LGBTQ Free Reads with Michael Langan

June 19, 2017 | Other News

TLC is pairing up with professional book editor Michael Langan to offer five free 15,000 word TLC assessments to unpublished LGBTQ writers working on novels. Three of these will be funded through the TLC Free Reads scheme, with two donated by Michael himself.

We are particularly pleased to announce this new partnership in the week leading up to London Pride and Pride celebrations across England and the world, and in the third year of our Quality Writing for All Campaign which has provided bursaried assessment and mentoring to 300 talented, low-earning and otherwise marginalised or under-represented writers since it launched in April 2015. The Free Reads scheme was established by TLC’s Founder Rebecca Swift with a pilot fund in 2001, and is funded by Arts Council England. It is run in partnership with 17 regional literature partners including the Arvon Foundation, Spread the Word, Writers’ Centre Norwich, and New Writing North.

About Michael Langan

Michael Langan has worked as an editor, writer, and teacher for over twenty years, currently facilitating writing workshops and courses at various locations in Lisbon, where he lives. He was Programme Leader of Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich from 2002 – 2012, where he specialised in short story writing and the novel. He has a PhD from Liverpool John Moores University in contemporary creative writing and a background in performance poetry and public speaking. His short stories and poetry have been anthologised and published in magazines, journals and online. As Arts Editor of the online LGBT culture journal Polari he wrote about visual arts, film and literature and, in 2016, was a Contributing Editor to the Paris-based Seymour magazine, writing a series of essays about creative process. Michael has a particular interest in contemporary literary fiction as well as historical fiction. His debut novel will be published in January 2019.

Michael says:

“I’ve been aware of discussion and commentary around diversity in the writing community and publishing world for a while now, and like a lot of people I thought it was simply time to stop talking and start doing. I wanted to offer these Free Reads specifically for LGBTQ writers, especially those in the early stages of their process, because I feel that there are particular worries and concerns they may face when it comes to sharing their work with others – the same fears of judgment and marginalisation that we experience in our daily lives. I also wanted to pay my own personal tribute to TLC’s Founder and former Director Rebecca Swift, who died in April 2017, in the best way I knew how – by offering up something positive and constructive that can make a huge difference to those who are searching to express themselves and find their voice.”

How to Apply

Applications for TLC’s 2017 LGBTQ Free Reads are open now, and will close at midnight on Monday 10th July. Please email with the subject header ‘Michael Langan Free Read Application’, attaching as Word documents:

  • A one-page synopsis
  • The first 2,000 words of your manuscript
  • A short covering letter (please mention financial eligibility if applicable)


Applications are welcome from any writers from the LGBTQ community. Due to our funding stipulations, we are only able to accept work submitted by writers who are currently resident in England for these Free Reads. Work submitted should be for adult or YA fiction – unfortunately we are not able to accept children’s fiction, middle grade fiction, poetry or short stories for this particular opportunity. Submitted extracts must be from the opening of the manuscript and only previously unpublished (i.e., not published by an advance paying commercial publisher) work is accepted. The full manuscript does not have to be complete at the time of submission but you must have 15,000 words ready should you be selected. Writers selected will be informed within two weeks of the deadline (10th July). Please do not submit work currently on submission to literary agents. Applications from low-income writers will be prioritised, e.g. those in receipt of benefits, disability allowance, job seeker’s allowance, tax credits, child support, income support. Please attach a scan of any relevant paperwork with your application.