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Every great book starts with an idea

WriteNow is Penguin's award-winning programme to seek out, nurture and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation's bookshelves.

The programme is designed to give participating writers the tools, information, and access needed to navigate the publishing industry and launch their career as a successful author.

"WriteNow is the ultimate boot camp for aspiring writers. I entered with a dream and left with a plan."

Charlene Allcott, WriteNow alumni and published author

Explore books by WriteNow alumni...

What does WriteNow offer?

  • A free workshop on how to get published, held online and open to all applicants
  • One-to-one feedback on your writing from a Penguin editor, for shortlisted applicants
  • The opportunity to hear from published authors, literary agents, and industry experts to understand the industry and pathways to publication
  • 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
  • This year, all writers who join the final editorial programme will also be offered a £1,000 writing grant.

How does WriteNow work?

WriteNow is open to any unpublished, unsigned writer based in the UK or Ireland, who identifies as coming from an under-represented background or community in publishing.

Each year the programme focuses on specific genres of writing to ensure we can provide specific and tailored support to applicants as they work on their manuscripts. This year we are specifically looking for "commercial fiction" — stories with a gripping hook and a fast-moving plot.

To begin with, writers apply with 1,000 words of sample writing which is assessed by editors across Penguin. At each stage of the assessment process, we will ask for more writing — first a further 5,000 words, and then everything you have written so far, up to and including a complete manuscript.

A final handful of writers will join the year-long editorial programme where they are matched with an editor to work on their book.

WriteNow's impact at a glance

  • 800 writers have had one-to-one feedback on their manuscript from a Penguin editor
  • 950 writers have attended 11 regional workshops on how to get published
  • Over a quarter of shortlisted writers went on to get their book published elsewhere
  • 55 writers mentored by Penguin editors specialising in their genre
  • 27 writers discovered through the programme have book deals and counting, 20 with Penguin and seven with other publishing houses.

Join the conversation online

Follow the conversation about WriteNow on Twitter @PenguinUKBooks. We use the hashtag #WriteNow.

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