Spread the Word is accepting submissions for a limited number of 1:1 feedback sessions with Philippa Milnes-Smith and Alice Saunders from Lucas Alexander Whitley writers agency. They are each offering to meet and provide advice with up to 4 writers from London-based writers from backgrounds under-represented in publishing. Philippa is looking for submissions from aspiring authors who are writing children's / YA work and Alice is looking for general submissions of fiction and nonfiction for an adult readership. 
We define backgrounds under-represented  in publishing as writers who:
  • Have low household income
  • Have experienced a lack of academic and/or vocational training opportunities – i.e. have not been able to study/train to your 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 black or other ethnic minority background 
What do we need from you?
  • A sample of your writing, ideally up to 2000 words from the beginning of your book
  • A synopsis of the book (no more than 2 sides of A4) 
  • A covering letter that includes:
    • What stage you are at with your book ie.: 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?) 
    • Your London address including postcode
Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Monday 4 December.
Applicants will be notified during the week commencing 15 January and 1-2-1 sessions will take place in central London in February 2018 at a mutually agreed time.
About the Agents
Alice Saunders
Alice has an insatiable appetite for storytelling old and new.  Her tastes are eclectic, her championship unstinting.  She’s a fan of strong, passionate voices, dry, witty retorts, and – a particular treat in this digital age – retains a telephone manner that borders on the hypnotic. She’s always on the lookout for any excuse to spend more time with anyone and anything food related, explore new ideas and celebrate innovation, to work with those who push the envelope in any field, to lose herself in epic narrative of all kinds – and to find new ways of sharing works of genius with the world.
Philippa Milnes-Smith

Philippa’s passion for children’s books began, perhaps unsurprisingly, in childhood.  Reading then was a rich blend of fantasy, adventure, and ghost stories.  She’s still looking for exciting writing for all ages, both commercial and literary, particularly work that translates well into film, television and other media. Her best job before heading up LAW was running Penguin Children’s Books; her worst was cleaning industrial deep-fat fryers in a motorway service station.  She won’t say which prepared her most effectively for agenting, but will admit to owning a paperweight emblazoned with the words: Diplomacy – the art of letting someone have it your way.  Printable adjectives her authors have used to describe her range from ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘exciting’ to ‘outwardly respectable.’  She’s a past president of the Association of Author’s Agents.

Get in touch 

If you have any queries or questions, please get in touch with Spread the Word.

Our website
The information about this opportunity, and other useful and interesting things can be found on the Spread the Word website: spreadtheword.org.uk

Ends on February 9, 2018
Thanks for your interest in Spread the Word's Life Writing Prize 2018. 

This year's judges are Erica Wagner, Hannah Lowe and Kwaku Osei-Afrifa. You can read more about the Life Writing Prize on our website. http://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/life-writing-prize 

Please make sure you've had a look through the Prize rules & guidelines for the Life Writing Prize 2018. You can find them here: www.spreadtheword.org.uk/enter-the-life-writing-prize-2018

We're looking forward to reading your work. 

The Literary Consultancy Free Reads Scheme offers talented, low-income writers the opportunity to apply for bursaried (i.e., non-fee paying) access to their valuable commercial services for writers. Selected writers will be offered a professional manuscript assessment of their creative work from an experienced editor.

The Free Reads scheme is particularly interested in applications from writers under-represented in publishing (women writers, disabled writers, BAME writers and members of the LGBTQA community). Spread the Word is partnering with TLC to manage submissions from writers based in London, writing across different genres: playwrights, poets, scriptwriters, biographers, creative non-fiction, short story writers and fiction writers. 

You are eligible to enter (via Spread the Word) if you live in London and are on a low-income, meeting one of the following criteria:

  • You are in receipt of Job seeker’s allowance, disability benefit, income support or working tax credit
  • You earn less than the London Living Wage of £9.45 per hour
  • You are a full-time student
  • You are aged 60 or over

If you are a low-income writer 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.

To apply please send us the following documents:
  • A completed TLC Free Reads scheme form (available to download here (Word or PDF)
  • 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
Please refer to the FAQs, also published on our website for any questions you have in regards to submitting your work to this scheme. For any additional questions not listed, please contact Aliya at aliya@spreadtheword.org.uk

The deadline to apply is 5pm on Monday 4 December 2017. Good luck!