Notebook on a table during an Arvon course

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 offers 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.

Apply by 6pm on Monday 16th January 2023 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

Children’s picture books: Up to 4 picture books (please send the text only)

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.

To read more about whether a manuscript assessment would be helpful, click here.


The Free Reads Scheme is open to low-income writers. You are eligible to apply for this scheme if you are abased in the UK and any of the following apply to you:

  • Aged 16+
  • 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).

Please Submit:

  • Your completed application form. (Download the PDF application form)
  • Cover letter: Your cover letter should be no longer than 250 words and include a bit about you and your writing journey, as well as how the scheme would benefit you.
  • 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).

Send the above to Sophie at by Monday 16th January 2023, 6pm. We will let successful applicants know by the end of February. Please note that we are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity and the feedback and encouragement I received is priceless. I have gained so much confidence because of my feedback and I was taught so many valuable things which I will continue to apply in the future. To also be given this opportunity given my current financial situation is just an amazing. Thank you."

— Previous successful applicant