You raised £10,113 for Escalator 2021!

Campaign update: With your help we have raised a grant total of £10,113.24 (including Gift Aid). We’re just so delighted and a little overwhelmed at the generosity that has been shown! Thank you so much for your support, which has helped smash our target of £8,800.
This result means we are able to fully fund Escalator 2021 with a full cohort of 10 early-career writers. The additional funds raised will go into Escalator 2022, which is a huge support for a programme that we have found challenging to fundraise for in recent years.

The Escalator talent development programme has supported early career writers in the East of England since 2004. The programme has developed over the years to become what it is today: eight months of mentoring, training, guidance and networking for writers at the beginning of their careers. Supporting writers who are underrepresented on UK bookshelves has become a core objective of the project.

Years of austerity and the Covid-19 crisis have made funding through traditional means increasingly difficult. This year we are asking for your help to ensure we are able to continue providing essential support and mentoring to underrepresented writers from the region.

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“Forging a career as a writer is always challenging – especially as new and unpredictable challenges arrive every year. The Escalator scheme does essential work to support writers both practically and creatively at a critical point in their writing lives. Investing in early-career writers fills our shelves with a rich diversity of books that reflect all parts of our lives and our society.” – Author and NCW Patron, Sarah Perry FRSL

How Escalator has helped writers

Escalator normally mentors ten writers each year but in 2020 we were only able to fund six. Your support can make all the difference and help get the project back up to ten writers.

To support an early career writer costs £2,200 for the full eight months of the programme. This covers their mentoring, masterclasses in editing, performance, voice training and much more.

We are therefore aiming to raise £8,800 to secure four more places on the Escalator programme for 2021.

Support the writers of tomorrow

Supporting underrepresented voices

The East of England region is made up of a diverse society of many voices. Escalator is about helping a wider variety of voices reach the page and get into bookshops and libraries. As readers we all benefit from incredible new books from outstanding new voices that expand our worlds, inspire us and contribute to a broader publishing landscape that will better represent the society we live in.

This region has a long literary heritage, with Norwich being the first UNESCO City of Literature in England. Based in the creative heart of the city, the National Centre for Writing’s mission is to ensure creative writing talent is given a platform to succeed.

Give a voice to new writers

How you can help

£25 pays for one writer to attend a key professional development workshop

£250 covers the cost for the entire Escalator cohort to attend a tailored professional development workshop on editing, performance or voice training

£1,250 pays for the mentoring of one writer for the duration of their time on Escalator

£2,200 covers the entire cost of an Escalator writer; as thanks for this generous donation we will name an Escalator mentee placement after you or someone of your choice

Donate today

“Escalator is an indispensable programme that changes writers’ lives. Just thinking of what it will be like for the next cohort to get that call, to hear good news in a bad year, to know that a door is opening for them, fills me with optimism for 2021.” – Laura Dietz, Escalator Alumni and author

Buy a Julian of Norwich screen print


Purchase a Julian of Norwich print (hand-made by Print to the People, a community printmaking studio in Norwich) and your money will go towards supporting an underrepresented writer at the beginning of their career.

Prints are £10 each. As a thank you, we will also include a copy of our Walking Norwich chapbook with each order!

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Escalator 2020 Alumni

Find out more