Free Reads is back! Shape Arts has partnered with The Literary Consultancy for another year to facilitate their Free Reads scheme which provides opportunities for professional feedback for low-income writers from underrepresented backgrounds. TLC, the UK’s leading literary consultancy, run the scheme every year, helping hundreds of writers on to publication, but its main aim is to support writers developing their work and honing their writing craft through structured constructive feedback.

The scheme is open to writers across all forms and genres, this includes fiction work as well as poetry, short stories, scripts, screenplays, and radio plays.

If you would like to apply for the opportunity to receive a long, detailed feedback report from one of TLC’s professional readers, please check that you meet the eligibility criteria outlined below:

  • Are you a low-income, disabled writer based in England?
  • Did you apply last year? Applicants cannot apply for the Free Reads scheme two years in a row.
  • All Free Reads are subject to TLC’s Manuscript Assessment Terms and Conditions. Please make sure you have read and understood these.
  • More than one author? We only accept single authored work.
  • We only accept work written in English.
  • Under 16? Unfortunately the scheme is only open to those over the age of 16.

How to apply for Free Reads

Download the application form

If you meet the criteria above and would like to be considered for professional critique, please follow these steps:

  • Prepare a sample of the work you would like professionally read to send to Shape Arts. This must not exceed 5,000 words for prose, 20 pages for scripts, and 100 lines for poetry.
  • Make sure your text is in size 12 font and double spaced (excluding poetry).
  • Once you are happy with your work, please send it to [email protected] along with a completed application form. 
  • The deadline for applications is Tuesday 29 September at 5pm.
  • We will assess the work for quality and be in touch about the rest of the process.

Have questions? Email us at [email protected]