Sept 2018 Applications

Academy Applications for 2018/2019 are now closed.

For information only. 

The Academy is a development programme aimed at helping and supporting short story writers, resident in any part of Yorkshire, who have already shown serious commitment to short story writing, and who want help and support to develop their work further. Perhaps you’ve published a few stories already (in print or in online magazines) or had stories placed or longlisted in competitions.

Successful applicants will participate in a monthly workshop critique group, where they will read and critique each others’ stories. Alongside this, applicants will also have the opportunity to have a detailed short story critique from an experienced short story writer or literary editor based in the region, and to take part in the The Northern Short Story Festival 2019.

The programme will last six months from January-June 2019 and be led by writer and creative writing tutor Anna Chilvers. The meetings will take place in Leeds on a Tuesday evening. Participants should be willing to meaningfully engage with others’ work by giving helpful and constructive critique. They should also be willing to accept critique and advice on their own work.

This is a rare development opportunity for short story writers in our region. Places on the scheme will be limited. For details on how to apply, please read on.


Please read these guidelines carefully, as any applications that don’t meet the criteria or which aren’t formatted correctly will be disqualified without being read.

Do I have to be from Yorkshire to apply?

No. We don’t mind where you’re from, all that matters is that you’re here now.

However, you do need to be a current resident of Yorkshire (and be able to prove this), intending to stay here until the scheme ends in June 2019.

You will also need to be able to come to Leeds on a Tuesday evening from 6-8 on the following dates: Jan 15th, Feb 12th, March 12th, April 16th, May 14th, June 11th. If you know you will be unable to make these dates, please do not apply.

What do we expect of applicants?

You need to be able to come to all 6 meetings (dates above.) You also need to be willing to engage seriously and meaningfully with the other writers’ work, and to accept critique and advice on your own work. 

The Northern Short Story Festival has an ethos of writers helping other writers.

We would ask you to participate in the 2019 festival, and to give something back to us either by writing a blog article about your participation in the Academy, or by writing short story book reviews for the blog.

You will also need to be willing to take part in publicity around the scheme, for example by having your photo taken at the launch.

Do I need to be under/ over a certain age?

You need to be over 18, but other than that, you can be of any age.

How much will it cost?

Nothing. It is free to apply and, if you are successful, it will be free to participate.

You will need to fund your own travel expenses to Leeds for the meetings.

How to apply

Please read the above Eligibility guidelines carefully, as any applications that don’t meet the criteria or which aren’t formatted correctly will be disqualified without being read.

To apply, please send us a writing sample (1,000 words) and a short written statement covering the following:

  1. How can you show us you have already shown commitment to short story writing?This could be courses you’ve taken, workshops you’ve attended, or a group you go to. If you’re self-taught, it could be the books you’ve read or the number of hours you’ve spent writing. If you have published stories or been placed in a competition, please tell us about that here.
  2. Tell us why you think now is the time for you to access this opportunity.
  3. What can you give back to the Northern Short Story Festival?The NoShoSto has an ethos of writers supporting other writers, and accessibility and equality of opportunity for everyone. We want to know how you and your approach would support that. If you can evidence this ability to help and support others, whether that’s through literary citizenship, or from other areas of your life, please tell us about that here.
  4. How can you be an advocate for the festival in the future?Our Academy Graduates will become a part of NoShoSto, and we hope that they will stay in touch with us as they continue to have success in their careers. We would like Graduates to be willing to help future NoShoSto Academy participants as they come through future schemes. Please tell us how you would support other writers and be an advocate for the Festival as it continues to develop.
  5. Please tell us where you live.We don’t need your full postal address. We just need confirmation that you live in Yorkshire and that you intend to stay here until June 2018.

Your written statement should be a maximum of 1000 words in total. Your writing sample should be 1000 words or less. These should appear together in a single Word document. The writing sample doesn’t need to be a complete short story; it can be an excerpt (but please make it clear if this is the case.) In other words, the entire document should be less than 2,000 words.

What format to send?

Please send these to us in the following format:

  1. Please send your statement and writing sample in a single Word document, saved in .doc or .docx format. Your name should not appear ANYWHERE in the Word document. If it does, we will disqualify your application.
  2. The document should have a footer at the end of every page, containing the title of your story. For example, if your story is called “Billy and the Ants”, this should appear in a footer at the end of every page in the Word document.
  3. Your story title should also be the subject header of the email you send. For example, if your story title is “Billy and the Ants”, when you send it to us, the subject header should be Academy Application: Billy And The Ants. This allows us to read the applications blind, and match them up afterwards.
  4. Email it all to This is also the email address to use should you have any questions.
  5. All applications will be read blind. Canvassing of any type towards the judges, organiser or administrator (whether that’s via email, Facebook, direct message, phone, or in person) will result in your application being disqualified. Genuine queries may be addressed to
  6. You cannot change your application once it is in, so make sure you’re happy with it before you send it.
  7. Only one application per person. Subsequent applications from the same applicant will be discarded unread.
  8. Closing date for applications will be 6th October 2018 and we hope to contact all successful applicants by the end of November 2018.