On 7 July 2022, National Centre for Writing hosted a showcase of short readings and conversations with the winners of this year’s Escalator Talent Development scheme – a programme for East Anglian writers whose voices are under-represented on UK bookshelves.

In November 2021, each successful writer received a package of support including one-to-one mentoring from established writers, a residential retreat with tailored development workshops, peer support and a final showcase to agents and publishers. Nine months later, the ten emerging fiction writers have joined us to showcase their work.

The 2021/22 winners were:

  • Melody Bowles (mentored by Kate Worsley)
  • Ben Cartwright (mentored by Kate Worsley)
  • Shirley Day (mentored by Owen Nicholls)
  • Isabelle Higgins (mentored by Yvvette Edwards)
  • Adam Leeder (mentored by Owen Nicholls)
  • Joanna Miller (mentored by Michael Donkor)
  • Carrie Patten (mentored by Megan Bradbury)
  • Rick Roydes (mentored by Megan Bradbury)
  • Mark Stocker (mentored by Michael Donkor)
  • Bang Wang (mentored by Yvvette Edwards)

Find out more about the writers and their work here →

Escalator is one of NCW’s longest-running programmes. For the past 16 years it has supported over 100 writers in their creative projects, with many going on to sign with agents, publish and receive awards for their writing. It is a unique opportunity offered exclusively to short story and novel writers living in the Eastern region of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk).

Following a successful fundraising campaign and generous donations from the Amazon Literary Partnership, The Lady Hind Trust and the public, this year’s Escalator scheme was able to run with a full cohort of ten writers. This was also the second year that we have run the programme in a ‘hybrid’ format, making the most of both online platforms and opportunities to meet up in person.

Applications for Escalator 2023 will open on 14th July 2022.