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Fri, 30 Jun


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The Literary Consultancy| Michael Langan Free LGBTQ+ Reads 2023

SUBMISSION DEADLINE 9.00am (BST) 30TH JUNE 2023 For the second year, Out on the Page is delighted to be partnering with TLC and Michael in this scheme. This year, we will be ensuring at least one LGBTQ+ Free Read is awarded to a Black, Asian or Global Majority writer.

The Literary Consultancy| Michael Langan Free LGBTQ+ Reads 2023
The Literary Consultancy| Michael Langan Free LGBTQ+ Reads 2023

Time & Location

30 Jun 2023, 09:00 BST

See link in 'About the event'

About the Event


TLC is delighted to announce it is once more partnering with novelist and writing tutor Michael Langan to offer five UK-based LGBTQ+ writers free professional feedback on the first 15,000 words of their novels or novels-in progress. We’re also delighted vto be partnering once again with writing organisation Out on the Page who do wonderful work uplifting and empowering LGBTQ+ writers. Winners of the bursaries will also receive a follow-up Writer Development 1:1 with Out on the Page Founder and Director Paul Bradley. These one to ones have been designed to enable writers to take stock of their development, gain new insights, and build achievable plans.

This year, we will be ensuring at least one LGBTQ+ Free Read is awarded to a Black, Asian or Global Majority writer, so are especially looking for submissions from under-represented communites.

This is the seventh year the scheme is running, with several of our alumni now represented by major literary agencies and securing publishing deals.

Three of these opening extract assessments will be funded through the TLC Free Reads scheme (supported by Arts Council England), with two donated by Michael himself. We are extremely grateful to Michael for making this scheme possible and look forward to supporting another cohort of talented writers through our open applications.

About TLC Free Reads

TLC’s Quality Writing for All Campaign provides bursaried manuscript assessments (called TLC Free Reads) and mentoring to talented low-earning, and otherwise marginalised or under-represented, writers. The Free Reads scheme was established with a pilot in 2001, and is now funded by Arts Council England. It is run in partnership with 22 regional literature partners including Arvon, Spread the Word, the National Centre for Writing, and New Writing North.

About Michael Langan

Michael Langan has worked as an editor, writer, and teacher for over twenty years, currently facilitating writing workshops and courses at various locations in Lisbon, where he lives. He was Programme Leader of Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich from 2002 – 2012, where he specialised in short story writing and the novel. He has a PhD from Liverpool John Moores University in contemporary creative writing and a background in performance poetry and public speaking. His debut novel, Shadow is a Colour as Light Is, was published by Lume Books in September 2019 and he is currently working on his second. His short stories and poetry have been anthologised and published in magazines, journals and online. As Arts Editor of the online LGBT culture journal Polari he wrote about visual arts, film and literature and, in 2016, was a Contributing Editor to the Paris-based Seymour magazine, writing a series of essays about creative process. Michael has a particular interest in contemporary literary fiction as well as historical fiction. Michael lives with his husband, an artist.

Michael says:

I well remember the day I first had the idea to offer a TLC free read to an emerging LGBTQ+ writer. It was May 17th – the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, & Transphobia – 2017, and I was considering ways to use the skills I have to contribute in my own small way. TLC’s Director, Aki Schilz, took my suggestion and ran with it and I’m thrilled that the scheme she devised has gone from strength to strength.

What I hadn’t anticipated is that now, in our sixth year, many LGBTQIA people would feel more threatened and more scared than when we started. So much of where we are is about language, and about control of the narrative. Derogatory and incendiary words I remember being weaponised against us in the 80s are finding their way into the public realm once again, aimed in particular at the trans community. The corporate media in the U.K. – both right-wing and supposedly left-leaning – have purposely generated a false ‘culture war’ narrative that mostly speaks about trans and non-binary people and not to them. In the war for clicks and web traffic these already embattled communities have become cannon fodder. In the U.S. and elsewhere there’s a focus on banning books with LGBTQIA characters and those written by queer authors for political ends, and in the U.K. – ridiculously, chillingly – drag queens reading stories to children are framed by a vocal minority as a ‘threat.’

I know this is only part of the story, and that there are great queer writers producing wonderful books, but it seems more important than ever that as many LGBTQIA people as possible are given the space, opportunity, and encouragement to create their own narratives, to tell the stories they want to tell, to speak their own words. Literature can, and does, provide this, though the industry could always do more. The team at TLC are committed to playing their part and I’m hugely grateful for the support they’ve given over the years.

I’m especially pleased that we are once again partnering with the UK-based LGBTQ+ writers network, Out On The Page, and that their Director, Paul Bradley, will provide a one-to-one industry coaching session to successful applicants. At Paul’s instigation, one place has been specifically ring-fenced for a Black, Asian, or Global Majority LGBTQ+ writer. No matter what stage you’re at in your writing journey, please apply – we can’t wait to read your work!


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