Room 204 Writer Development Programme

Applications are now closed for Room 204

The deadline was 12 noon on Thursday 30 January, 2020.

Room 204 is our annual writer development programme which allows writers from across the West Midlands to develop their skills through mentoring, networking, one-to-ones with Writing West Midlands staff, performances and access to the wider Room 204 network of over 130 writers. It has been running since 2012, and we recruit annually. Writers join for an initial year, but their membership never expires and we will continue to support Room 204 writers for as long as they wish us to.

Find out about the current Room 204 cohort here.

Please read the submission criteria below carefully before you start your application.


Room 204: The Details

Room 204 is Writing West Midlands’ writer development programme. Every year we select a small number of emerging writers from the West Midlands to work with us on a programme of creative writing career development.

Room 204 has been running yearly since 2012 and to date, over 100 writers have joined the programme and seen their writing careers take off as direct result of being part of Room 204.

This is your chance to secure mentoring and career development worth over £1,000!

The successful candidates will receive a year of support including:

  • 1-1 meetings, 2 times a year, with experienced Writing West Midlands staff.
  • A year’s membership to the Society of Authors
  • Access to a “writer buddying” scheme.
  • Group networking and career development sessions.
  • Occasional workshops on particular themes such as pitching, fundraising, time management or digital writing.
  • Tailored signposting and brokering via Writing West Midlands towards performance and development opportunities, potential collaborators, bursaries, courses and events that might benefit the individual writer.
  • Access to a private information-sharing and support group on Facebook.
  • A free place at the National Writers’ Conference on 20 June 2020, run by Writing West Midlands.
  • Ongoing support as a member of Room 204 beyond the 1st year.

Room 204 is a varied and relaxed scheme that gives you the chance to be part of a writing community while not demanding a lot of your time – allowing you to get on with the actual business of writing.

Room 204 is for emerging writers living, working or studying in the West Midlands who are looking for career development. We recruit 15 writers per year.

Room 204 is free to participants and is funded by Arts Council England as part of the work of Writing West Midlands.

The deadline is Thursday 30 January 2020 at 12noon.

Applications MUST be made online. We regret we are not able to accept emailed or posted applications.

Please take a moment to read the submission criteria further down this page before starting your online submission:


To qualify

You must:

  • Be writing creatively in any genre
  • Be looking to develop and broaden your writing career
  • Live or work in the West Midlands region
  • Have done some writing, but still feel you are not a full-time writer, or you might be working in a new genre (for instance, moving from scriptwriting to poetry). You may have had some work published (magazines, online literary journals, competitions) but writing will most likely not be your main source of income. Please note this scheme is not intended for complete beginners to creative writing.
  • Be available for approximately 3 days (or 6 half-days) per year, to attend sessions, mostly in Birmingham city centre.


Writers will be chosen on the basis of the following:

  • The quality of their writing
  • Evidence of their commitment to writing professionally
  • Demonstrable need for our support.

Deadline and dates

The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 January 2020 at 12noon. No applications will be accepted after this time.

Successful applicants will be contacted in late March, and the public announcement will be made in April 2020.

The first group meeting of the new group will be the afternoon of Saturday 4 April 2020 in central Birmingham. Although attendance is not mandatory, please try and be available to attend.

How to apply

Applications can only be made online. The “Apply Now” button is at the top and bottom of this page. Postal and email submissions will not be accepted.

You will be requested to attach these THREE documents:

  • Two Year Writing History:

Please submit a statement (200 words max) describing your writing in the last two years. This is your opportunity to also tell us about any projects you have been involved in, particular successes/failures, and how your writing has developed.

  • Examples of your writing:

Please submit up to three examples (totalling no more than 3,000 words – this is 3,000 words for all three examples, not 3,000 words each) of your creative writing. These can be stories, extracts, poems, scenes or creative prose. Please submit these typed, but do not include your name anywhere in the pieces of writing as these will be reviewed anonymously.

Performance poets and spoken word artists: please submit at least one of your writing examples as an audio or video file.

  • Statement of Demonstrable Need

Please submit a short statement (200 words max) of yourself explaining why you would like to be part of Room 204, what you hope to gain from it and why you need our support to develop your writing.


Terms & Conditions

Room 204 is not a creative writing course. It is a development programme during which writers will be offered advice and guidance. The programme will not offer direct commentary on writing and will not publish or represent writers.

Copyright, as in all cases with programmes of this nature, remains with the writer.

We regret that students currently doing a Creative Writing BA, MA or PhD are not eligible to enter.

Please be patient during the judging process. We expect a large volume of applications and may not be able to write directly to everyone who applies. Please be assured that if you are shortlisted or successful, we will get in touch with you.

The judges’ decision is final and we will not enter into discussions about the outcome of your submission.

We regret that we cannot return anything submitted with this application.