Introducing our Free Reads winners!
Writers from the East of England chosen for a Free Read from The Literary Consultancy

Each year we partner with The Literary Consultancy and Arts Council England to offer applicants a free opportunity to have their work assessed and reported back on by a professional.

Free Reads is a national scheme organised by a range of literature development bodies, with NCW covering applications from writers based in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk or Suffolk. This scheme offers low-income writers a chance to get in-depth feedback on their work from a highly skilled professional.

We are thrilled to announce the 2023 recipients of a Free Reads assessment.


Free Reads winners 2023

Congratulations to our four wonderful Free Reads winners! Find out more about them below.

Ruth Renner

Born in 1979 and raised in Israel, Ruth grew up with a multicultural and multilingual background thanks to a vast exposure to traveling and languages.

During her school years, Ruth studied art from the age of 14 and later completed her bachelor’s degree in Textile design, leading to a 17-year career in the textile and fashion industry, during which she met her husband, a British national, and moved to the UK in 2009 where she still lives today. In recent years her career shifted and is now dedicated to writing, editing, and translating in several languages.

Shimanto (Robin) Reza

Shimanto Reza is a Belgian writer of dubious ancestry based in Norwich. His Dutch stories and essays have appeared in journals such as Kluger HansDWB and De Revisor, and he hopes to publish some of his English writing soon, too. He works as an editor and translator and is completing the MA Literary Translation at UEA.

Sienna Norris

Sienna Norris is a 22-year-old final year student at the University of East Anglia studying English Literature and Film. Coming to university, Sienna had no clue what she wanted to do, but then discovered she wanted to be a writer.

When Sienna came across this programme she said it was a ‘no brainer’ and that ‘it’s an extremely beneficial programme for those of us writers who are just starting out and may not know where to begin, but it also gives writers a guiding light, especially writers that don’t necessarily have the facilities for an agent or editor!’

Sue Saunders

Sue lives by the sea in Norfolk and enjoys a game of crazy golf. She is a working single parent with two cats, and writes in her spare time.

In 2013 she self-published ‘21:45’, her working class take on ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. She was encouraged to self-publish after Canongate responded to her submission with ‘…in another financial climate we would have taken a risk.’

Attending an Intermediate Fiction course at the National Centre for Writing, followed by three online Curtis Brown Creative courses, encouraged her to take herself seriously as a writer. She never takes herself too seriously though.


The Free Reads scheme is for low-income writers resident in England, writing in English, who would not be able to afford TLC’s commercial fees (the commercial service is open to all), and prioritises those from under-represented backgrounds (writers of colour, disabled writers, LGBTQ+ writers and other under-represented groups).

You can submit prose (fiction or non-fiction), poetry, short stories, children’s picture books or a script/screenplay (including treatments).

Find out more at The Literary Consultancy website.

The Literary Consultancy

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