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The Faber Academy Scholarship

A Woman Writing - Faber Academy writing courses

Note: please ensure you have read all the Faber Academy Scholarship terms and conditions before making your application. If you have any queries, get in touch.

Next deadline: 23:59.59 on 29th August, 2018 for October iterations.

The Faber Academy Scholarship is simple: two writers per year – one in October, one in January – are given the opportunity to attend our flagship London course, Writing A Novel, without paying fees.

The scholarship will be awarded to writers whose work shows significant promise, who write about the world as it really exists, but who would for financial reasons be unable to attend the course — whose voices might never otherwise be heard.

We particularly welcome applications from writers of colour, disabled writers and LGBTQ+ writers.

The mechanism is simple, too: stage one is to fill in this form.

You will be asked to submit a 200-word synopsis of the novel you plan to work on with us, and you will also be asked to detail in less than 300 words the reason behind your scholarship application.

In equal measure we want to know why you want to do the course, why you’re the right person to write your story, and why you need the scholarship to help.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to email us 1,000 words of your work-in-progress. We might also ask you for more later on: our tutors will want to get to know your work as well as possible before offering you a place, so we may ask for more of it than we do of other peoples’.

And that’s it. If you are selected for the scholarship, you will be given instructions on how to proceed. And when you arrive, you will be treated no differently to any other student. You won’t have to attend any dinner, give any speech, keep up any blog of your experience, none of that.

And if you’re not selected? If you apply for the Scholarship and are unsuccessful you will not be eligible to apply for a paying place until the next iteration. The reasoning here is brutish: the Faber Academy Scholarship is for people who could not afford to attend the course otherwise. This is a way of limiting applications to just that set of writers.

Please note: The scholarship is currently in its first year; Faber Academy retains the right to alter these terms as we learn more about how best to provide it.

Faber Academy Scholarship
Terms & Conditions

  1. Eligibility
    1. Your financial status:
      1. The Faber Academy Scholarship is intended to help someone who would not be able to attend the course to do so. It is offered in a spirit of trust. We will not be means-testing applications.
    2. Your work:
      1. You should be working on a novel, which we consider to mean a long-form piece of prose fiction.
      2. The novel should be your own original work: while the form is valid, we are not looking for pastiche, fan-fiction, or sequels/prequels to other writers’ work.
      3. Your novel should aim to ‘represent the world as it really exists’: your application should try to explain how it does so.
    3. Evidence:
      1. Faber Academy retains the right to ask you for evidence of any claim you make in your application with regards to either your financial status or your work.
      2. Any information we request and receive in this capacity will be held in confidence and returned to you or destroyed after the Scholarship has been awarded.
  2. The Scholarship Awarding Group
    1. The Scholarship Awarding Group will decide who receives the Faber Academy Scholarship.
    2. The Group will consist of one or all of the tutors for the relevant iteration of the Writing A Novel course, plus the Director of Faber Academy.
    3. The Scholarship Awarding Group will receive and read all Scholarship entries before making a shortlist.
    4. The Group’s decision will be final.
  3. Scope
    1. Courses
      1. The Faber Academy Scholarship is available on daytime or evening iterations of Writing A Novel.
      2. One scholarship place is offered on the January intake and one on the October intake.
    2. Travel and accommodation
      1. The Scholarship covers course fees only.
      2. It does not cover any travel, accommodation or other costs you might incur by attending the course.
  4. Withdrawal of the scholarship
    1. By us
      1. Disciplinary
        1. Faber Academy reserves the right to withdraw the Scholarship along with your place on the relevant course in line with the Conduct, Concerns and complaints policy available here, at any point during the course.
        2. In such an event, you will not be eligible to transfer to a paid place.
      2. Ineligibility
        1. Faber Academy reserves the right to withdraw the Scholarship if you are found to have been ineligible for it in the first place, as set out in the terms above.
    2. By you
      1. Transfers/deferrals
        1. Should you wish to defer your offer of a scholarship place, you are entitled to do so within one calendar year: eg, if you are offered a scholarship place on a January iteration, you may defer up to the following January.
        2. After one year, your scholarship offer is considered void.
        3. If you have had a void scholarship offer in the past, you are entitled to reapply for the Faber Academy Scholarship.
        4. The Faber Academy Scholarship may not be transferred by you to anyone else.
        5. The Faber Academy Scholarship may not be transferred to another course, as per terms above.
  5. Anonymity & Data Protection
    1. Every effort will be made to preserve your anonymity throughout the application process, unless you choose to identify yourself in your submissions: the Scholarship Awarding Group will never see your name, date of birth or email address.
    2. In line with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, Faber Academy will not store unnecessary information about you for longer than we need to. Your email address will not be added to our mailing list.
    3. Faber Academy will delete your application within 6 months of the deadline passing.
  6. Unsuccessful applications
    1. If your application is unsuccessful, we’ll let you know within a week of the application deadline.
    2. You will then not be eligible to apply for Writing A Novel until the next iteration; eg, if you apply to the scholarship for the January version of the course, you will not be eligible to apply for the course until the October version.
A rose in bud - Faber Academy scholarship

