30 Agents | 50 Workshops | Authors | Editors And Friday Night Live!

Date: 9th -11th Sept. |Location: York | Meetings: Two Agent 1-to-1


The Goat Bursary Award!


In September 2014, Joanna Cannon attended the Festival of Writing, where she won the Friday Night Live competition. Within forty-eight hours of leaving York, she had received offers of representation from seven literary agents, and she went on to sign with Sue Armstrong of Conville and Walsh. In January 2016, Borough Press published Joanna’s debut novel The Trouble with Goats and Sheep which has now sold 30,000 copies and spent four weeks in the top 10.

Before I visited the festival in 2014, I told no one about my writing and GOATS AND SHEEP was written mainly in secret, in a car park. I didn't know anyone else in 'real life' who was working on a novel, and we all fear being the odd one out (or the goat, if you like). Visiting the festival made me realise just how many people are out there, feeling exactly as I did, and it was a huge turning point for me. In fact, it changed my life. Through the bursary, we want to give someone else, someone who would otherwise not be able to afford to attend, that sense of belonging, and perhaps give them the opportunity to change their life too. Joanna Cannon



THE GOAT BURSARY is available to an unpublished and unagented UK author who needs financial support in order to attend the Festival of Writing. 

The bursary includes two nights’ campus accommodation, all meals, a festival pass and travel expenses, and is worth over £800. The bursary also includes editorial feedback from Joanna’s agent, Sue Armstrong at Conville & Walsh.

The opening date for entries is 1st August 2016.  The closing date for entries is 5pm on 22nd August, 2016. 



How to enter:

You must submit a 500 word sample of their writing, and a letter explaining why they'd like to attend The Festival of Writing, including details of why you require funding in order to attend the event and why we should award you The Goat Bursary Award. 


You should email your entry as a Word doc attached to an email. The subject line needs to be ENTRY FOR THE GOAT BURSARY.  The email address is: info@writersworkshop.co.uk 


Who can enter?

You must be an unpublished and unagented author living in the UK.  All entries must be in English.  We are not open to work that has been published previously, including work that has been published online. Previously self-published and unagented writers may apply but only with a new, unpublished work.

What happens next?

You will receive an automated response confirming that your story has arrived safely.  If you do not receive this, check your spam filter and junk email folder.  If you still don’t see anything from us, resubmit your story or send us a query at the same email address (info@writersworkshop.co.uk).  It may take a few days to respond to queries but we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

What if you realise you submitted the wrong file?

We anticipate a high number of entries to the Goat Bursary Award so we ask you, please, to try to get everything right on your first go.  However, we appreciate that mistakes happen.  If you need to get in contact with us after you’ve submitted something, please send an email to info@writersworkshop.co.uk explaining your problem/concern.  You will receive an automated acknowledgement of your email, but sit tight.  One of us will reply, hopefully within five working days.

The winner of the competition will be selected by Jo Cannon and Susan Armstrong and notified by e-mail no later than the 28th August. 

Only the winning author will hear direct from Jo and Susan.  You will, however, receive an automated response once your story arrives in our inbox and The writers' Workshop will notify all entrants once a winning entry has been chosen. 


The Prize!

The winner will receive a Full Festival Weekend with Friday mini course ticket to The Festival of Writing, 2016. This includes on campus Accommodation on Fri & Sat nights. All meals, inc gala dinner. All talks & workshops. Entry to Friday mini-course. 2 one-to-one sessions (with agents / publishers / book doctors). Travel expenses covered, up to the value of £250.  AND Feedback on the first 50 pages of the winner’s work in progress from Agent Sue Armstrong! 


Full Terms & Conditions can be found here.