New business writer, student, or career-switcher? Enter the 26 Emerging Writer Award!

Deadline Friday 17th November, 2023

FREE to enter, supported by communications consultancy Quietroom, open to all backgrounds, and no age limit. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain exposure and ramp up your career. Know a friend with talent? Nominate them!

The 26 Emerging Writer Award is for someone who began commercial writing in the last five years.

So if you (or a friend) write for business, do copywriting or associated writing – this is for you!

We know that getting noticed as an emerging writer is hard. The 26 Emerging Writer Award is an ideal way of having your work assessed by industry professionals. Winning or being commended are great ways of building your portfolio and your confidence.

Carolyn McMurray, 2022 winner said: 

Hey, my name’s Carolyn – I’m a 23-year-old copywriter. I entered (and won) the Emerging Writer Award in 2022. And it changed my life; literally.

I started copywriting at 18. I always felt like people were judging my talent by my age and that I was pushing against all these GEN-Z stereotypes. I felt limited by my age. But winning this award gave me the confidence I needed to be more open and talk about my life as a freelance copywriter – to shout about my skills and my ability to write well to everyone. To truly own being a young, emerging writer and not feel like I had to hide my age or inexperience.

I even got a gig from having this on my CV. (It also inspired me to start my own copywriting community and learning platform for other young writers just like me – Word Tonic.)

If you’re a fresh, emerging writer, then ENTER THIS AWARD – you have nothing to lose. It’s a great chance to flex your writing skills and if you win, you get a beautifully crafted award and kudos for years to come.

Here’s what our Highly Commended writers had to say 

Lloyd Harry-Davis

I had not long started freelancing when I came runner up in 26’s Emerging Writer Award. Freelancing, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming, but being nominated by other professional writers and having my work publicly recognised, was the boost of confidence I needed. I felt talented enough to succeed independently.

The award also led to some amazing writing opportunities—like working with Corporate Reporting agency Falcon Windsor, and getting to attend workshops with writer’s group Dark Angels. It’s only helped me grow and develop my skills in the craft.

Mugabi Byenkya

I received the Highly Commended Award in 2022 and a few months later, I released my award-nominated debut mixtape “Songs for Wo(Men)2” via the independent American record label Hello America Stereo Cassette.

I’m incredibly grateful to 26 for the honour bestowed on me. It connected me with the wonderful 26 community, which I then joined as a member. I have been able to attend workshops offered by 26 which have helped me with championing accessible writing as a disabled, neurodivergent writer. Writing is often a solitary and volatile practice. I have submitted my work to countless awards and grants and received numerous rejections, which sometimes causes me to question my work. But receiving awards like this help remind me that it’s not the work that is the problem and that I am worthy of being seen. 

How to enter

  • Recommend yourself
  • Recommend a friend with a hidden writing talent
  • Send examples of work and a paragraph explaining why you’d like to be considered or nominate someone to Andy Hayes
  • Deadline 17th November, 2023 (online awards ceremony in early December)

It’s free. It’s easy. No long forms to fill in. Entry doesn’t cost a penny. You don’t need to be a 26er to enter. Simple!

So simple that all you need to do is to choose samples of your work and explanation of why you should be considered (or nominate a friend) – and you could be picking up a beautifully designed winner’s trophy or highly commended certificate by master typographer, Dr Phil Cleaver.

We’re looking forward to receiving and reading your work.

Please share the link around your networks.

If you have any queries, please contact Andy Hayes.

Project Writer Award

If you have taken part in any of the 26 projects in the past 12 months, you are in with a chance of winning the prestigious 26 Project Award 2023. Now in its seventh year of existence, the award recognises the most outstanding work produced by 26 writers who have participated. The panel of judges for this this year’s Project Award includes two of last year’s deserving winners, Nikita Chadha and Galen O’Hanlon.

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