Chance for the over 40s to boost writing career

They say everyone has a book in them – and now the over 40s have the chance to prove that’s the case.

The Scottish Book Trust has announced that the Next Chapter Award 2019, to support a talented yet unpublished writer over the age of 40.

The Next Chapter Award supports an emerging writer for whom finding time and space to write has proved especially challenging. Developing a specific piece of work to publication standard will be the central aim of the award and applicants must demonstrate genuine potential for publication.

The award is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing. The winner will be offered a £2000 bursary; nine months of mentoring from a writer or industry professional; a two-week retreat at Moniack Mhor Creative Writing Centre; training in PR, social media and performance; and the opportunity to showcase work to publishers and agents.

This is the fifth year of the award. Gail Honeyman, recipient of the inaugural Next Chapter Award in 2014, went on to sign a seven-figure publishing deal for her debut novel. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was published last year and has since became the biggest-selling hardback debut of 2017, won several top awards and been optioned for a film by Reese Witherspoon’s Hollywood company.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: ‘This award recognises the specific challenges writers aged 40 and over face, due to other responsibilities that compete with the time and attention they can give to their creative work. As well as public recognition, the prize offers specific targeted support to help the awardee develop their work towards publication.

‘We are delighted to be running this award for the fifth year. It reflects the high standard of creativity and range of talent in Scotland, and we encourage writers to apply for this excellent opportunity.’

Previous winners of the Next Chapter Award are Gail Honeyman (2014), Robert Neil Fraser (2016), Julie Rea (2017) and Ryan O’Connor (2018).

The award is open to poets, novelists, authors of narrative non-fiction and children’s authors who are 40 years of age or above.

The closing date is Wednesday 19 September 2018 at midday.

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