Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve done an MA or BA Creative Writing: does that mean I can’t apply?

No, and it doesn’t mean you won’t be selected. A large proportion of previous applicants to Escalator are graduates of formal creative writing programmes. We would like to remind writers that you don’t have to have a creative writing qualification to apply! Escalator 2019 is designed to best benefit writers.

I haven’t yet written 2,000 words of the project I want to write – what do I do?

The Escalator programme can be critically intensive – as well as enjoyable! Although we are excited to receive proposals for early stage novels and stories, in order to make the most of the support, they must be established in some way. If you have a project you are very passionate about, for which you’ve perhaps already undertaken research, or sketched an outline, but don’t have 2,000 words written, then please send an example of other work, and make this clear in your proposal.

How do I know if my writing is right for Escalator?

We are looking for great writing, affecting stories and creative potential. Escalator is a creative commitment and is best suited to writers with experience of receiving constructive feedback on their work. We particularly encourage writers who’ve been working on their craft for some time but have not been able to take part in an accredited creative writing qualification, those who feel their work is under-represented, or have faced financial barriers in progressing their career. We are not looking for a particular style, genre or approach; only well-considered, technically able, affecting stories.

How are applications judged?

Once National Centre for Writing has identified eligibility, applicants are judged anonymously and by their work alone. 10 writers are selected from a shortlist of up to 25 applicants by the panel of mentors chaired by NCW.

How does the mentoring work?

The majority of mentoring is remote, taking place via email, telephone or video call. Two sessions will take place face to face, as part of the welcome event, and the Norwich retreat. Where mentor and writer are willing and able, they may choose to meet face to face. Mentor and writer are liable for any expenses incurred for face to face meetings.

I don’t live in the East of England – what else is there for me?

See Creative Futures opportunity – and our page of links to other literature dev. agencies.

Why is Escalator for East of England writers only?

Escalator is our cornerstone offer to writers in our immediate region. As Writers’ Centre Norwich we delivered the programme for a decade and it plays an important role in developing the output of our region. The National Centre for Writing is developing offers and partnerships across the UK, with more national opportunities to be announced. In the meantime, do take a look at some of the regional development agencies writer development schemes, and the Creative Futures award, of which we are a supporting partner.

How else can you support me?

Please visit our ‘Support for Writers’ section to read about our other opportunities.