Nationwide campaign launches to find, mentor and publish new authors from communities under-represented on bookshelves


Are you the next Malorie Blackman?

Or Dudley’s answer to James Patterson?

Are you writing the epic love story, featuring Romeo and Julian? 


If so, Penguin Random House would love to meet you.

WriteNow wants to find, mentor and publish new writers with different stories to tell. Writers from communities under-represented on the nation’s bookshelves.

This includes writers from a socio-economically marginalised background, who come from LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) or BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) communities, and writers with a disability.


WriteNow aims to find exceptional unpublished writers that are under-represented in books and publishing. This includes writers from a socio-economically marginalised background, writers who come from LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer) or BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) communities, or writers with a disability.

WriteNow will offer them one-to-one time with editors and access to literary agents, booksellers and published authors, including Kit de Waal, Bali Rai and Sathnam Sanghera, at a number of events across the country.

Penguin Random House has joined forces with writer development charities Spread the WordWriting West Midlands and Commonword to launch WriteNow.


Applications are now OPEN. Click here to apply

What’s on offer?

You’ll be one of 50 writers joining us for the afternoon. The day will include:

Publishing, de-mystified

We know that the publishing industry can sometimes seem like a ‘closed shop’ and that it can be confusing to understand how the word document saved on your laptop could top the bestseller list. We’ll follow the journey of a book from manuscript to bookshelf, focusing in particular on how to get your foot in the door – including how to write a cover letter to an agent, and how to pitch your book. This will include hearing from:

  • The Author: it all starts with you and your book.
  • The Agent: Ella Kahn from Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency will explain the role agents play as the key link between authors and publishers, and give her top tips on how to get your book noticed.
  • The Editor: a commissioning editor will describe their role, focusing in particular on the acquisitions process (deciding which books to buy) as well as describing how they would work with an author to get a finished manuscript ready for publication.


You’ll also hear a little more about what it’s like to be a published Penguin Random House author, including how we design a book’s cover, how we create a ‘buzz’ around our books by connecting authors with their readers, and how we work with customers – from small independent bookshops to the likes of Asda and Tesco.

One-to-one feedback from an editor
We have a team of Penguin Random House editors excited to meet you and to read your work (scroll down to see who they are and what they do). Each writer coming along to our workshops will spend 20 minutes talking with an editor about your book and your writing style. We’ll ask you to send us up to 5,000 words two weeks before the workshop so that our editors can come ready with suggestions and constructive feedback.
Option One: Writing fiction and non-fiction for adults
Join authors Jonathan Coe, Oscar De Muriel, Bernardine Evaristo, Kit De Waal and Nikesh Shukla in conversation with one of our editors.
Option Two: Writing for children and young adults
Join Children’s authors Bali Rai, Leila Rasheed and Nii Ayikwei Parkes in conversation with one of our Children’s editors.
The burning question: what are the barriers to getting published, and what more could the publishing industry do to overcome them? 
For this interactive session you’ll join a small round table discussion alongside authors, agents and Penguin Random House staff. We’ll ask you to share your views on what more we could do to make the publishing industry more accessible. The session will be facilitated by author Nikesh Shukla.
There will be loads of networking opportunities with writers and key contacts from the publishing industry, so there will be plenty of coffee and biscuits on hand to get the conversations flowing.



You can find out more about the Birmingham line up here.


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Event Organizers

Penguin Random House

Date & Time

November 26, 2016 | 11:00 to 17:00


Impact Hub Birmingham


Entry Fee

Cost for Members: Free (must apply online)

Cost for Non Members: Free (must apply online)

Updated on 07 October 2016