Spread the Word is delighted to be an official partner for The Literary Consultancy Free Reads scheme, supporting applications from London writers. In the last 12 years, Spread the Word has supported over 60 writers to receive professional editorial feedback via this fantastic scheme.

Free Reads is managed by The Literary Consultancy and funded by Arts Council England. It is open to writers of fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, children’s fiction including picture books, playscripts and screenplays. It offers writers on low incomes the opportunity to receive professional, editorial feedback on their writing. Free Reads particularly welcomes applications from writers belonging to groups currently under-represented in publishing including disabled writers, writers of colour* (Black, Asian, Global Majority ethnicities), and members of the LGBQTIA+ community.

For 2022, Spread the Word's Free Reads is open from Monday 1 August and closes on Friday 30 September 2022 at 11.59pm (1 minute to midnight).

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 £11.05 per hour or a £23,000 annual salary

- You are a full-time student

- You are aged 60 or over** (You must have an annual income of £23,000k or less, including pensions and other forms of income)

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 what to submit please head to this page:

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.  

Spread the Word