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. This year's partnership with BBC Studios will also offer writers an opportunity to expand their understanding of the TV industry.
All applicants will be invited to a free workshop in early 2023 on demystifying the publishing and TV industries. Shortlisted writers will receive one-to-one feedback on their writing from a Penguin editor, and the chance to get their work in front of leading global TV content creator BBC Studios.
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’ in early 2023, with guest speakers breaking down the publishing and TV industries and the opportunities for writers and authors within them.
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
An insight into opportunities for writers in TV from industry experts
Literary agents sharing their top tips on how to pitch your book, and how to write an effective covering letter
Breakout sessions based on the the type of book you're writing
The chance to ask questions throughout the day
What to expect from being shortlisted
Based on their initial 1,000-word application, 50 writers will be shortlisted for the WriteNow editorial programme and asked to submit a further 5,000 words from their book.
Each shortlisted 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 Zoom, at a time that suits both the writer and editor.
All 5,000 word submissions will also be shared with BBC Studios, with a view to the production company contacting the applicant if they are interested in developing their work further.
From there a select number of writers will be invited to send us everything they've written so far, 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 at least six times over the year. If you are willing and able to travel, at least three of the meetings with your editor will 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
£1,000 writing grant
This year, all writers who join the final editorial programme will be offered a £1,000 grant to help them develop their writing craft. For example, putting money towards buying a laptop or writing software, or to go towards a working space or writers' retreat.
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.
Sign up for updates, writing tips and inspiration from WriteNow