Next Chapter Award

Congratulations to Ryan O'Connor, recipient of the 2018 Next Chapter Award. Learn more about him and read an excerpt of his work.


Applications for Next Chapter Award 2018 are closed. Thank you to everyone who applied.

The Next Chapter Award supports an emerging writer over the age of 40 yet to publish a full-length work for whom finding time and space to write has proved especially challenging. Developing a specific piece of work to publication standard will be the central aim of the award and applicants must demonstrate genuine potential for publication.

The writer will be offered nine months of mentoring arranged by Scottish Book Trust. Additionally, they will receive a two week retreat to focus on their writing. This will be arranged in March 2018.

The successful writer will also receive a £2000 bursary.

Who can apply?

Please read the Eligibility Criteria carefully.

The award is open to poets, novelists, authors of narrative non-fiction and children’s authors who are 40 years of age or above and are based in Scotland.

If you have already applied for a New Writers Award, you are welcome to apply for the Next Chapter Award. However, you can only receive one award. If you are selected for more than one award, you will be asked to choose which programme best suits your needs.

Students are not eligible for this opportunity. Writers who are currently in receipt of Creative Scotland funding or taking part in another Writer Development programme or registered on the Live Literature Database are not eligible to apply.


If you have any queries about the Next Chapter Award 2018 or you are not able to apply online, please email

Judging panel – to be confirmed


Here's what previous awardees had to say about their experiences:

“I was delighted to be selected as the first recipient of the Next Chapter Award. I received lots of incredibly useful, practical support and advice throughout the year, for which I'm very grateful. It was a fantastic experience.” Gail Honeyman, Next Chapter Awardee 2014 and author of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, (HarperCollins).

“Winning the Next Chapter Award 2016 has been a uniquely encouraging development. I have a head full of stories, and I am looking forward to using this gift of time, money and mentorship to get some of them out and into print over the coming year. It feels like a new beginning.” Robert Neil Fraser, Next Chapter Awardee 2016. 

“The validation, exposure, and support given has made me determined to take my writing seriously, and I look forward to a productive year.” Julie Rea, Next Chapter Awardee 2017.