As a partner organisation supporting The Literacy Consultancy’s Free Reads scheme, Shape is looking for disabled writers wanting to improve their skills by utilising a free reading and feedback programme. This service is available for extracts or full manuscripts across fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, scripts and screenplays.

TLC's Free Reads provides writers with free access to a professional reader, who will give written feedback on a sample of their work via detailed, written reports. TLC’s readers are experienced editors and writers with in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry and are experts across a wide range of genres. 

The pool of writers applying to Shape will be decided by us following a selection process. The scheme will take place between September and the end of December 2017, and the written feedback for selected writers will usually arrive within 4-6 weeks of it being submitted to TLC by Shape.

In order to be considered for this opportunity you will need to be:

  • A writer who is actively engaged in your practice, whether or not you are published or aiming for publication
  • Self-identified as disabled
  • On a low income
  • A resident of England
  • Over the age of 16
  • Not part of a creative writing programme or longer writing course at the time of submission

Please complete the application and Equal Opportunities form, and submit a sample of your writing (fiction, autobiography or memoir, for example) with a maximum length of 500 words

Application deadline: Wednesday 6 September 2017

Please note that spaces are limited, so you should return your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.


The Literary Consultancy Free Reads Scheme offers talented, low-income writers the opportunity to apply for bursaried (i.e., non-fee paying) access to their valuable commercial services for writers. Established in 1996 as the first service of its kind in the UK, The Literary Consultancy (TLC) offers writers the opportunity to receive an honest, market-aware appraisal of their work through its long-running manuscript assessment service, available for extracts or full manuscripts across fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, scripts and screenplays. TLC has helped a number of writers on to publication, but its main aim is to support writers in developing their work. TLC hand-matches each incoming manuscript to a suitable reader from its list of 80+ professional editors, and writers can expect to receive feedback in the form of a written critique, sent within 4-6 weeks of the application being processed. The Free Read scheme particularly welcomes applications from writers belonging to groups currently under-represented in publishing including women writers, disabled writers, BAME writers, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

If you are interested in TLC's commercial (fee-paying) services across Manuscript Assessment, Mentoring or Events, and to read more, please visit the TLC website.

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