Illustration of person surrounded by trophies, certificates and literary journals/creative writing magazines
Illustration of person surrounded by trophies, certificates and literary journals/creative writing magazines

There are a number of organisations, both nationwide and local, which can help with advice, information or funding for writers and illustrators. 

Read the whole list or jump to your local area here:

London and South East
South West
Midlands
Wales
North East
North West
Scotland
Northern Ireland

National organisations

Arts Council England was set up in 1946 to champion and develop art and culture across the country. It supports everything from museums to literary festivals and libraries, and has a number of grants, some of which are open to writers.

The AAA represents the interests of agents and authors, and a full list of its members can be found on its website.

A community of writers, readers and activists who protect freedom of expression whenever it is under attack. They campaign for writers facing persecution around the world and offer respite residencies for 3-5 writers per year. They also award literary grants for translating new works into English.

England’s leading creative writing charity for young people. Their flagship programme pairs professional writers with secondary schools in low-income communities, where they work intensively to develop young people’s creativity, confidence, literacy and ability.

The Good Literary Agency are focused on discovering, developing and launching the careers of writers of colour, disability, working class, LGBTQ+ and anyone who feels their story is not being told in the mainstream.

The Royal Literary Fund is a British charity that has been helping authors since 1790 by providing grants and pensions to writers in financial difficulty, including novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters and translators. 

Founded in 1820, the RSL is the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature. They act as a voice for the value of literature, engage people in appreciating literature, and encourage and honour writers. They run an events programme and support authors both established and emerging with awards and grants, as well as managing an Outreach Programme to inspire the next generation of readers and writers.

This is the trade union for UK writers, and offers advice on contracts and more, as well as lobbies on the issues that affect authors. The SoA is a membership organisation which represents more than 10,000 people from all areas of the profession.

Regional organisations

London and South East

The London Writers' Salon offers a network for published and aspiring writers to connect with one another. Their three times daily Writers' Hours encourage people to come together and dedicate an hour to their writing. 

Based in Brighton, New Writing South serves writers from across southeast England. They’re committed to nurturing an inclusive community of writers, regardless of background or previous experience and offer bursaries and training alongside mentoring. 

Pen to Print provides a safe, collaborative environment for emerging writers in Barking and Dagenham in a number of genres including free workshops, competitions, events and through its new Write On! magazine, which aims to showcase emerging writers in print.

This writer development agency is based in London, and runs schemes including the Young Poet Laureate for London. They support the creative and professional development of writing talent, by engaging those already interested in literature and those who will be, and by advocating on behalf of both.

South West

Based in Exeter and covering the South West region, they provide opportunities for writers who are resident in the South West of England to develop their craft and sustain a living as writers through engagement with their Writers’ Community and project opportunities.

Midlands

The National Centre for Writing celebrates and explores the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation. Their programme of collaborations aim to engage writers, literary translators and readers, in person and online, in projects that support new voices and new stories, and respond to the rapidly changing world of writing.

Meet writers from across the world on the National Centre for Writing's Discord community.

Based in Derby, Writing East Midlands is the literature development agency for the region. They support writers at various stages in their careers, connecting them with opportunity, and helping them to help themselves. They run workshops and writing courses, arrange mentoring relationships and manuscript appraisals, offer one-to-one career development sessions, organise conferences and help with festivals and events around the region.

Based in Birmingham, Writing West Midlands evolved from the work of the Birmingham Book Festival, established in 1999. The organisation is now the literature development agency for the region, running courses, workshops and residencies.

Wales

The Arts Council of Wales funds and develops the arts in Wales. They fund, nurture and celebrate the best talent, including writers. 

The Books Council of Wales is a national body, funded by the Welsh Government, which provides a focus for the publishing industry in Wales. It provides a number of specialist services (in the fields of editing, design, marketing and distribution) with a view to improving standards of book production and publication in both Welsh and English. It also distributes grants to publishers.

Literature Wales is the national company for the development of literature. Their vision is a Wales where literature empowers, improves and brightens lives.

Gladstone's Library is a residential library and meeting place which is dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals and groups, who are looking to explore pressing questions and to pursue study and research. They offer a programme of courses and events that keep them connected with a wide range of writers and thinkers.

