writing workshops;
  • 3 additional sessions with experts on funding opportunities, publishing and university routes;
  • Individual feedback on 30 (polished) pages of your writing by one of the guest facilitators.

How to Apply

To apply you must:

  • be 18 years or older;
  • be based in the UK;
  • self-identify as LGBTQIA+;
  • be available to attend all the sessions listed (see dates below);
  • submit a writing sample (prose) of between 500-1000 words;
  • submit a short paragraph on why you want to be on this course and why now.

Disabled writers are welcome to submit audio/visual files for their submission.

Grants and Accessibility

There are two funding grants available to writers who would like to be on the scheme.

  1. Funding for two people who have gone through the immigration system and/or have precarious immigration status. This will offer you:
  • Full internet subscription for duration of course;
  • financial help towards childcare cost or getting a mobile device (this would not cover a whole new laptop but can be a contribution towards a second hand device if nothing is available) to take part, or anything similar that can aid access;
  • a mentor for the duration of the course (for only these two) to help navigate anything that comes up related to this course, and provide light editing.

If you'd like to apply for one of these places, please tick the box on the application page.

2. General access grant available to writers who need it. This funding is limited and as such only for writers who are in need. Please only apply if you are in need for financial support towards your internet subscription.

If you'd like to apply for this, please tick the box on the application page.

Workshop dates (all workshops will be delivered via Zoom)

Saturday 28 November 2020, 11am-1pm

Saturday 12 December 2020, 11am-1pm

Saturday 9 January 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 16 January 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 30 January 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 13 February 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 27 February 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 13 March 2021, 1pm-3pm

Saturday 27 March 2021, 11am-1pm

Saturday 10 April 2021, 11am-1pm

There will also be three extra sessions with guest speakers on funding opportunities, publishing and university routes. We will confirm these dates in due course.


Applications open on Monday 12 October. The deadline to apply is Sunday 15 November (11:59pm).

All participants will be informed by 23 November on the outcome of their application. If you have any queries about your application or this opportunity, please get in touch with aliya@spreadtheword.org.uk.

Good luck! 

Spread the Word