The 26 Emerging Writer Award

We’re calling for entries for our Emerging Writer Award. But why enter? Katie Alcock and Andy Hayes reveal all, with a little help from past winners.

Getting recognition for your work as a writer can be hard. That’s why a few years ago we set up the 26 Emerging Writer’s Award. Aimed at people who began their commercial writing career in the last five years, it’s much more than just a certificate and a (beautifully designed) trophy. 

Former winner Becca Magnus explains, ‘the award gets your portfolio in front of some of the best writers in the business, which is enormously valuable when you’re in your first couple of years in the industry.’ It helps connect you to a network of brilliant, likeminded writers who can share their wisdom and open doors. Jamie Delves explains how just a week after winning the award he ‘was contacted by a lovely man called Rob Self-Pierson. We did a project together a few weeks later. A year on, and I’m working for his agency, The Table, full time.’

When you spend hours toiling away at your writing desk surrounded by half-drunk cups of tea, those first few years can be hard. Whilst she admits it’s the new network of friendly writers that she values most, last year’s winner Sophie Gordon adds, ‘For me, winning a commendation from 26 was a much-needed confidence boost at just the right time.’ So whether you’re putting yourself forward, or nominating someone else, take her advice ‘just dive in and go for it.’

Luckily there are no long forms to fill in, and entry doesn’t cost a penny. To enter yourself, or nominate someone else, all you need to do is send examples of your work and a paragraph explaining why you’d like to be considered to awards@26.org.uk. The deadline for all entries is Thursday 1st February.

– Katie Alcock and Andy Hayes

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