What’s on offer

WriteNow 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.

All applicants will be invited to a free online workshop on Saturday 22 June on demystifying the publishing process. Longlisted writers will receive one-to-one feedback on their writing from a Penguin editors.

Successful applicants will join our year-long editorial programme, which matches a handful of writers with a Penguin editor to work on their manuscript and build their understanding of the publishing industry.

What to expect from the WriteNow workshop

Everyone who applies to WriteNow will be invited to join a free online workshop on ‘how to get published’ on Saturday 22 June, with guest authors, agents, and editors breaking down the publishing process.

Held online, the WriteNow workshop will be made up of a number of interactive and practical panel discussions, including:

  • An overview of the publishing process from start to finish, including a published author, literary agent, and editor
  • Published authors talking about how they write — including balancing writing alongside other commitments, how they self-edit and improve their writing, and their own journeys to getting published
  • Literary agents sharing their top tips on how to pitch your book, and how to write an effective covering letter
  • The chance to ask questions throughout the day
WriteNow mentees

‘WriteNow allowed my voice to be heard’

WriteNow alumni reflect on their experiences.

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What to expect from being shortlisted

Based on their initial 1,000-word application, 30 writers will be longlisted for the WriteNow editorial programme and asked to submit a further 5,000 words from their book.

Each longlisted writer will have one-to-one time with a Penguin editor to get feedback and tailored advice on their writing. These meetings will be held over the phone or via Microsoft Teams, at a time that suits both the writer and editor. 

From there a select number of writers will be invited to send us up to 40,000 additional words, before a final handful of writers are invited to join the editorial programme.

What to expect from the editorial programme

One-to-one support from an editor

Each writer selected to join the year-long programme will be matched with a Penguin editor with expertise and experience in the genre they are writing.

If you join the editorial programme, you will meet with your editor for at least six hours over the year. If you are willing and able to travel, three of your meetings may take place in person at one of our London offices (we will your cover travel costs from anywhere in the UK and Ireland). The other meetings will be held over the phone or video call. We expect that each meeting will last for about an hour.

Together you and your editor will:

  • Shape and develop your manuscript to make it as strong as it can be. This will include giving you constructive feedback on what's working and where you could improve — on anything from character development, to plot, to pace, to length
  • Support you towards getting a publishing deal by thinking about how you might pitch your book to literary agents, identifying where your book might sit in the market and sharing insights on its target audience
  • Develop your experience of writing to deadlines and writing with direction over an extended period of time
  • Develop your confidence in your own voice

Connections within the publishing industry

We'll give you the chance to connect with other writers on the programme, as well as Penguin Books colleagues beyond the editor you are paired with. We'll also run online drop in sessions throughout the year with partner organisations across the industry so you can begin to grow your network.

Membership to the Society of Authors

Every writer on the editorial programme will have access to a year's free membership of the Society of Authors, the UK trade union for writers at every stage of their career, who can offer you impartial advice and support.

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It starts with just 1,000 words...

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Answers to frequently asked questions

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