Terms and Conditions

1.     By applying to attend the WriteNow Workshops and Mentoring Programme (the “WriteNow Programme”), each applicant agrees with The Random House Group Limited and Penguin Books Limited (Publisher) to accept and be bound by these terms and conditions.  Applicants must also review the Penguin Privacy Policy which sets out how the Publisher may use the personal data of the Applicant during the WriteNow Programme before submitting an application.  These terms and conditions and the Penguin Privacy Policy can be viewed at any time on the WriteNow website located at: https://www.penguin.co.uk/company/creative-responsibility/writenow.html (WriteNow Website).

2.    In addition to the parameters set out in term 3 below, applications to participate in the WriteNow Programme are open to writers aged 18 or over who are a resident of the UK and Republic of Ireland, except for the permanent employees (including their families) of the Publisher or associated companies within the Penguin Random House group.

3.    This opportunity is only open to writers who come from backgrounds under-represented in the publishing industry. This will be self-defined by the applicant as part of the application process and assessed by writer and development charity Spread the Word (www.spreadtheword.org.uk) and the Publisher’s HR colleagues. In particular, this will likely include writers and illustrators from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic), LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, writers who have a disability and writers who come from a socio-economically marginalised background.


4.    The Publisher does not charge any fee for applying to the WriteNow Programme.  The application window opens on 12 March 2020 and the closing date for the submission and receipt of applications is midnight on Sunday 31 May.

5.    Applicants must submit an application consisting of 1,000 words from any part of their book in the English language, and a synopsis of the work in the English language of no more than 250 words. All applications are to be submitted through the WriteNow website.

6.    Applicants must complete all sections of the application form on the WriteNow Website and review the WriteNow Applicant Privacy Notice at [weblink]. 

7.   Applicants who have attended a workshop, roadshow or mentoring programme in any previous WriteNow Programme are not eligible to apply for a subsequent WriteNow Programme.

8.  All applications must be the original work of the applicant.  If the applicant is unable to produce its submission for the WriteNow Programme without third party assistance, the applicant must give full disclosure of the nature (including name of the third party) and extent of that assistance with its submission.  

9.  Subject to the following, submissions from writer applicants must be previously unpublished works of fiction or non-fiction on any subject or genre, including but not limited to romance, crime, science fiction, fantasy, adventure and thriller. Writer applicants must not currently be represented by a literary agent or have previously written a novel published under a valid ISBN. The exceptions to this are for writer applicants who have either been published (i) as part of an anthology; (ii) by a non-for-profit publisher; (iii) over ten years ago; (iv)  in an entirely different genre to the materials they are currently working on; (iv) via self-publishing; and/or (v) published in digital/ e-book format only.

10.  Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. The Publisher is not responsible for illegible, incomplete, delayed, corrupted, malfunctioning, unreadable or lost entries. Applications sent by email, post or any other format other than via the WriteNow Website will not be accepted.  Applicants should only supply copies of their work and should keep backups for their own files.

11.  By applying for the WriteNow Programme, the applicant warrants that all information submitted as part of its application is true (with the exception of any fictional written submissions), current and complete.

WriteNow Workshops

12.  All valid applications will be assessed by an initial judging panel (Initial Panel) made up of individuals with editorial expertise. The Initial Panel will choose one hundred and fifty (150) applications from writers who shall be invited to attend an online workshop. In determining which applicants will be invited to the WriteNow workshops the Initial Panel will evaluate various aspects of the applicant’s submission including: the potential for the writing to become the basis of a publication, the quality of writing or illustration, the originality of concept behind the writing and the commerciality of the writing.

13.  The Publisher regrets that it will not be able to give feedback on individual entries (other than that to be provided to the successful applicants at the workshops or during subsequent mentoring sessions).

14.  Successful applicants will be notified by email on or before 15 June 2020. Successful applicants must respond to either accept or decline their invitation by 6 July 2020. The Publisher will endeavour to send a reminder near to the deadline for acceptance of the invitation. However, if successful applicants have not confirmed their attendance by the deadline, the invitation will expire and the Publisher reserves the right to offer the invitation to a substitute applicant selected in accordance with these rules.

