As always, the quality of submissions was incredibly high, and it was as tough as ever for our filter readers to select a final six writers. The winners will receive free professional feedback on the first 15,000 words of their novels or novels-in progress from novelist and writing tutor Michael Langan.
‘I was astounded at the quality of submissions for this year’s LGBTQ+ Free Reads, so many congratulations to those selected. The scheme has grown in size and is attracting an incredibly high level of writing among its applicants, which makes me hugely optimistic about the future of queer fiction writing!
Particularly striking was the number of those working in the Fantasy and Sci-fi genres, both of which have often provided the perfect space inside which to explore and explode the boundaries of identities and sexualities. Similarly, there was quite a lot of YA fiction submitted and it was so great to see the variety of stories being offered up to readers that may well help them negotiate a path towards their own identities.
To those who were not selected this year I want to offer as much encouragement as I can – I know the time, effort, and emotional energy we put into our writing means it can be disheartening and disappointing (I’ve so been there). Please keep writing, do keep sending your work out in to the world, and above all keep faith in the value of your voice and the importance of the stories you want to tell.’
This year, TLC are partnering up with us as we uplift and empowering LGBTQ+ writers. Winners of the bursaries will 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.
We are extremely grateful to be part of this scheme in partnership with TLC and Michael – and huge congratulations to the winners, who are listed below:
Read more about the writers here.
Text provided by The Literary Consultancy