Meeting writers on the page since 1996

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How to Apply to the TLC Free Reads scheme

  1. Contact your regional writing partner to enquire about their TLC Free Reads submissions process.
  2. Submit your work to your regional writing partner according to their guidance. When you submit your work to the regional writing partner, all submissions must include an ACE application form which will be sent to you by your organisation and can also be found at: ACE Free Reads Application Form. Please include your proof of low income status. Please also ensure your manuscript adheres to TLC’s formatting guidelines before submitting.
  3. Your application will be filed with the regional office, and after some deliberation, if your submission is successful, your manuscript and application form will be sent to the TLC office. TLC has no say in the success of regional applications and the decisions of the partners are final.
  4. Submission details:
  • For all fiction and non-fiction extracts – please include a 1-2 page synopsis or basic outline of your ideas and a description of your intended audience/market. Please also indicate what genre you are writing in. Guidelines on how much work to send will be available from your regional Free Reads partner.
  • For poetry – clients must include a total line count for each poem at the bottom of each poem, and include total line count of all the poems added together on the cover letter. Poems should be formatted in their intended publication format.
  • For short stories – please include the total word count of each short story separately if necessary on the cover letter.
  • All extracts should be consecutive and on numbered pages, ideally starting from page one, and not comprised of several extracts.
  • Formatting for short stories and all fiction and non-fiction submissions should follow TLC’s formatting guidelines. All submissions must be double spaced and in a 12 point standard font.
  • The Free Reads scheme NO LONGER accepts hard copy submissions. If this poses a problem, please contact your regional writing partner, or TLC directly on
  1. Once TLC has received and processed your manuscript, you will receive a confirmation email along with a due date for your report. Please do not contact the TLC office about your report before the due date.
  2. Your report will be sent within 4-6 weeks from the point of a TLC Editor being assigned, although this is not a formal guarantee.
  3. Once you have received your report, TLC will send you an evaluation survey which is incredibly important for TLC in order to manage the scheme.  We also ask that you keep in touch with your regional writing organisation and/or TLC if you have any updates or success in regards to your manuscript.
  4. For anyone who does get published, TLC is in a position to help them market their work and we hope that we will be able to work together with the different regions to help promote these writers. This is also helpful in order to show our funder that this scheme continues to add value both to writers’ lives, and to the cultural and creative economy.

See also:
Submission rules & guidelines
TLC’s Privacy Policy
Back to ACE Free Reads Scheme page.