15.  All decisions of the Initial Panel are final and not subject to appeal.

16.  Successful writer applicants will be invited to attend a workshop and to submit an additional 5,000 words of their materials in advance. In the fortnight following the workshop writers shall receive a 20 minute one-on-one session with one of the Publisher’s editors who will discuss and provide feedback as regards the pre-submitted materials. 

WriteNow Mentoring Programme

17.  Applicants attending the workshop will be assessed by a further judging panel (Further Panel) made up of individuals with editorial expertise for writer applicants. Following the workshops the Further Panel will shortlist applicants writers or illustrators, across all three workshops, who in the Further Panel’s sole opinion show the most promise to submit their full manuscript for consideration. The Further Panel shall then choose (10) applicants to participate in the mentoring stage of the WriteNow Programme. The successful applicants will be notified by 30 October 2020.

18.  All decisions of the Further Panel are final and not subject to appeal.

19.  For the avoidance of doubt, the provision, by the Publisher, of the mentoring opportunity shall not be interpreted as a representation or commitment to publish any works by a successful applicant. Notwithstanding this, applicants agree that should they accept any offer to be mentored by the Publisher under the WriteNow Programme, the applicant agrees they will extend to the Publisher the first option of publishing their first work of fiction/non-fiction on fair and reasonable market terms to be agreed in good faith.

20.  Other than those specified above or in the information relating to the WriteNow Programme contained on this WriteNow website, the Publisher shall not be liable for any costs or expenses arising out of or in any way connected with applicants participation in the WriteNow Programme and does not accept any responsibility for any damage (excluding personal injury or death as a result of the Publisher’s negligence), loss or disappointment suffered by any applicants as result of accepting and/or attending either (i) a workshop or (ii) any subsequent participation in the WriteNow Mentoring Programme.

21.  None of the elements of this opportunity may be transferred by successful applicants and no alternative (cash or otherwise) will be available or offered.

22.  By applying for this opportunity each applicant confirms that: (i) his/her/their submitted materials are their original, wholly-owned, creation and make no use of any third party materials or intellectual property rights; (ii) no deliberate attempt has been made to base any fictional characters in the written submissions upon any individual, living or dead; and (iii) the submitted materials contain nothing that is illegal, obscene, discriminatory or of a defamatory nature. Applicants will keep the Publisher harmless from any claims that their submitted materials infringe the personal or proprietary right of any other person.

23. The copyright in any written submissions submitted by an applicant shall remain vested in the applicant. In consideration for the Publisher agreeing to consider the applicant for the WriteNow Programme, each applicant grants the Publisher a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide licence to reproduce, distribute and/or make available the written submissions or illustrations in whole or in part (i) as part of the Initial Panel or Further Panel adjudication processes and (ii) in promotional, marketing or reporting materials (whether print or electronic) relating to the WriteNow Programme.

24.  Events may occur that render the WriteNow Programme impossible to fulfil due to reasons beyond the control of the Publisher. Should those events occur the Publisher may, at its absolute discretion, vary, amend, suspend or cancel the WriteNow Programme and shall provide notice to all applicants of proposed variations, amendments, suspensions or cancellations.

25.  The Publisher may disqualify an applicant in the following circumstances: (i) the Publisher has reasonable grounds to believe the applicant’s application does not comply with these terms and conditions (ii) the Publisher has reasonable grounds to believe the actions of the applicant are fraudulent, dishonest, criminal or unjust to other applicants and (iii) the applicant fails to participate in any of the workshop or mentoring stages of the WriteNow Programme.

26.  These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of England and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

27.  Publisher Contact:

WriteNow Programme Manager: Siena Parker

Email: writenow@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk

Post: Siena Parker, WriteNow - The Penguin Random House Group c/o The Random House Group Limited of 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA.

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