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Applications are currently closed for The Writing Squad. We will next be recruiting in January 2025.

You can follow us on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok to stay aware of the Squad’s activities, including our next recruitment round. You can also subscribe to the Squad’s mailing list at the top left of this page.

Testimonials from current Squad members:

“The Squad transformed my life, setting me on the path towards being what my parents, friends, college and university careers adviser didn’t know existed: a self- employed artist. The Squad promotes a pragmatic & entrepreneurial approach to writing that I rarely see elsewhere, and it’s down to the organisation’s openness and diversity.”

“Look at the Ledbury Festival site & see my pic alongside Andrew Motion. Incredible to have gone from somebody embarrassed about where they came from & shy about who they were to be in this line up. You are a big part of this & it is life changing.”

“The Squad changed my life. I joined whilst recovering from an illness that sapped my self-confidence and left me knowing only that I wanted to write, but having no idea how to go about it. The Squad paid for my carer to travel so that I could attend workshops with professional writers and engage with other young people passionate about writing. I have written a poetry book, a novel and several plays which have been published or performed as a direct result of the workshops and one-to-one mentoring”

“It’s brilliant to have the opportunity to spend time with other committed writers and really dedicate a day or a weekend to writing purely creatively. The Squad tutors are always really imaginative about how you work, taking you to exciting new places and getting you to look at the world around you in new ways – you’re never just sitting in a room doing exercises. By the end of the day I always feel really energised and have a load of new ideas to follow up.”

“It’s always laid-back, always welcoming to new and different ideas, the workshops were a means of communicating those ideas in a creative space where you can’t be judged. You get new techniques to apply to your own writing and round you out as a writer.”

“The mentoring helped my writing become much stronger in a short period of time and also allowed me to work closely with poets such as Peter Sansom, Helen Mort and Stevie Ronnie. I have since been published in magazines I never thought I’d get into, thanks to their guidance and encouragement. In 2016 I was a winner of the New Poet’s Prize and I received a huge amount of support from Stevie in pulling my submission together. As a result of that prize I’ve given several poetry readings and the Poetry Business published my debut pamphlet. I don’t feel that any of this would have been possible without the support network the squad set up for me.” 

“To have a professional writer spending one-to-one time on your work is a fantastic opportunity. I think I would have been far less confident and flexible in workshops at university if I hadn’t had that experience of receiving constructive criticism. Tutors always treated me like a professional, took a real interest in my work and made me feel there was somewhere to progress without overwhelming me.”

“I have now been self-employed, earning my income solely as an artist, for 18 months. Without the the Squad enabling me to travel to attend interviews and other opportunities, supporting me, and challenging my development as an artist, I would not have been able to stop working in pubs and devote myself to creative work. Becoming a member of the Writing Squad has had a profound effect on my life; they have made me the person and artist I am today.”

“Without the support of the Writing Squad (emotional and financial) I would definitely not have had the confidence and motivation to continue trying to be a professional writer. The generosity of their support—in terms of the breadth of ideas they support, and way in which they support them—is unlike anything else I’ve experienced. Their continued belief in me certainly helped me on my way to achieving an actual production, and was instrumental in building my confidence to form relationships within the industry.”

“The squad has made a massive difference to me in helping me to keep writing and keep valuing the importance of my own writing and the creative process throughout all the general life-upheavals of my late teens and twenties, including 2 spells of living abroad, 1 degree, countless house moves and about 5 career changes. That is invaluable. It has helped me make informed decisions about what I wanted out of life and out of a career – I would not have got this anywhere else. It has improved the quality of my writing and encouraged me to try new genres and styles. Today I am happy with the literary decisions and the life decisions I have made.”

“The Writing Squad showed me that there was a space for my voice and opened my horizons up to new worlds of writing and like minded people. I have carried my passion for writing into a career in teaching, and I still use the fundamental skills and experiences that the Squad helped me develop to inspire and guide young writers to realise their potential.”

“I have been fortunate to benefit from a great number of development schemes/projects specifically designed to support young and emerging writers. This includes initiatives run by (or in partnership with) FOYLE, Tower Poetry, New Writing North, The Poetry School, ARVON, and The Poetry Business, amongst others. Whilst each of these programmes was uniquely valuable to me, not one of them came even close to offering the depth, scope, flexibility, accessibility, longevity, or sheer quality of support that The Writing Squad offers. Nor would I have been likely to have known about or successfully applied for any of those schemes, without the support of the Squad. I truly believe that what the Squad provides is unique in the arts sector. Whilst most development schemes are geared towards developing particular capabilities, and leave participants with ‘something to take away’ from the experience, the Squad provides a level of individually tailored support that frankly I would not have believed possible if I hadn’t experienced it.”

“The best way I can describe the Squad’s role in my life is something like a fairy godmother. It came at exactly the right time, and made the world accessible to me. Almost everything I value about my life now – the friends I’ve made, my healthy relationship with writing, confidence in travelling, and a readiness to take risks (both personally and professionally) – I credit at least on some level to the The Writing Squad.”

“I surprised myself and am so grateful what I did was received with enthusiasm and encouragement. I jumped, and you all caught me. It was great to be a part of it.”



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