Thanks for your interest in Spread the Word's Life Writing Prize 2021. 

This year's judges are Damian Barr, Catherine Cho and Frances Wilson. You can read more about the Life Writing Prize on our website:

The Prize is open to writers resident in the UK and is free to enter. 

Before you submit, please make sure you've had a look through the rules and guidelines for the Life Writing Prize 2021. You can find them here.

If you have any questions, please check out our FAQs first. The Rules and FAQs are also available to read in our inclusive reads documents, as an alternative to both (available in standard or large print). If your enquiry isn’t listed or you need further information, do get in touch

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

Submissions open at 12 noon on Monday 2 November and close at 11:59pm on Monday 1 February.  

We're looking forward to reading your entry - 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: 

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. 

Spread the Word