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Writers' & Artists' Blog

Lucy Kissick wins the W&A Working-Class Writers’ Prize

Lucy Kissick’s debut novel Plutoshine has won the inaugural Writers & Artists Working-Class Writers’ Prize.

We launched the prize in March calling for writers who consider themselves to be from a working class background and without current publishing contract or agent.

Kissick, who was selected from more than 200 entries, will receive editorial feedback on their writing from author Natasha Carthew as well as a complimentary place at one of W&A’s How To Get Published events held at Bloomsbury Publishing.

Since being shortlisted for the prize, Kissick has signed as a client with literary agent Julie Crisp of Julie Crisp Literary Agency.

Kissick said: “Receiving this Prize means so many things to me. The pride I now feel for my work means I can hold myself taller – call myself a writer and feel like one. Moreover it means my writing is no longer just a pastime: last week I signed with a literary agent, Julie Crisp,  and now I could be one step closer to my dearest …

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W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize: Delving into the shortlisted stories

Ahead of the announcement of our winner on Monday 5th August, we're delving a bit deeper into the 5 shortlisted entries. Read on to find out a bit more about each story and why they were worthy of a place on the shortlist. 

Mystic Treats by Meron Berhanu

W&A says: Mystic Treats tells the story of 15-year old Sara, whose backstreet abortion sends chaos rippling through her family life in Addis Ababa. The story is told from the perspective of her loving, admiring younger brother who struggles to understand what’s happened to his sister.

Meron Berhanu is entering her third year of studies for English and Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. She has also been shortlisted for the Beyond Borders 2019 Short Story Competition. Despite coming from a non-creative household and despite worries that a working-class black girl from Kilburn can make it into the very white and middle class dominated playing field of literature, the support from her family has been monumental.

Plutoshine …

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5 Things Writers Can Do During The Submission Stage

Writers aren’t supposed to talk about the submission stage - the anxious time when agents send projects to hand-picked commissioning editors - but I think it would be useful to include here some of my experiences and some tips for what writers can do to prepare.

Writers’ journeys to publication rarely end in a 12-auction fairytale, no matter how often you scan The Bookseller headlines. I’ve learned that when a commissioning editor loves your writing, he or she usually must convince colleagues in Sales, Marketing, PR and Publicity and go through their in-house acquisition process. There are no guarantees except the prospect of a long wait, because like any other workplace, key people are away, offspring become sick and meetings are rescheduled. Just like the agents-querying stage, it demands resilience and the ability to focus on what really matters: your writing.

In the few weeks since my agent submitted my novel to a small number of publishers, we have received warm expressions …

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Shortlist Announced! W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize

We're thrilled to reveal the shortlist for the inaugural W&A Working-Class Writers' Prize! We had well over 200 entries and the quality of writing was some of the highest we've seen. It was heartening to see this prize resonate with so many writers and we're looking forward to coming back next year with another brilliant prize. 

Without further ado, we're pleased to announce the shortlisted entries. We thoroughly enjoyed dipping our toes into the stories – from a war-torn Nepal to the surface of Pluto – and we certainly don't envy the mammoth task of deciding a winner.

Thankfully our judge Natasha Carthew will be doing the deciding. 

In no particular order, the five shortlisted stories are:

PlutoshineLucy Kissick 

Mystic TreatsMeron Berhanu

The FootsloggersRobin Richards

Bruise Adrian Markle 

The Red Moon Trails – Nabin K Chhetri 

All our shortlisted writers will receive a copy of the latest edition of the Writers' …

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Writers & Artists at Bath Children's Literature Festival

Are you a writer of children's fiction? Love children's books? Then, we hope you're excited as we are for our events at Bath Children's Literature Festival this autumn! 

We're thrilled to be holding three events at this iconic festival. Below are details of what we've got lined up. We hope to see you there.


Writing Picture Books with Michelle Robinson

Monday 30th September 2.30-5.30pm


Join bestselling author Michelle Robinson for a masterclass on writing picture books. Bring along your ideas and get advice on developing great storylines, strong characters and perfecting your structure.

Come along to hear more about Michelle’s journey and get advice and tips to sharpen your technique and gaining more confidence to let your imagination fly.

Book your place


Writing Middle Grade with Lucy Strange 

Tuesday 1st October 2.30-5.30pm


If you’re writing fiction for children ages 8 – 12, join Lucy Strange as she guides you through the essential elements of the writing process. …

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