This year’s programme

WriteNow is Penguin's award-winning programme designed to give writers from under-represented backgrounds in publishing the tools, information, and access needed to navigate the industry and launch their career as a successful author.

  • This year we are looking exclusively for books that fall within the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.
  • The application window will open on Wednesday 24 April and run until Sunday 16 June 2024.
  • We're looking for books for children and adults (specifically middle grade fiction, YA fiction, and adult fiction).

What's on offer?

What to expect from WriteNow

Learn more

About you

We're looking for new writers, so you won't have published a book in the last 10 years through a commercial publishing house. You also won’t have a literary agent or any publishing contract at the moment.

You’ll come from a background that you believe is currently under-represented in books and publishing. As part of your application, we’ll ask you to tell us in your own words what this means for you. For example, you could be disabled, from a socio-economically marginalised background, or identify as Black, Asian, or minority ethnic, or as LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer).

You’ll be at least 18 years old and be resident in the UK or Ireland. 

We’ll also ask you to submit your manuscript in English.

About your writing

We know that great stories come in all shapes and sizes. This year we are looking specifically for science fiction, fantasy, or horror. You can be writing middle grade (for children aged 8-12), young adults, or adults.

Although we are looking for applications from writers who are under-represented in UK and Irish publishing, there is no expectation for you to write about your background. It's completely up to you who your characters are, or where you choose to set your book.

If you are working on a book that is not eligible for WriteNow, you can find more support and other opportunities on our Getting Published hub.

Nail your entry

Read our guide before applying

Read the application guide


Initial applications

  • To begin with, we're looking for 1,000 words of writing and a short synopsis
  • This year's application window will run from 11am on Wednesday 24 April to 11.59pm on Sunday 16 June
  • All applicants will be invited to a free, virtual workshop on how to get published on Saturday 22nd June


  • All longlisted applicants will be contacted by Friday 12 July and asked to send a further 5,000 word submission from their book by Friday 16 August
  • They will then be invited to a one-to-one feedback session with a Penguin editor in September


  • Following these feedback sessions a group of applications will be selected from the longlisted applicants and contacted by Friday 20 September. These writers will be asked to send up to a further 40,000 words and a detailed outline synopsis by Friday 1 November
  • These selected writers will be invited to a second one-to-one feedback session in November

Editorial programme

  • A final group of applicants will be invited to join the year-long editorial programme. They will be notified by Friday 6 December.

Apply now

It starts with just 1,000 words...

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