Arts Council England Free Reads Scheme

What is the Free Read Scheme and how does it work?

In 2001 TLC received its first sum of ongoing core funding from Arts Council England. This enabled the provision of bursaried manuscript assessments for writers from low-income households. The scheme is known as ‘The Free Read Scheme’ and offers access to TLC’s core services to writers who under normal circumstances might not be able to afford them. Free Reads are selected by a range of literary development bodies coming from as wide a spread across the UK as possible. There are currently thirteen organisations benefitting from the Free Reads Scheme. We work with partners who are proven to work well, but will also from time to time open the process up to include new partners and ensure the best possible national spread.

Each regional writing organisation arranges the selection of the submissions through writing competitions, open submissions or individual systems that work for their areas. The deadlines and submissions processes vary, so please contact your regional writing partner before sending them your manuscript submission.

Please note:
  • That the scheme is designed for low-income and high-quality writers.
  • The Free Read may consist of either a partial or full manuscript assessment (including poetry, short stories and scripts).
  • All submissions must meet the TLC submission guidelines.

Submission rules and guidelines
How do I apply?

ACE regional Writing Partners

Click on your location on the map to be taken
to your regional writing partners website
or use the key below.

New Writing Cumbria
Literature Works
Dorset County Council
New Writing North
New Writing South
Writing Yorkshire
Writers’ Centre Norwich
Spread the Word
Writing East Midlands
Writing West Midlands

All of UK– Arvon and TLC