TLC Launches Scholarship for Writers

July 20, 2020 | Other News, TLC Talent

The Literary Consultancy is delighted to announce a brand new initiative, the TLC Scholarship. Once a year, we will invite applications over a three week period from writers on low income and/or from communities currently under-represented in publishing. One writer will be selected for a place on TLC’s year-long Chapter and Verse Premium mentorship programme with a publishing industry editor, working one-on-one to develop their writing. Applications from writers with works in progress in any genre of adult fiction are accepted. Writers with or without a publication history are welcome to apply.  

In its inaugural year, the TLC Scholarship mentor will be Ellah P. Wakatama, and we are inviting submissions exclusively from Black British writers. Submissions open at 9am Monday August 3rd 2020 and close at 12pm (midday) Friday August 21st 2020.

The TLC Scholarship will be funded by TLC, and sits alongside five bursaried mentorships already generously provided thanks to TLC’s Arts Council England funding, administrated by our literature partners as part of the Free Reads scheme which currently supports around 100 low-income writers across England with free access to TLC’s professional feedback services. Free Read mentorships are currently available via the Creative Future Writing Awards, Wasafiri, Shape Arts, and SABLE Lit Mag, and Free Read assessments are offered by an additional 12 literature partners to writers across the whole of England. TLC also offers a quota of free places to all of its literary events to low-income writers as part of its Quality Writing for All Campaign, which has been running since 2015. 

Each TLC Scholar will have access to TLC’s Chapter and Verse Premium mentoring programme, which includes:

  • Seven one-to-one sessions with an industry mentor
  • A full manuscript assessment of the completed book
  • An industry day with an editor and literary agent
  • A full suite of TLC mini guides on aspects of writing craft
  • A TLC Writer’s Notebook and rollerball pen
  • A tree planted in the National Forest in their name
  • 25% off TLC events for 12 months.

The Chapter and Verse Scholar will additionally receive one year’s free access to TLC’s new Being A Writer programme, an online membership community that focuses on cultivating creativity and building resilience, with online courses, downloadable resources, and ‘Creativity Pills’, mini creativity boosters curated in partnership with the Poetry Pharmacy. 

How to apply to the Chapter and Verse Scholarship 2020


Please send the following documents to TLC’s Mentoring Co-ordinator Joe Sedgwick at with the subject header ‘Chapter and Verse Scholarship’ between 9am Monday August 3rd and 12pm (midday) Friday 21st August 2020.

  • 2,000 word sample
  • One-page synopsis
  • A short covering letter outlining why you would benefit from mentorship at this stage of your writing life.

Please note: the Chapter and Verse Scholarship 2020 is open exclusively to Black British writers. We particularly encourage applications from Black British writers on low income, with a disability, or with caring responsibilities. 

TLC Chapter and Verse Scholarship Mentor

Ellah P. Wakatama OBE

Ellah P. Wakatama OBE  is Editor-at-Large at Canongate and was the founding Publishing Director of The Indigo Press. She is also the Creative Manchester Senior Research Fellow at the School of New Writing, University of Manchester and serves as the Chair of the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing. She was a judge for the 2017 Dublin International Literary Award and the 2015 Man Booker Prize. She is former deputy editor of Granta magazine and senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House. She is the editor of Africa39 and Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction. Her journalism has appeared in the TelegraphGuardian and Observer newspapers and in Spectator and The Griffith Review. She is featured in the 2019 New Daughters of Africa anthology. She is a trustee of The Royal Literary Fund and sits on the Advisory board for Art for Amnesty and the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Johannesburg Review of Books. In 2016 she was Visiting Professor and Global and Intercultural Scholar at Goshen College, Indiana and Guest Master at the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cartagena, Colombia. 

Terms and conditions 

  • Applications must be made within the submissions period specified: applications made outside of these dates will be deleted automatically.
  • Applicants must be aged 18 or over at the time of applying. There is no upper age limit.
  • The work submitted must be a work in progress and cannot have been previously published or self-published.
  • The work must be written in the English language and original to the author. Translated and co-written works are not accepted.
  • Applicants must not be under contract with a publisher or literary agent.
  • Applicants may be previously published with other work, or never before published.
  • The winner agrees to commit to completion of the Chapter and Verse programme over a period of approximately 12 months, in adherence with the terms and conditions of the programme which can be found here.
  • There is no cash alternative.
  • The decision of the panel is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The Literary Consultancy Ltd. reserves the right not to grant a Scholarship should a suitable candidate not be found, and reserves the right to change these terms and conditions without notice.