The Space to Write Project

Have you ever dreamed of being on the Sunday Times bestsellers list? Do you have an idea for the next big thing, or have you just always wanted to pick up the pen?

Our new Space To Write Project, launched with Orion Publishing,, and The Arvon Foundation, will support writers from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds who want to write or are already writing commercial fiction. Inspired by Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams’ journey to success, the Project aims to give prospective authors the access, time, and space to write. Bestselling author Jojo Moyes invited Carty-Williams to stay in her holiday home as a writing retreat. There, she completed the first draft of Queenie, and eventually went on to win the Book of the Year at the British Book Awards 2020.

The Space to Write Project will advise on the writing and publishing process, helping break down the barriers and boundaries to bestselling success. With this spirit in mind, the Project has three stages:

  • The first stage of the Project will focus on access. We will run a series of free online seminars, featuring key industry figures and published authors who will tackle a range of topics from plot-building to pitching. The first will take place at 6 pm on Monday 4th April, you can find more information and sign up here.
  • The second stage is a call for submissions, open from 26th May to 19th June 2022. All we will need is the first 5,000 words of your novel, a synopsis of up to 1,000 words and an elevator pitch of up to 100 words. Then, our judges will get to work. Our judging panel includes: Editorial Director of Trapeze and author Sareeta Domingo; journalist and author Mike Gayle, Literary Agent and Managing Director of David Higham Associates Lizzy Kremer; and Deputy Features Editor of and author Natalie Morris.
  • The final stage focuses on giving the winners time and space. A shortlist will be announced on Monday 1st August, with up to four winners announced on Friday 30th September. They will receive a place on a five-night residential writing course run by the Arvon Foundation, in a writing house situated in either Devon, Yorkshire or Shropshire. Alternatively, they may choose a five-day online Arvon ‘At Home Writing Week’ course, plus a two-hour online Arvon ‘At Home Masterclass’ course, delivered via Zoom.

This project will help to improve access to the industry with our seminars, as well as ultimately helping prospective authors find the time and space to write. For further information, please see our landing page here. We can’t wait to get going! And would be so grateful if you could help us to spread the word as you think appropriate.

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

Toni Morrison

We can’t wait to meet you,

The Space To Write Project

For more information visit

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