Tŷ Newydd is the National Writing Centre of Wales, run by Literature Wales specialising in residential creative writing courses.

Wales PEN Cymru offers Welsh writers the opportunity to join an international organisation and belong to a world community fighting for free expression.  

North East

New Writing North work with new writers and seek out talent across the North of England. They work to nurture the next generation of writers, but also work with more established writers, often in ways that allow them the freedom to experiment and grow creatively. They run events, development programmes and prizes.

Run by South Tyneside Council, The National Centre for the Written Word works in partnership with different organisations and authors on writing courses and workshops, as well as a writers -in-residence programme and competitions.

Writers’ Block North East (WBNE) is a creative writing and development service are based in Middlesbrough, and aim their services at Teesside and the wider North East region. They provide mentoring, development workshops, showcasing events, collaobration opportunities and networking support for writers of all levels of experience.

North West

New Writing North work with new writers and seek out talent across the North of England. They work to nurture the next generation of writers, but also work with more established writers, often in ways that allow them the freedom to experiment and grow creatively. They run events, development programmes and prizes.

Based in Manchester, Commonword is a writing development organisation providing opportunities for new and aspiring writers to develop their talent and potential. They run competitions, workshops and events.

Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. They have a number of grants, some of which are open to writers.

The Scottish Book Trust are a national charity that believe books, reading and writing have the power to change lives. They support writers through a number of resources, programmes and funding. They also have information of writing groups across Scotland.

The Book Festival aims to foster a love of books, words and reading, and inspire people of all backgrounds and ages to explore new ideas and expand their horizons.

Since 2015, a Communities Programme has taken the essence of the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the road around Scotland. Working closely with local organisations to create events and activities tailored to the area and the needs of each community, the Book Festival puts on author events in Scottish prisons, hospitals and arts centres, and develops activities for groups that face significant challenges, such as homeless people and refugees.

The Glasgow Women's Library supports thousands of women across Scotland every year to improve their lives through their services and programmes, including support and activities that tackle a wide range of issues from poverty and women’s health, sexuality and surviving violence.

Literature Alliance Scotland (LAS) is a membership organisation committed to advancing the interests of Scotland’s literature and languages at home and abroad.

Moniack Mhor is Scotland’s National Writing Centre. Based in the Scottish Highlands, they run courses in a range of genres tutored by some of the finest authors in the UK and beyond. They also sponsor awards, bursaries, professional residencies to develop works in progress and a programme for young writers.

Publishing Scotland are the network for trade, training and development. They are a membership body and a charity who have been in operation for 46 years.

ROAR is a group working to identify, interrogate and combat inequality in Scottish writing and publishing. Their mission is to end discrimination based on gender, class, sexuality, language, nationality, disability, race, age, religion, or caring responsibilities and their intersections.

The Scottish Association of Writers celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. it aims to bring local writers clubs and their members throughout Scotland together, in order to provide support as well as networking opportunities.

SBWN aims to connect Scottish BAME writers with the wider literary sector in Scotland. The network seeks to partner with literary organisations to facilitate necessary conversations around inclusive programming in an effort to address and overcome systemic barriers. SBWN prioritises BAME-led opportunities and is keen to bring focus to diverse literary voices while remaining as accessible as possible to marginalised groups.

Scottish PEN work with a range of writers, campaigners, activists and communities across both Scotland and around the world as part of the PEN International network. They also work with a range of marginalised communities to ensure they are able to access the right to free expression free from threats. 

A resource based in Glasgow, supporting writers and promoting Scotland's vibrant literary arts culture.

Northern Ireland

The Arts Council for Northern Ireland supports individuals and groups of writers and readers, publishers, organisations providing space, information and training, and a variety of other networks.

Writers may apply to the Arts Council for financial support, assistance with travel and research, and major awards. Funding is available for publishers towards the commissioning, production and marketing of literary publications. Literary magazines are also eligible for funding.

Uniting aspiring and emerging writers in all genres from across Northern Ireland with those who have already blazed a trail to success, to educate, encourage and inspire a new generation of talent.

Working with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s National Lottery funding, the Irish Writers Centre offer subsidised membership and mentoring schemes for writers based in Northern Ireland. The schemes directly connect Northern writers with the Irish Writers Centre and writers from across the island.

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