Spread the Word is accepting submissions for a limited number of written feedback reports from the literary agents Ivan Mulcahy and Sallyanne Sweeney at MMB Creative.

Ivan and Sallyanne are offering to provide written feedback on up to 6-8 submissions by writers from under-represented backgrounds based in London, UK. Ivan is looking for crime fiction / thrillers and Sallyanne is looking for reading group fiction and middle-grade children's fiction.

We define writers from backgrounds under-represented in publishing as:

  • Have a low household income
  • Are working class
  • Have experienced a lack of academic and/or vocational training opportunities – i.e. have not been able to study/train to their full potential due to low income, ill health, being a carer etc.
  • Are or have been a carer
  • Have experienced homelessness
  • Are a single parent
  • Have a disability
  • Are from a BAME background
  • Are a member of the LGBTQ+ community

What we will need from you

  • A sample of your writing; from 3,000 to 5,000 words from the beginning of your book
  • A synopsis of the book (no more than 1 side of A4)
  • A covering letter that includes: What stage you are at with your book i.e.: have you just started/nearly finished/completed? How you meet the criteria for this opportunity. A summary of your writing endeavours to date (e.g. Have you taken part in writing development opportunities? Have you mainly been writing on your own at home?)

Ivan and Sallyanne will be giving feedback on the documents that you submit.


The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Thursday 31 October 2019. Successful applicants will be contacted by the end of November 2019 and will receive their feedback by the end of the year. 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 is delighted to be an official partner for The Free Reads scheme, supporting applications from London writers. Over the last 10 years, we’ve supported more than 70 writers with receiving professional feedback. The scheme is open throughout the year with two deadline windows: 1 July and 1 December 2019.

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 Universal Credit, Job Seeker’s Allowance, disability benefit, income support or working tax credit
– You earn less than the London Living Wage of £10.55 per hour
– 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.

All applicants must submit:

– A completed TLC Free Reads Scheme form (available to download here)
– The first 1,000 words of your writing or up to 20 pages if your writing is poetry or script-writing
– A complete synopsis of the written work submitted. The synopsis must clearly show your story’s outline and should not exceed 1,000 words
– Documentation that shows you meet the criteria to apply for a Free Read

We will respond to all applicants within three weeks after each deadline window. 

We have provided a list of FAQs with details on how to submit your entry. If you have any further queries, please get in touch. Good luck!

Spread the Word