Boosting the careers of talented West Midlands writers: Room 204 opens for applications

Writers across the West Midlands are invited to apply to be part of this year’s Room 204 – the year-long support and career development programme run by Writing West Midlands.

Now in its 5th year, Room 204 recruits between 10 and 15 writers a year, writing in all genres from poetry and prose to radio and TV scripts, and gives them each over £1,000 worth of career support.

Martin Sketchley, a novelist who is a current Room 204 participant says:

“My participation in Room 204 has proven invaluable in making new contacts and getting my career back on track. The one-to-one sessions have been particularly important, with progress made and doors opened following the advice of Writing West Midlands’ staff. I’d recommend the programme to any writer who feels they may need guidance and support regarding the next step.”

Being accepted onto the Room 204 programme is just the beginning of long and fruitful relationship with Writing West Midlands, the regional creative writing development agency, funded by Arts Council England. Previous Room 204-ers have benefitted from introductions to agents, publishers, radio producers and project-development support. They have also gone on to appear at the annual Birmingham Literature Festival, which is also a Writing West Midlands project.

Jonathan Davidson, Chief Executive of Writing West Midlands, said:

“Room 204 is one of the most exciting aspects of our work. It’s an opportunity for us to directly support and influence the careers of writers in the region, many of whom we believe will go on to become significant in their areas, regionally and nationally.”

Career development includes invaluable access to mentoring from more established writers, themed workshops on issues such as pitching and tax for writers, introductions to relevant industry insiders including agents, editors and radio producers, and a free place at the annual National Writing Conference, which takes place at the University of Birmingham on 16 July.

Room 204 is open to prose writers, children’s writers, authors of creative non-fiction, poets and scriptwriters. Writers over the age of 18 are eligible.

Submissions opened on Monday 1 February, and you can submit your work for this year’s Room 204 until 5pm on Thursday 25 February 2016.

Applications are done entirely by email and online, and you can find all the details here.

The 2016/17 cohort of Room 204 writers will be announced in early April 2016.