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Spread the Word is delighted to be an official partner for The Literary Consultancy Free Reads scheme, supporting applications from London writers. Over the last 11 years, Spread the Word has supported 58 writers to receive professional editorial feedback via this fantastic scheme. 

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* (Black, Asian, Arab, Mixed-Raced and Non-white Latinx), and members of the LGBQTIA+ community. 

For 2021, the scheme is open from Monday 19 July and closes on Thursday 30 September 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 £10.85 per hour or a £23,500 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 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.  

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.