For Writers

As an organisation we strive to offer an ever-expanding range of diverse, creative opportunities for writers at all stages, to grow their practice personally or professionally.

From structured learning at our NCW Academy, including long-form courses and one-off workshops, to in-depth mentoring schemes and literary awards, our aim is both to identify and nurture new writing through a mix of free materials and paid-for experiences.

Whether you’re looking for publishing industry advice, critical feedback on your writing or simply hoping to meet others who write for pleasure and wellbeing, our programme is continually evolving to help deepen learning and increase access to new subjects, resources and networks.

TLC Free Reads

The Free Reads scheme is for low-income, early-career writers in England. Each year we partner with The Literary Consultancy and Arts Council England to offer up to 10 applicants a free opportunity to have their work assessed and reported back on by a professional.

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Escalator is a talent development programme for unpublished fiction writers living in the East of England. The programme, which has a particular focus on under-represented voices, includes eight months of mentoring, training, guidance and networking for participants.

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Early Career Awards

The Early Career Awards are a new form of literary prize, combining the power of awards with the unique, year-round educational programme of the National Centre for Writing. Tailored support for winners includes residency opportunities, mentoring and industry support to help them build a sustainable career.

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International Literature Exchange

ILX brings literature professionals together to learn, exchange expertise and experience, devise collaborations, and build international networks. The programme is a partnership with British Council, supported by Arts Council England.

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Our year-round residency programme encompasses in-person and virtual residencies for writers and translators. We offer focused time to write and develop projects, as well as commissions and opportunities to get to know the wider literary scene in Norwich.

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East Anglian Book Awards

We’ve been delighted to deliver the East Anglian Book Awards with a range of partners for over ten years. From our home in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, these awards showcase the strength of publishing, writing and reading across the whole of the East of England.

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Listen to The Writing Life podcast


The Writing Life podcast is the podcast for anyone who writes. Every fortnight, we speak to writers and educators to help you improve your writing, from theme, structure and routine to language, character and writing specific genres.

The podcast has featured Margaret Atwood, Jackie Kay, Sara Collins, Antti Tuomainen, Val McDermid, Sarah Perry, Elif Shafak and many more!

Listen here

Resources, tips and advice


Whether you’re new to writing or looking to develop your skills, we work with writers and industry experts to commission digital resources packed with useful advice, practical tips and short writing exercises.

Access them for free now.

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NCW Academy

Our creative writing courses, workshops and mentoring are delivered by award-winning tutors, authors and industry experts.

Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced writer taking the next step in your career, we have a programme to provide structure and support for you to achieve your writing goals.

Join NCW Academy

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Escalator helped me hugely, in that I began to think of myself as someone who could have something as audacious and swanky as a ‘writing career’. A writing life. A writing community. A writing future. It provided me with the sort of validation, support and community that is very hard to find elsewhere. I feel extremely lucky to have found it.

Kate Worsley

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100% of your donation will support our work with emerging writers and translators, providing them with new commissions, residencies, mentoring and more.

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