The Northern Short Story Festival Academy is Open for Applications


Short story writers have until 30 September to apply to join the Academy and, with the Academy’s support, take their writing to the next level.

Over the last three years, 18 short story writers living in Yorkshire have been supported by the Academy to develop their skills.

The Northern Short Story Festival Academy is a scheme to promote writing excellence. Successful applicants will join a monthly workshop critique group led by writer Anna Chilvers, where they will read and critique each other’s stories.

It is free to apply. You must be aged 18 or over and resident in the Yorkshire region with some demonstrable evidence of your short story writing. Full details about how to apply can be found here: http://bigbookend.co.uk/nssf/northern-short-story-academy-short-story-writers/short-story-writers-2021-academy-applications/

Fiona Gell, Director of the Leeds Big Bookend and Northern Short Festival: ” It’s wonderful to be able to open our Academy to a further 6 Yorkshire based short story writers. There is so much writing talent in the Region and if we can help some of these writers develop their critical and professional skills and become better writers then the Academy will have succeeded. We have supported 18 writers through the process so far and we are on the hunt for our next intake! It’s a very exciting time and we cannot wait to meet them. We are very grateful to [email protected] and Leeds City Council, and The Walter Swan Trust for their continued support. Without them, the Academy scheme would not exist.”

Niccola Swan, Chair of Trustees at The Walter Swan Trust: “The Walter Swan Trust was set up to support new creative writers. The work of the Northern Short Story Festival and especially the Academy is exactly the sort of scheme we want to support. This is our fourth collaboration and we are very excited about it. Good luck to all the applicants.”

Academy intake 2020/2021, L to R: LMA Bauman-Milner, Monica Dickson, Hannah Walton-Hughes, Glenis Burgess, Rob Schofield and S.K. Perry.

Academician Rob Schofield: “I have learned so much from the monthly Northern Short Story Festival Academy sessions and enjoyed working closely with my fellow writers. I am sure that my writing and confidence have improved as a result of my time as an Academy member and I would encourage other emerging writers to apply for the next Academy as soon as the opportunity to do so arises.”

Academician Sarah Perry: “Being part of the Academy has been amazing, gifting me focussed time to grow my short fiction skills and body of work, and incisive feedback from a community of brilliant short story writers. I’m excited to continue working with our cohort to develop our craft and practices further, and build on the supportive relationships the Academy fostered between us. I’m so grateful such a thing exists and that I was able to be a part of it.”

The Northern Short Story Festival Academy is part of The Leeds Big Bookend and Northern Short Story Festival, and is supported by [email protected] and Leeds City Council, and The Walter Swan Trust.

Cover photograph by Izzy Brittle.

Bridget Markham

Bridget helps us out from time to time, exercising her wide-ranging interests by writing previews and researching when we need more information.

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