Bring a School - Creative Writing Residentials - Arvon

TLC Free Reads 2024

Arvon and The Literary Consultancy Free Reads Scheme

Arvon is proud to partner with The Literary Consultancy to offer the Free Reads Scheme to all low-income writers.

The TLC Free Reads Scheme 2024 is now closed, thank you to everyone who took the time to submit an application.

Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March. For any questions please contact Sophie on



Apply by 6pm on Friday 23rd February 2024 for the opportunity to win a Free Read for any of the following genres:

Longform prose (novels or non-fiction): A synopsis and up to 15,000 words (please include a word count)

Short stories (including flash fiction): Up to 8,000 words total, over as many stories as you like (please include a word count for each story and total)

Poetry: Up to 200 lines of poetry, over as many poems as you like (please include a line count for each poem and total)

Scripts and treatments: A synopsis and up to 30 pages


The Opportunity

The TLC Free Reads Scheme offers talented, low-income writers the opportunity to get free professional feedback on their writing via The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s leading editorial consultancy. TLC has helped hundreds of writers on to publication, but its main aim is to support writers developing their work and honing their writing craft through structured constructive feedback.

This year Arvon is pleased to open applications to all low-income writers who meet the criteria of a Free Read, regardless of whether you have connected with Arvon before.

TLC processes novels, short stories, non-fiction, poetry, scripts and screenplays, offering professional critical feedback. This service is open to all on a commercial basis, but Free Reads are by submission to TLC’s regional partners, including Arvon, and subject to eligibility criteria.

If successful, your work will be hand-matched to one of TLC’s 90+ professional readers, and writers can expect to receive feedback in the form of a written critique sent within 4-6 weeks of the application being processed. The notes you receive are intended to help you develop your writing further.

Click on the link to read more about whether an assessment would be helpful.


How to apply

The Free Reads Scheme is open to low-income writers aged 16 + ordinarily resident in England, writing in English who would not be able to afford TLC’s commercial fees.

You are eligible to apply for this scheme if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are a full-time student.
  • You claim Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Income Support, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  • You are in receipt of Working Tax Credit.
  • You are low-waged (single household: annual salary of less than £23,000/family household: combined annual salary of less than £34,500).
  • You must also be aged 16+ and ordinarily be resident in England to apply.

Please Submit:

  • Your completed application form.
  • The piece of writing you would like to put forward to be assessed.
  • Paperwork pertaining to low-income criteria (qualifying paperwork is outlined in the application form).

Download a PDF version of the application form.

Download a Word version of the application form.

Please submit the above to Sophie at by Friday 23rd February 2024, 6pm. We will let successful applicants know by the end of March.

Submission Rules

  • Free Reads are granted to low income, high quality writers.
  • The ACE Free Reads Scheme is free but if submitting a manuscript by hard copy (after special dispensation), all manuscript return requests require a SAE, otherwise hard copy manuscripts will be recycled.
  • All applications must be correctly formatted (12-point font, double spaced for fiction/non-fiction; including word counts for short stories/poetry)
  • Applicants cannot apply two years in a row for a Free Read.
  • Applicants cannot work for the regional writing organisation they apply through.
  • TLC can refuse any material which is deemed unlikely to benefit from the critical reading service or if a reader finds that a submission has been previously published or if we cannot find a suitable editor for your work. If your work is not accepted, it will be returned within 30 days.
  • We accept only single authored work.
  • We accept only writing in English.
  • The applicant should not be part of a creative writing programme or longer writing course.
  • Applicants must be over 16.
  • Free Reads are subject to TLC’s manuscript assessment Ts&Cs

TLC Free Read Partner Arvon logo


Sophie Lloyd-Catchpole
Learning and Partnership Manager