Prototype Development Programme

The Prototype Development Programme is a new scheme offering extended support and career development to eight emerging writers and artists, in partnership with New Writing North, and runs alongside the recently established Prototype Prize.

The programme is open to writers and artists who have not yet had a book published, and are at a formative stage in their careers. 

The six-month programme will offer remote learning and personal development through a series of group workshops and feedback sessions, alongside a programme of five seminars led by different pairings of curators, writers, publishers, editors, and literary agents, all carried out online, making them widely accessible. 


The Prototype Development Programme is funded by Arts Council England, and forms part of a wider project focused on multidisciplinary and hybrid-genre approaches to writing, centred around a new prize in partnership with frieze magazine, which will run adjacent to this programme. 

As a publisher committed to providing a home for hybrid and free-form contemporary works that often resist definition, we have first-hand experience of the challenges of supporting writing that sits between traditional publishing categories. While there are a growing number of opportunities and mentoring schemes for poets and novelists, there is a distinct lack of opportunities for writers and artists whose work sits between conventional literary forms, and this scheme aims to fill that gap.

Who is this opportunity for?

We are looking for eight writers and/or artists to take part in a six-month online programme, consisting of seminars and workshops alongside focused editorial work and monthly feedback from two experienced editors.

The programme is funded by Arts Council England and is open to applicants anywhere in the UK. Three of the eight places are ringfenced for writers based in the North of England.

Writers based in the North of England should select this option when applying, and your application will be reviewed by New Writing North.

The programme is committed to longevity and sustainability, both in its duration and through the skills and experience it will equip its participants with. New Writing North-selected participants will receive access to their wider network, and every participant will have their work published in issue 6 of the annual PROTOTYPE anthology.

We are especially keen to reach writers from underrepresented backgrounds, and we encourage applications from global majority, working-class, disabled, LGBTQ+ and other communities that have been historically underrepresented in UK publishing. We hope to offer an extended and focused period of support to emerging writers who might not have the opportunity to access such creative and career development.

Each participant will be paid a bursary of £500. Writers who submit to the programme are also eligible to submit to the Prototype Prize.

What will you be expected to do?

The main objective of the programme is to offer the expertise of the creative professionals delivering the workshops and editorial sessions, and there is no requirement to produce a specific or defined piece of work at the end of the programme. 

You will be asked to submit work as part of the application process, and to bring to the course work that can be shared with the group, and with the editors, which you will edit and develop throughout the programme’s duration.

You will be expected to attend one two-hour seminar each month, and to contribute to online forum discussions, both by sharing your work and commenting on the work of other participants.

You will not be required to travel to any events, but will be invited to attend a launch event (location tbc) either in person or online at the end of the project period.

Award Eligibility

The programme is open only to writers and artists who have not had a book-length publication or a solo exhibition. If you have had your work published in pamphlets, anthologies, magazines, or similar publications, you are welcome to apply.

You do not have to have had any work published or exhibited before. This programme is aimed at individuals who are at the start of their careers, and who would not otherwise have access to the opportunities and professional development the programme will provide, and we will prioritise applications which show this.

To apply, you will be asked to submit a sample of work of up to 20 pages, in PDF format. This may be poetry, fiction, non-fiction or visual work.

The award is open to submissions of work written in World English by writers of any nationality or descent who at the time of entering are permanently resident in the UK. 

Three out of a total of eight places will be awarded by New Writing North. Applicants who apply for these places must currently live full-time in the North of England. The North of England is defined as the areas covered by Arts Council England in Yorkshire, North East and North West. Please refer to this map for further clarification of the boundaries:

We regret that New Writing North are unable to accept submissions from outside these areas due to conditions in their funding from Arts Council England. 

Applicants based elsewhere in the UK can apply via Prototype. 

The programme supports emerging writers and artists. Applicants are not eligible if the work that they are submitting is currently part of a book deal that they have received a publishing contract and advance for. If you receive a book deal for your work during the judging period it is your responsibility to inform us of this fact.  

You must be over the age of 18 to enter this award.  

How to apply

All applicants will be asked to submit the following information:

  • A brief outline of your experience to date. Please note that you do not have to have had any work published or exhibited before.
  • A summary outlining why you are interested in the programme, how you hope to benefit from it, and details of one specific project you would like to develop throughout the duration of the programme.
  • A sample of work of up to 20 pages, in PDF format. This may be poetry, fiction, non-fiction or visual work.
  • An equal opportunities monitoring form

Applications are now closed, and decisions will be made by the end of January. If you have any queries, please email us at