Announcing… the Faber Academy scholarship

[Edit, 04.12.2017: full information about eligibility and how to apply is now available here.]

We are delighted to announce the new Faber Academy Scholarship starting in 2018.

Two free places a year on the flagship six-month Writing A Novel course will be awarded to writers from under-represented backgrounds whose voices might not otherwise be heard.

“This is a brilliant moment,” said Ian Ellard, head of Faber Academy. “It is absolutely vital to our literary culture that courses like Writing A Novel are accessible to as many people as possible, telling stories about the world as it really exists. I’m just really excited.”

To apply, prospective students will be asked to provide a synopsis of their proposed novel and a short letter explaining why it might go unwritten without the scholarship. Applications will then be anonymised before being sent to course tutors.

This announcement forms part of a broader initiative across Faber & Faber to address under-representation in the publishing industry. The new inclusivity scheme includes a 20-week internship for BAME candidates in association with Creative Access and outreach programmes in partnership with New Writing North, Arts Emergency and IntoUniversity.

For full information on eligibility criteria & how to apply, click here: The Faber Academy Scholarship

Faber Academy are hiring – Join us!

[CLOSED] We’re looking for someone brilliant… is it you?

  • Super-organised?
  • Composed?
  • Bristling with energy?
  • Obsessed with writing and writers?

PLEASE NOTE: Applications for this position are no longer being accepted. Head to www.faber.co.uk/careers for more opportunities.

Faber Academy want you. We are looking for a new Academy Assistant to support every aspect of our thriving creative writing school: setting up the rooms for our classes and events, taking bookings, and keeping our customer data up to date.full-report-graphic

But that’s not all.

This is a varied, hands-on role: you will be doing everything from making coffee to drafting copy. You will know how to make writers feel at home and you can prioritise your tasks through the day so that every customer has an equally excellent experience. You will have some experience of working in a customer-facing role, either in retail or in hospitality, and you will need to be confident taking phone calls and answering customer enquiries from the outset. You will also have an interest in writing, though that doesn’t necessarily mean you are a writer yourself.

We’re a small team and our job is different every day, so you will need to be flexible, motivated and creative in how you approach your work.

What you don’t need, necessarily, is a degree. In fact, at this stage, we’re not even looking for a CV.

If all this sounds like you, click CLICK HERE and fill in a Google form to get things started.*

Any questions, call Ian on 0207 927 3827.

Applications for this position will close at 5pm, Monday 13th March, 2017. This is a full time permanent position.

*We’re using a Google form so that your application can be anonymised. We’ll keep your data for six months. See our privacy policy for more information.

#BookCharades – as it happens

It’s a festive Friday at Faber Towers, and here in the Academy we’re playing #BookCharades all day. One new book-themed charade every hour, with an excellent prize at stake.

