Arts Derbyshire


Fully funded residencies for Midlands writers from international writing competition The Bridport Prize

Two fully funded residencies are available for under represented writers who identify as working class, LGBTQIA+ or both and live in The Midlands.

Writers will spend time in beautiful Dorset, Thomas Hardy country and part of the Jurassic Coast, courtesy of international writing competition The Bridport Prize. The residencies supporter is Birmingham born Kit de Waal, best selling author of My Name Is Leon, her debut novel which was made into a BBC drama featuring Sir Lenny Henry. The novel now features on the GCSE syllabus.

‘Dedicated time and space is a writer’s dream’ Kit de Waal

Kit de Waal says, “Every writer knows the feeling of squeezing your writing into an impossible space or having to break off from your writing to do the ordinary chores and responsibilities of life. Dedicated time and space is a writer’s dream, no interruptions and no other calls on your attention. That’s when you do your best work.” 

Kit de Waal is also The Bridport Prize’s honorary patron and Leicester University’s first Jean Humphrey’s writer in residence. She didn’t start writing until she was in her 50s. Before then she worked in criminal and family law, was a magistrate and advised Social Services on the care of foster children. She lives in the West Midlands.

Kit de Waal image attached. Please photo credit Sarah M Lee.

Feedback from London literary agency, Georgina Capel

The fully funded Dorset residency features five days in Dorchester and Bridport, time at Dorset Museum and Bridport’s Lyric Theatre. There’s also feedback from London literary agent, Irene Baldoni at Georgina Capel Associates.

‘Help on writing journey’

‘The Bridport Prize recently celebrated our 50th birthday, half a century of giving writers a voice,’ says Kate Wilson, Programme Manager. ‘This residency continues our commitment to under represented writers with the opportunity to focus on their words away from the everyday distractions of life. We want to help someone along the next step of their writing journey and who knows where that may lead?’

Residency dates

Deadline for applications: 13 November 2023.

Residency dates: Sunday 17 March 2024 to Friday 22 March 2024.

More information

About The Bridport Prize

Now in its 50th year, the international writing competition helps fund Bridport Arts Centre. Passionate about discovering writing talent from around the world, previous winners include novelists Kit de Waal, Kate Atkinson MBE, Deepa Anappara. Former judges include Monica Ali, Roger McGough and Zoe Heller. Many writers have launched their careers with The Bridport Prize and ended up on the best sellers list.

Acclaimed novelist, Kate Atkinson on how The Bridport Prize helped her write her novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum‘I have enormously fond memories of the Bridport Prize. It gave me one of the first affirmations that I could write. The story I wrote for the competition was the first time I felt I found that elusive thing – my ‘voice’. Without The Bridport Prize I would probably not have found my agent and quite possibly wouldn’t have written Behind the Scenes at the Museum so I have a lot to be thankful to it for.’

For more information please contact

Max Riddington Tel: 07970 931 810

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