Awards & Bursaries

The Literary Consultancy Free Reads

The TLC Free Reads Scheme is open for submissions

Applications for the free manuscript assessment scheme for talented authors on low incomes is open for submissions.

The Literary Consultancy (TLC) holds a strong track record of helping writers get into print. They offer one of the UK’s leading manuscript assessment services providing expert, market-aware editorial advice to authors at all levels.

New Writing South works with TLC by offering a small number of Arts Council-funded Free Reads for talented, low income authors in the south east*.

These Free Reads are specifically for writers who would have difficulty meeting the standard TLC cost and who would benefit from professional assessment.

* The south east region covers: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex.

Email for further enquiries.

Best New Play Award

This prestigious award in partnership with Brighton Fringe is presented to a playwright in recognition of an outstanding, original theatre script produced at the Fringe.

The New Writing South Best New Play Award will be back at Brighton Fringe 2019. More information will be available here in due course.

To be considered for the New Writing South Best New Play Award plays must be:

  • an original scripted work.
  • not have had more than 10 previous performances or be premiered at the Brighton Fringe during the year of entry.
  • be at least 40 minutes long in performance time.
  • new translations of plays not originally written in the English language will be considered if they meet the criteria above.

Previous Winners


This year the judges chose to divide the £500 award between two writers: Tim Cook for Crushed and Richard Fredman for bloominauschwitz. The winners were praised for their fresh writing, accomplished skill and tight dialogue.


Won by Gail Louw for her true life drama Duwayne. The team of six judges chose Gail’s play for its accomplished writing, for its original portrayal of fact as drama and for bravely hitting the zeitgeist. Tristan Ovington, a member of Brighton Theatre Royal Young Writers, was given a special ‘Most Promising Playwright’ award for his play Twenty to Something.


Won by Silva Semerciyan for Gather Ye Rosebuds at the Nightingale Theatre. Silva’s play enjoyed a transfer to Theatre 503.


No overall winner. Instead, a development package is being offered to Jonathan Brown for The Last Lunch, and to Feral Theatre for Triptych. This is an unprecedented decision but also one the organisation is really excited about. New Writing South will be working closely with the writers over the next year.


Won by Kefi Chadwick for Mathematics of the Heart at the Marlborough Theatre. Following winning the award Kefi’s play enjoyed a successful transfer to Theatre 503. In addition the judges gave a separate award to Ben Keyworth for Cuckoo at The Open House.

New Writing South Bursaries

If you cannot afford the full cost of attending New Writing South activities, including our mentoring scheme and the Creative Writing Programme courses, we encourage you to apply for a bursary.

New Writing South has limited resources. To allow those who really need this help to get it, please only apply if you would otherwise be excluded from the activity, and please only ask us for the amount you need.

  • You can apply for up to 70% of the full cost of eligible activities
  • Eligible activities, with bursaries available, are marked Bursaries Available
  • Only New Writing South activities are open to bursary applications
  • You are encouraged to apply early as bursaries are limited
  • You can only apply for one bursary in any one financial year
  • To apply, check that bursaries are available for the activity or course you want to apply for (these will be marked Bursaries Available)
  • E-mail with the activity you are interested in and supporting documents as evidence of financial need
  • On receipt, New Writing South will hold a place for you on your chosen activity and advise you within 10 working days if you have been successful or not

Want to know more? Call us on 01273 735353 or email