The first person to email us at 5pm with all nine answers will win that excellent prize, and we just can’t wait to see how you get on.

Here’s where we’re at so far…

This was your first charade, released at 9 a.m. :

Followed an hour later by this one:

And then by this team effort:

This one is our noon charade. Can you guess the writing guide?

A modern classic for our lunchtime clue:

Up at #6, Ian does something that looks a bit sharky (but isn’t):

There was this cheeky one, about a book not yet published…

Ian interrupted a festive snack for this Academy favourite:

And finally, this one from Nicci:

Get your answers in to academy@faber.co.uk!

Time to play… #BookCharades!

Season’s greetings!

It’s been a festive old week here at Faber Towers. There was a fiercely contested Christmas Decoration Competition, mince pies aplenty and wall-to-wall Mariah. What better way to round out the week than with a good old party game?

Today we’re going to be posting an hourly #BookCharades video, beginning in just a few short minutes at 9am. Each time, it’ll be a member of Team Academy doing their very best to convey a book title to you in classic charade style.

All you have to do is guess what that book is – but keep it to yourself! Don’t be @ing us and giving the game away, eh?

There’ll be nine videos in total, with the last one posted at 5pm, and the first person to email us at academy@faber.co.uk with all nine titles correct is THE WINNER.

The winner will win one of two things. Those things are:

These ten wonderful Faber books (happy Christmas to you):


OR a mini-report from our manuscript assessment team. If you opt for this one, you can submit up to 10,000 words of prose (part of a novel or a short story) or five poems to us, and we’ll provide a report of up to 1,000 words on your work’s strengths and weaknesses.

The choice is yours!

Here are some important things to know about the competition:

  • We haven’t just chosen Faber books to act out, so think outside the house
  • No Academy staff were harmed in the making of these videos
  • We might give extra clues if you tweet us nicely…

Meet you at #BookCharades! Bring a party hat.

QuickFic 23/09/16: The Winner


We did something a bit different today. We asked for QuickFic stories inspired by a randomly-selected Wikipedia article, which happened to be about Sverre Farstad, a Norwegian speed skater and Olympic gold medallist.

RUNNER-UP: Anne Petrie

Speed Skating

‘You’re skating on thin ice, Lou. You’ll be in deep trouble if you carry on like this.’

I can’t stop, though I hear the creaking and cracking beneath my feet. There is too much still to do.

‘I must,’ I tell her. ‘Only today. I’ll stop tomorrow.’

‘You said that yesterday and…’

‘I know, but this time I mean it.’

I look down. The ice is fragile, translucent, beneath it a fathomless depth of numbing cold where nothing can be alive. Down there the dead dwell in chilly passivity. I shiver and wrap my arms around myself, but still I tremble. I want to sleep, to but I must not. You die if you sleep, and there is so much to do, so very much to do.

‘The usual, love?’ the man says. He takes my money and hands over the wrap. I snort, wait. The shakes start to subside, the weariness recedes, the fragile ice thickens. Now I can skate. I can spin and spiral and flip and fly and the dark abyss of the dead will not claim me.


WINNER: Sharon Telfer


He keeps the blades sharp, the leather supple. Harder to keep his body in shape. The muscles in his legs are softening, that crouching balance tipping to one side.

The occupiers have forbidden skating. They seek to crack those they have conquered, shatter these people of the ice. He teaches other sports, gymnastics, football, wrestling: games of softness, the body’s rounded warmth. He trains his players to bend, to twist, to clutch. He yearns for the cold solidity of the ice.

Other men have gone into the mountains. They move on the enemy through the winter’s dark shrouded like ghosts bearing the white touch of death. Boys he was at school with, men he used to see in church. He has been sounded out, careful conversations started. He has pretended not to understand. Now people talk to him only of the weather.

He has a family to protect, he reasons, young children, his mother is frail. It is a shock to him, his fear. He has hurtled down the frozen river, the ice spitting in his face, the deadly water kept away by an inch of glass, his life balanced on a slither of silver speed. Now, overnight, terror has smothered him like a blizzard that leaves the morning world indistinct, uncertain, unfamiliar.

