Apply for Escalator 2020

Escalator seeks ambitious new voices in fiction (novel or short story). If you feel your voice is under-represented and would benefit from a structured period of support, then we want to hear from you!

We particularly encourage writers who self-identify as from a working-class background, who haven’t undertaken any formal creative writing qualifications, or whom wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to benefit from this kind of support.

If you are one of the six successful writers selected for the scheme, you will be offered:

  • Five sessions of one-to-one mentoring with one of our amazing mentors
  • A retreat at Norwich UNESCO City of Literature
  • Workshops and development sessions to support your wider development
  • A showcase event with an audience of invited guests and industry professionals
  • Space on the National Centre for Writing website to showcase your work.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Live in the East of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Norfolk or Suffolk)
  • Not be currently studying full-time or for any accredited course in Creative Writing
  • Be available to commit to the duration of the mentoring and dates set out for the period of the scheme
  • Be over the age of 18 on the date of application
  • Apply with an adult or YA fiction piece, written in English of which you are the sole author; children’s or non-fiction is not eligible

There will be a welcome event hosted at the National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall, Norwich on 7 March 2020, which all successful writers are expected to attend.

We particularly encourage applications from writers who:

  • Self-identify as from a working-class background, or
  • Wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to benefit from this kind of support

How to apply

To apply for Escalator 2020, please complete both of the application forms below:

Application form part one

Application form part two

The application forms ask you to include the following:

  • An extract of up to 2,000 words of the project you would like to work on, or an example of previous work if you’re applying to work on a new project
  • A proposal of up to 200 words outlining the project you will work on as part of the scheme and how the scheme would benefit you and your work (especially if you self-identify as from a working-class background, or wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to benefit from this kind of support)
  • A short biography of up to 200 words outlining your work and successes to date; this may include any creative writing education, prizes or publications and your influences (literary or otherwise, if relevant to your fiction)
  • Your contact details and demographic information, for administrative purposes and equal opportunities monitoring

Send your completed application forms (parts one and two) as attachments in an email to with the subject heading ‘Escalator application’.

The deadline for application is 11.59pm on Friday 10 January 2020.

If you have any questions please get in touch with Sarah Bower by email or by calling 01603 877177.