Creative Future Writers Award

 Full details 


The Creative Future Writers’ Award (CFWA) is a national writing development programme which celebrates talented, underrepresented writers who lack opportunities due to mental health issues, disability, identity, health or social circumstance.

This year’s theme is ‘How It Started’. Your work should respond to the theme, implicitly or explicitly, but we're looking for quality writing first and foremost. The theme is a creative prompt, not a requirement. Send us your best work!

The best way to get a sense of what we’re looking for is by looking at previous winners’ work. You can do this by purchasing our previous anthologies here:

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 22 May 2022 at 11:59 pm. Entries submitted after the deadline will not be eligible.

You can submit ONE piece of writing in one category (poetry or fiction) or ONE in each category (you'll need to make two submissions on Zealous), up to and not exceeding the word limits per category:

  • Poetry: maximum 50 lines
  • Fiction: maximum 2,000 words


The competition is ONLY open to:

  • UK residents—please do not enter if you are not living in the UK or a UK citizen living abroad. 
  • People over 18 years old
  • Under-represented writers who face barriers due to:
  • mental health
  • people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds
  • people from the LGBTQIA+ community
  • people from working class backgrounds
  • survivors
  • physical disability, long-term limiting illness, sensory impairment
  • learning disability/ADHD/dyslexia/dyspraxia
  • neurodivergent/ASD
  • substance misuse issues
  • writers who have not previously published a book/stand-alone publication via an established press/publisher (excluding self-published work or as part of an anthology) in creative prose or poetry. 


1.  Please DO NOT put your name on your work. Judging is anonymous.

2.  We prefer typed entries, but accept handwritten entries—do keep copies as entries will not be returned.

3.  Submissions cannot be altered after entry. You can withdraw your entry and make a new one if needed.

4.  We cannot offer feedback on your work or enter into correspondence about your entry. We are a very small team of part-time staff.

5. Winners will be notified by 30 September and no earlier. Judges’ decisions are final.

6. Winning pieces will be published in our anthology and therefore must NOT have been published previously in magazines, anthologies or online where there is an external selection process (e.g. except on your own blog, website or social media).

7. If you have entered your work into another competition and win, or the piece is accepted for publication elsewhere, please notify us immediately to withdraw your submission.b

9. Employees of Creative Future or our project partners are ineligible to enter the competition.

10. Your personal data will be covered by current UK data protection legislation.

11. We reserve the right to amend the Rules as deemed necessary or where circumstances are beyond our control. Any changes will be posted on the Creative Future website.

If you have any questions related to submitting via Zealous contact or via Live Chat (9-5 pm weekdays).

If you have any questions about the Writers' Award, please get in touch on 01273 234780 or

Please note that:

We are a small part-time staff team and cannot answer all queries immediately. We also mostly work from home and won’t be able to respond by phone right away. 

Submission Fees

  • Optional donation Fee


  • Prize

    Platinum: £100 cash prize; Chapter & Verse mentorship and a manuscript assessment via The Literary Consultancy, plus the chance to attend a TLC Industry Day; ‘Writing A Novel: The First 15,000‘ course with Faber Academy (prose), or selected online masterclass from Poetry School (poetry); year's membership to the Society of Authors

    Gold: £75 cash prize;  manuscript assessment via The Literary Consultancy; selected online writing course from Curtis Brown Creative (prose) or Poetry School (poetry); a year’s digital subscription to Mslexia magazine; year's membership to the Society of Authors

    Silver: £50 cash prize; partial manuscript assessment & coaching from The Writing Coach; copy of Mslexia’s Indie Press Guide

    Bronze: £25 cash prize; poem critique from Waterloo Press or story critique from Writing Magazine (prose); copy of a The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook’s Writing Guide

    Highly commended: 1 year subscription to Writing Magazine (poetry) or Writing Magazine resource pack (prose); copy of The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook; prose/poem critique and an hour's mentoring

    Commended: copy of The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

    Joint prizes: All winners will receive a one year membership to Jericho Writers, be published in the award anthology alongside judges Dorothy Koomson and Joelle Taylor, read their work at the high profile showcase event, as part of the London Literature Festival (TBC), be invited to our Writer’s Day event ), receive a copy of Creative Future’s Pathway Guide for Writers, Pitching To Agents guide (prose) or Social Media Toolkit (poetry). All winners also receive ongoing support, advice and signposting from Creative Future.

Creative Future


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