He takes down the skates down, runs his thumb across the edge. Whorls pattern his skin like lines traced in the ice. He wonders if this war will end in time.

Congratulations, Anne and Sharon! And thank you, everyone – there was some seriously special stuff sent in this week. It was beautiful.

Happy weekends! And we’ll see you again next week.

QuickFic 23/09/16


We’ve got a new kind of prompt for you today (another one! After all the playlist-inspired fun the other week!). This one has a background to it, so prepare yourself for a brief immersion in the mists of time.

A long time ago, when the Academy was just starting out and Ian and Nicci were also just beginning their Faber journey, they liked to get a bit competitive about writing. One day, Ian (then prone to wild flights of enthusiasm) decided to set a challenge. The challenge was this: the person who could write the best story using a random article from Wikipedia (with only three clicks of the ‘Random article’ button allowed) was officially the greatest and the smartest and the winner.

One of the stories was excellent, and one of them was… not written. On this basis (and probably others) Ian is the greatest and the smartest and the winner.

But the challenge was a good one, and so I’ve used it as inspiration for today’s QuickFic. I randomly generated three Wikipedia articles, and then I chose the best one as your prompt for today.

Here it is.


The rest of the rules are simple and the same as always. Read that article, have a think about how it might make a good story, and then write that story. It should be only 250 words or less, and when it’s done, you should send it, in the body of an email, to academy@faber.co.uk. Please include a title and a wordcount, and please make sure you send it by the deadline: 2:50pm.

Here’s what you might win:


Best get your skates on…

By entering our QuickFic writing competitions, you’re granting us non-exclusive worldwide permission to reprint your story on our website should you win. The winner will also get a chance to win a place on one of our Start to Write one day courses, because at the end of the year we’ll be choosing our favourite of all the winners – the champion of champions, basically.

For more creative writing exercises, click here.

QuickFic 16/09/16: The Winner


RUNNER-UP: Laura Riley


Do I have my keys?

Yes, of course I do. I already checked. Twice. OK, nothing wrong with a final check. Yep, there they are.

Oh no the coffee machine… The warmer is still on. It’s on a timer Sarah, it will turn itself off eventually. Don’t worry about it. Oh no, wait. Am I thinking about the old machine? Maybe I should check the manual. Do I have time? Yes, it’s only 3 o’clock. I don’t have to be there for two hours. Where did I put the manual. Here it is. OK, great, it will turn itself off after thirty minutes.

Wait, that can’t be right. I had coffee over an hour ago. Why is it still on? I should just turn it off. OK, it’s off. The pot’s dirty now. Should I clean up? No, it’ll still be here when I get back. It’ll be fine.

What if it goes really well and he wants to come back here though? What if he’s really into cleanliness? What an awful first impression to make. No, I should clean the whole kitchen. It should sparkle.

What time is it now? Twenty past four. I said I’d be there at five. I’m running out of time. I can’t be late. How would that look? He’d know then. He’d realise how messy my life is. How could we move on from there? No, I can’t go out today. There’s not enough time. I’ll just cancel. Maybe tomorrow.

I’ll be ready tomorrow.


WINNER: Nathalie Kernot

The Salmon Run

The window bites cold at her fingers as she holds them to it, a long, still wave. He has reached the crossing, penguin-huddled with men in jeans, dark coats, peeking scrubs of hair. The sky a burnt blue, the sun violent on parked cars and windows and the pale faces of strangers, the grimy pavement bleached brilliant white under their feat. Her breath mists the glass, changes the weather. When it fades, he is on the other side of the street.

She is taking less with her than she expected. Her clothes, her makeup, some photographs, a hollow nest of space at the top of the bag. The inside of it still warm, this morning, when she put her chilled hand in to check. Its leather fine and smooth, an old cheek under her palm.

