A story can start anywhere.

WriteNow aims to find, mentor and publish new writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves.

We launched WriteNow in 2016 because we know that books don’t reflect everyone in our society. There are still too many stories which are not being told, and too many voices which are overlooked.

It’s especially important for young children to see themselves, their families, cultures and communities reflected in the books they read, which is why this year we’re opening applications to budding illustrators of children’s picture books for the first time.

"Sometimes you need someone or something to empower you: to show you the truth of what you can be and that's what the WriteNow process did for me. I have gained strength from this process, and Penguin Random House has made me feel like I have a seat at the table."

Charlene Allcott, WriteNow mentee. Her debut novel, The Reinvention of Martha Ross, will be published in July.

What's on offer?

Applications have now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied.

WriteNow gives you the tools, information and access you need to get published. 

In 2018 we will invite 150 writers and illustrators to one of three workshops in London (Saturday 8 September), Liverpool (Saturday 15 September) and Nottingham (Saturday 29 September).

During the workshop you'll hear from authors, illustrators, literary agents and Penguin Random House experts on how to navigate the publishing process and get your work noticed. This includes learning techniques for editing your writing, developing your artwork, or getting tips on how to approach a literary agent. You will also get the unique opportunity to receive one-to-one personal feedback from an editor or designer on your manuscript or illustrations.

After getting to know you and your work, we'll ask 10 exceptional new voices to join our year-long mentoring programme.  While there are no guarantees, so far we’ve already signed publishing deals with five writers on our mentoring programme - with many more to come.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for voices currently under-represented in books and publishing. This includes writers and illustrators from BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) or LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) communities, writers and illustrators with a disability, or who come from a socio-economically marginalised background.

And who are we?

We’re Penguin Random House – the UK’s number one book publisher. We connect the world with the stories, writing and ideas that matter. Our authors, brands and characters range from Ali Smith to Zadie Smith; Malorie Blackman to Margaret Atwood; Phillip Pullman to Peter Rabbit.

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