Frequently asked questions

What should I submit for my writing sample?

Submit prose fiction that best demonstrates your writing – this may be a work in progress example of your current project or a completed piece. It would be useful to note in your supporting statement if the piece you submit is part of the project you’d work on during the Fellowship. Your extract does not have to be a discrete story, and may be part of a longer work.

When will I hear if I’ve won?

Applicants will be contacted by the end of March 2022. Those shortlisted for the prize will be invited to a celebration event at Dragon Hall, Norwich – home to National Centre for Writing – on Thursday 21 April. The winner will be invited to a ceremony in London on Friday 1 July.

How is the Fellowship judged?

Judges are announced in January 2022. All applications are first read by a team of expert readers. The judging panel select a shortlist of 3, of which one is offered the Laura Kinsella Fellowship. The judges will be looking for vivid, confidently realised new voices telling stories whose characters and themes intrigue, and who demonstrate potential for development. All judging is done anonymously, so don’t put your name on your extract of work.

Can I apply to both the UEA New Forms Award and Laura Kinsella Fellowship?

If you are eligible, and your work is suitable for both opportunities then we welcome applications to both.

How much is the fellowship worth?

The Laura Kinsella Fellowship is worth £4,000, plus a bespoke package of support,which may include mentoring and learning opportunities, depending on the writer’s ambition and need.

Who is eligible for the award?

The Prize is free to enter and open to all writers who:

  • Live in England at time of application and until at least June 2021
  • Are over the age of 18
  • Have not published a debut novel or full short story collection
  • Identify as experiencing specific obstacles to their early career

What do you mean by ‘obstacles in their early career’?

The Laura Kinsella Fellowship exists to support writers whose specific circumstances are limiting to their success. This might include caring responsibilities, disability, or economic and geographic considerations.

We also welcome individuals from communities under-represented in literary fiction. This may include writers of colour, those with disability, from socio-economically deprived areas or LGBTQ+ writers.

Why not published?

The fellowship is focused specifically on supporting early career writers who have not yet achieved publishing success and shine a light on upcoming voices.

How are you defining ‘published’?

We define ‘published’ as having distributed a novel or short story collection for national or international sale, whether through traditional means or self-publishing (eg via Amazon). Writers who have already been published in these ways are not eligible for this fellowship.

Distributing your work on a blog, in small personal print-runs (eg to provide copies to family/friends) or via free-to-access platforms such as Medium or Wattpad does not count as having been ‘published’, for the purpose of this fellowship’s definitions. If you have taken these routes you can still apply, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

How do I apply?

See our submission guidelines for detail of how to submit for the award.

Who are the previous winners of the Laura Kinsella Fellowship?

This is a new fellowship and 2020 is the first year to have a chosen Fellow.

Who are the National Centre for Writing and why do they have an award?

The National Centre for Writing (NCW) celebrates and explores the artistic and social power of creative writing and literary translation. With an on-going programme of innovative collaborations NCW engages writers, literary translators and readers, in person and online, through projects that support new voices and new stories, and respond to the rapidly changing world of writing. NCW is based at the historic Dragon Hall in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, delivering programmes on local, regional, national and international platforms.

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