The rest of the house is dark behind her, the soft cushion of their things. A rug she doesn’t like. The chair he favours in the evenings, shying from her hand as it reaches to touch his hair. His piano, untouched. It presses her close to the window, lets her turn to watch him nearing the corner. 

He will call her mother, first. He will be alright.

He is too far to see properly, now, a little minnow, a silver flash in the sun. Maybe looking back at the house, maybe watching for her with his marble eyes, unchanged since he was first in her arms, slick and hot and newly born.  


Congratulations, Laura – and an extra big congratulations to Nathalie, for being our winner two weeks in a row! Outstanding.

See you all next week, you wonderful bunch of fiction fiends. May your weekends be word-filled.

QuickFic 16/09/16

Hello there.

Shall we do some writing?

We’ve got a brand new prompt for you at the bottom of the post, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with.

As always, we’re after stories of 250 words or less, inspired by the image below. We’d like those stories in the body of an email, and we’d especially like it if you could include a title and your wordcount. That would be tiptop.

Send us your story, by 2:50pm, to academy@faber.co.uk.

Hey, look at these books you could win!


Right, let’s take a look at this week’s prompt:


Who’s out there? What’s she thinking? Tell us: 250 words or less.

By entering our QuickFic writing competitions, you’re granting us non-exclusive worldwide permission to reprint your story on our website should you win. The winner will also get a chance to win a place on one of our Start to Write one day courses, because at the end of the year we’ll be choosing our favourite of all the winners – the champion of champions, basically.

For more creative writing exercises, click here.

QuickFic 09/09/16: The Winner


RUNNER-UP: Jennifer Harvey


Tom dashes down the pier and I sprint after him.

‘Last one in’s a wimp!’ he cries.

I’m the faster runner, but he has a head start and I can only watch as he launches himself, arms akimbo, then hangs in the air like a bird, before hitting the water with a wild, triumphant whoop.

Earlier, we had watched the swans take off from the lake, the low thrum of their wings, strangely menacing, and at odds with the comical slap of their webbed feet as they gathered speed over the water.

Tom had stood so still as he watched them, awestruck. He’d never seen a swan take off before. Knew only their elegant, gliding forms. Those long necks.

But I know differently. I know that swans, for all their grace and beauty are not to be messed with. Neither am I.

So I do not jump. I dive into the water. Eyes open, arms straight, no splash as I enter. Just a slow, clean slide, deep into the green.

From below I look up and see Tom’s legs above me. I watch him hover and turn in circles. He is looking for me, wondering where I jumped. If I jumped.

And I rise, slowly. Creeping towards him, a pale arm reaching out to tug at his leg.

When I surface he is splashing. Frightened.

‘Damn it Addy!’

And I laugh and pull away.

‘Wimp!’ I cry.

And in the distance there’s a honk. The swans agreeing with me.


WINNER: Nathalie Kernot

The After Summer

He feels it at once, the thick muscled slap of the water, its pulsing tongue, its lips closing over his head. It’s dark and green and the cold a quick slice all along the edges of his skin. He kicks out unevenly, swimming as deep as he can until the swelling urgency is too much and he has to let go, whistles upright, breaks the surface. The seam of water at his chest is the coldest part, now, the breeze above it gentle and warm.

His cousin is closer to the dock, smaller than he is, paddling with little paw-hands, streams of her hair sectioning her face. It’s late, the sky melting yellow in the west, the green of the water reaching to meet it. The grown-ups stand like herons on the shore, fishing for lost shoes and bottles and sunglasses in the grass. He can see his father’s sister, her husband, his grandmother folded up small in her chair, maybe asleep, maybe watching him through the soft folds of skin around her eyes, the makeup that bleeds into her wrinkles. He waves, in case. 

The water around him is almost still, now, so that he can see the doubled sky, the wobbling edges of cloud. His family, smaller and smaller in the growing dark. His father is watching him, eyes in shadow, one hand clasped over the little egg-cup chair his mother always sat in.


Congratulations, Jennifer and Nathalie! And thanks to everyone.

See you next week!