Manchester Insight Day: when & where?

In collaboration with Commonword, Penguin Random House are holding an insight day in Manchester for fiction and non-fiction writers.

Through WriteNow we want to find new writers with different stories to tell. This means:

  • Write Now are looking for new writers – so you won’t have published a book in the last 10 years through a commercial publishing house. You also won’t have a literary agent or publishing contract at the moment.
  • You’ll come from a background that is currently under-represented in books and publishing. We’ll ask you to tell us in your own words what this means for you. For example, you could be a writer from a socio-economically marginalised background, be a writer from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, or have a disability.
  • You’ll also be at least 18 years old and resident in the UK. Write Now will also ask you to submit your manuscript in English.

When? Saturday 4 February 2017, 12.30-17.30
Where? Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5N

Details of the day’s line-up of authors, editors and agents will be released when applications open for our WriteNow Birmingham and Manchester insight days on Wednesday 5 October.

To get a reminder when the applications are open please visit :  http://www.write-now.live/manchester-1/


Mentoring: what’s on offer?

After meeting you at one of our insight days, and getting to know you and your work, Write Now will ask 10 exceptional writers to join our year-long mentoring programme, starting in February 2017. These 10 writers will bring a new, different voice to books and publishing, and will have the potential to be commercially successful.

As a writer on our mentoring programme, you will be offered:

One-to-one support from an editor

You’ll be matched with an editor who has experience working with other authors writing in your genre. Their support will include:

  • Helping you shape your manuscript to make it as strong as it can be. This will include giving you constructive feedback on what’s working and where you could improve, as well as thoughts on new opportunities for you as a writer.
  • Giving you confidence in your own voice.
  • Thinking about how your book might sit alongside other published books in the market and recommending other books to read.
  • Sharing insights on your book’s target audience and how to reach them.
  • Helping you submit your manuscript to literary agents.
  • Introducing you to other editors in Penguin Random House who may be interested in publishing your work.
  • Giving you experience of writing to deadlines and writing with direction over an extended time period.

You will meet one-to-one with your mentor at least six times over the year. Write Now will make sure that at least three of the meetings with your mentor will take place in person at one of our London offices (don’t worry, we’ll cover travel costs from any UK address). The other three meetings might be held over the phone or Skype. We expect that each meeting will last for about an hour.

Getting to know a literary agent

Literary agents are a really important part of the publishing process, acting as the key link between authors and publishers. Many publishers, including Penguin Random House, won’t accept manuscripts from writers who don’t have a literary agent. To give you an insight into what literary agents do, Write Now will set up a one-to-one coffee with an agent. If you’re based outside London, we’ll schedule this to coincide with one of your mentoring sessions.

An introduction to the local support available for writers

We’ll connect you with our partners Spread the Word (London), Writers West Midlands (Birmingham) and Commonword (Manchester). They will let you know about the brilliant support they offer locally for writers and can introduce you to networks and activities in your area, as well as acting as a long-term contact point and resource.


How do I apply to the mentoring programme?

Fill out our application form to come along to one of our insight days and tick the box to let us know you’re interested in the mentoring programme. At our insight days in London, Birmingham and Manchester, we’ll get to know you and your work, especially through the one-to-one feedback sessions with our editors.

Because our insight days are taking place between October and February, after each workshop we’ll let you know if you’ve been shortlisted. We’ll arrange a short Skype interview with all our shortlisted writers to understand a little more about why you want to apply and what you would get out of the mentoring programme.

We will then announce our final 10 writers after our third and final insight day in February.