WriteNow 2021: applications are now closed

WriteNow is our award-winning programme which aims to find, nurture and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation's bookshelves, giving you the tools, information and access needed to get published.

This year Puffin and Ladybird, publishing imprints under Penguin Random House Children's, are looking for new writers working on children's books.

Every great book starts with an idea

This year WriteNow is open to writers of middle grade, chapter and picture books – in other words, books for children aged 0-12 years old. We will be accepting fiction and non-fiction applications.

Applications for WriteNow 2021 are now closed.

To get you started on your WriteNow application...

Why are we only looking for children's book writers this year?

Over the last four years we have successfully published a number of exciting authors through WriteNow. This year we wanted to increase the programme’s reach and impact by splitting the programme into targeted streams. 

Applications will open for young adult and adult fiction and non-fiction in Spring 2022.

About Puffin

Puffin is the biggest children’s publisher globally and inspires children 0-12 to dream big by being a loud, proud voice for the power of stories and how they can spark imagination. Puffin is home to countless famous authors, illustrators and children’s brands, including Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman, Nathan Bryon, Dapo Adeola, Tom Fletcher, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Snowman and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. 

About Ladybird

Ladybird make growing up the best story ever by publishing playful books for little hands. From touch-and-feel books to bedtime stories and non-fiction, we help 0–7s to learn, play and grow – sparking plenty of smiles along the way. The home of Ten Minutes to Bed, Baby Touch, Peppa Pig and Hey Duggee, we know just how to capture curious little imaginations and guide them from one story to the next.

WriteNow: our impact at a glance

  • 750 writers have attended 10 regional workshops on how to get published
  • 98% said that taking part in the workshop increased their confidence as writers
  • Over a quarter of workshop participants went on to get their book published elsewhere
  • 47 writers mentored by Penguin editors specialising in their genre
  • 20 Penguin book deals with 14 writers discovered through the programme, and counting

What does WriteNow offer?

  • Free workshop on how to get published, held online or across the UK
  • One-to-one feedback on your writing from a Penguin editor
  • Hear from published authors, literary agents and industry experts
  • The chance to join our year-long programme, matching you with an editor to offer expert support and advice while you work on your book
  • The chance to get your book published! We’ve already signed publishing deals with 14 writers discovered through WriteNow so far, with many more to come
  • Open to any unpublished writers based in the UK and Ireland, who identify as coming from an under-represented background or community 


Meet our latest WriteNow cohort:

"Sometimes you need someone or something to empower you: to show you the truth of what you can be and that's what the WriteNow process did for me. I have gained strength from this process, and Penguin Random House has made me feel like I have a seat at the table."

Published author and WriteNow mentee Charlene Allcott
WriteNow Liverpool - Editorial 1-1
Sarah Collins and Nikesh Shukla - WriteNow authors panel

Join the conversation online

Follow the conversation about WriteNow on Twitter @PenguinUKBooks, @PuffinBooks and @LadybirdBooks.
We use the hashtag #WriteNow.

More on WriteNow

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