WriteNow: a nationwide campaign to find, mentor and publish new writers from Penguin Random House

Click here to read an overview of a Twitter Q&A with three of our editors

Is it free to take part?

Yes. Both the insight days and mentoring programme are free for writers taking part. 

Will you cover my travel expenses to the insight days?

We’re not able to offer travel expenses to our insight days but we will cover travel to London as part of the mentoring programme. You can read full details of the expenses we're able to offer in our terms and conditions

Do I need to be a UK resident to apply?

Yes. As WriteNow is being run by Penguin Random House UK, our programme is only open to UK residents. You don't need to have permanent citizenship - just a current UK address. 

Does my story have to focus on 'issues' based narratives? 

No, not unless you want it to. We want to hear your perspective, in your own words, whether you’re writing serious non-fiction about personal development or penning the next The Girl on the Train thriller.  

Can I apply if I’m already supported by Spread the Word, Writers West Midlands or Commonword?

Absolutely. We would love to work with writers supported by our three partners.

How will you decide who gets through to attend the WriteNow insight days and who doesn’t?    

We will assess applications based on two factors:

Quality of writing and originality: assessed by a Penguin Random House editor. 
Meeting our desired criteria: as part of your application we'll ask you to tell us, in your own words, why you feel your voice is under-represented in books and publishing. Your answer will be assessed by our partner Spread the Word, a writer development charity, together with members of Penguin Random House's HR team.    

What if I’m self-published, published in another format, or published as part of an anthology?

We'd be happy to receive applications from writers who have self-published, been published as part of an anthology, published in a digital or e-book format only, or who have been published in another format altogether such as a magazine or newspaper. 

Is a publishing contract guaranteed if I’m one of the 10 writers on the mentoring programme?

We would love to have the chance to publish the writers we work with as part of our mentoring programme, but there are no guarantees.  

If I join the mentoring programme, will I have to publish my book with Penguin Random House? 

We're investing time and resource in the 10 writers we'll be supporting through our year-long mentoring programme, and so we would ask you to give us the first option (i.e first refusal) of publishing your book.

Can I apply more than once? Or with more than one manuscript?

Yes. You can apply for as many insight days as you like, but we can only offer you space on one. We will also accept multiple submissions from the same writer - for example if you have both a fiction and non-fiction manuscript. Please note you cannot submit multiple manuscripts in the same genre. 

Are the venues accessible? 

Yes, all our venues are wheelchair accessible. Please just let us know if you have any additional needs or need us to make any adjustments for the day. If you need to bring a personal assistant with you, that's absolutely fine. 

Will I get any feedback on my application?

Once we have confirmed the 50 writers coming along to our WriteNow London insight day we will publish a blog post giving an overview of common themes and general feedback from the editors involved in the assessment process. We aren't able to give individual feedback to every applicant. 

Are you looking for illustrators? 

Through WriteNow we are focusing on finding writers rather than illustrators or graphic novelists. That said, we do want to publish more diverse voices, themes and characters in our children’s picture books. If you are an aspiring picture book illustrator, we would be delighted to hear from you.


Contact Us

Questions? Send us an email at writenow@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.