CRITICAL READING SERVICE

FREE-READS-bannerWe work in partnership with The Literary Consultancy (TLC) to provide writers with detailed, written reports of their work from experienced editors.TLC’s Readers are editors and writers with in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry and are experts across a wide range of genres. Many are working novelists, teach Creative Writing on University courses, or have extensive experience of script reading. Writers can be confident that their work will be allocated to a reader who will best meet their needs.

The Literary Consultancy Free Reads Scheme offers talented, low-income writers the opportunity to apply for bursaried (i.e., non-fee paying) access to their valuable commercial services for writers. Established in 1996 as the first service of its kind in the UK, The Literary Consultancy (TLC) offers writers the opportunity to receive an honest, market-aware appraisal of their work through its long-running manuscript assessment service, available for extracts or full manuscripts across fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, scripts and screenplays. TLC has helped a number of writers on to publication, but its main aim is to support writers in developing their work. TLC hand-matches each incoming manuscript to a suitable reader from its list of 80+ professional editors, and writers can expect to receive feedback in the form of a written critique, sent within 4-6 weeks of the application being processed. The Free Read scheme particularly welcomes applications from writers belonging to groups currently under-represented in publishing including women writers, disabled writers, BAME writers, and members of the LGBQT community.

To be eligible for this service you can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, screenplays or theatre plays, however you must be on a low income. This could mean you are a full-time student, retired or on income support, or in receipt of Job Seekers’ Allowance or disability benefits. But if none of the above applies to you, we will also consider other financial factors – just tell us what they are.

We reserve the right to return work which would be unlikely at this stage to benefit from the Critical Reading Service. We will only put forward writers in the East Midlands. Please note that the selection panel’s decision is final and the panel reserves the right not to enter into further correspondence about its decisions. Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to offer feedback on submissions.

*Applicants can only apply once every two years. Applications are now open and will be awarded on a first come first serve basis. Please note that the Critical Reads Scheme is very popular and we have limited funds service, therefore it is advisable that if you are eligible you apply early for consideration. *

TO APPLY

  • Complete the APPLICATION FORM and enclose a short sample of the work.
  • Post two copies of the completed form, two copies of your proof of financial circumstances and your sample of work to Writing East Midlands at the address:

Aimee Wilkinson
Writing East Midlands
32a Stoney Street
The Lace Market
Nottingham
NG1 1LL

ALL submissions MUST be formatted in 12-point font, double spaced (excluding poetry).

Your sample of work should be no more than 200 lines of poetry or 6,000 words for short stories or a 1-2 page synopsis and up to 30 pages for a script, or a 1-2 page synopsis and up to 15000 words of double-spaced words for general fiction.
• For poetry – clients must include a total word count for each poem at the bottom of each poem, and include total word count of all the poems added together on the cover letter. Poems should be formatted in their intended publication format.
• For short stories – please include the total word count of each short story separately if necessary on the cover letter.  A maximum of 6000 words is accepted per total submission, not per short story.
• For all fiction and non-fiction extracts – please include a 1-2 page synopsis or basic outline of your ideas and a description of your intended audience/ market. Please also indicate what genre you are writing in and include a total word count.
• All extracts should be consecutive and numbered. Ideally starting from page one, and not comprised of several extracts.
• Texts must be printed out in 12 point standard font, double spaced, on one side of A4, preferably in loose sheets, with each page numbered.
• Please do not put your name on the manuscript.
• Always keep a copy of what you send. Writing East Midlands does not accept responsibility for documents lost in the post.

• The service is available throughout the year. Applicants may use the service only once every two years.

We reserve the right to return work which would be unlikely at this stage to benefit from the Critical Read Scheme. We will only put forward writers in the East Midlands. Please note that the selection panel’s decision is final and the panel reserves the right not to enter into further correspondence about its decisions. Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to offer individual feedback on submissions.

PLEASE NOTE:
  • TLC can refuse any material which is deemed unlikely to benefit from the critical reading service or if a reader finds that a submission has been previously published or if we cannot find a suitable editor for your work. If your work is not accepted, it will be returned within 30 days if there is an SAE provided.
    • We accept only single authored work.
    • We accept only writing in English.
    • The applicant should not be part of a creative writing programme or longer writing course.
    • Applicants must be over 16 and live in the East Midlands.

FAQs

How much will it cost?

The service is free.

How long will it take?

For acknowledgement of receipt please enclose a stamped S.A.E. The report will be sent to you within 14 weeks.

For any enquiries about the Critical Read Service, please email: aimee@www.writingeastmidlands.co.uk

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