Thank you for your interest in Time to Write. Please note that the application process is now closed. For more information, please refer to the page below.


Time to Write is a group of commissions that aim to help writers struggling to develop their writing or have their voices heard.

Writers can face many obstacles such as finding time and space to write, accessing writing mentors, receiving advice from professionals in the writing industry or accessing events and workshops that help develop writers’ voices.

Time to Write will support 5-10 writers living in Somerset, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire or Wiltshire from February to September 2020. Time to Write will provide small commissions (up to £1,000 each) for writers who struggle to find time to work on a piece of writing, who need help developing their writing craft, or who want support to access opportunities within the writing and publishing community.

woman with short hair at a laptop, taking notes
Notebook with balled up paper and a pencil on top.
Hand writing in a notebook.


Writers know how rewarding writing can be and how important it is to their well-being. But developing the craft and creating good work takes time, training, and space, away from the pressures and distractions of daily life.

Many writers struggle to find this space because they face barriers to accessing time, money, or opportunities.

Providing opportunities

Paper Nations believes that everyone, no matter their background or experience, deserves the opportunity to write. This commission will help writers to find the time, space, and money they need.

We are particularly looking for writers from groups or backgrounds that are underrepresented in writing and publishing, such as writers of colour, working class writers, writers from areas of rural or coastal deprivation, writers who have experienced homelessness, refugee writers, writers in the LGBTQ+ communities, writers who have survived abuse, disabled writers, and writers with chronic health conditions.

Writers don’t have to be published or experienced – they just have to be serious in their commitment to writing, be able to share a sample of it with Paper Nations, and be able to demonstrate that the commission will help them do things they might otherwise struggle to achieve or complete.

two men working in a coffee shop, chatting
woman with notebook and pencil, thinking wryly
writing for all launch event - whole room shot

The Commissions

Paper Nations is offering four types of commissions. Writers can apply for one type of support or a combination.

Time to Write Scholarship: Writers can apply for a small monetary commission that will remove the barriers to writing by – for example – paying for time off work to write, paying for transport to attend a writers’ group, or by supporting the costs of childcare so that a writer has time and space to work. Writers can apply for up to £1,000 each in seed funding. There is no lower limit and we encourage writers to apply for funds to cover anything that will remove a barrier.

Craft Support: Writers can apply to receive mentoring and a sponsored place on a 2020 Dare to Write? Academy programme with a published writer. This commission is a valuable opportunity to get one-on-one help with one’s writing from an expert, as well as an insider understanding of the writing industry.

Career Support: Writers can apply to receive mentoring and a sponsored place on a 2020 Dare to Write? Academy Habit Camp. This commission will help the applicant plan a creative project for the coming year and/or develop a proposal for funding.

Network Commission: Writers can apply for an events pass, gaining free access to a range of networking and speaker events provided in collaboration with the Dare to Write? Academy. This commission will help the applicant develop their professional writing and creative networks.

Please note: Writers are not guaranteed to receive the full amount for which they apply.

Who can apply?

Applicants need to live in upper South-West England (Somerset, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire). We are particularly keen to hear from writers in and around Weston-super-Mare. We also welcome applications from other parts of our region that experience socio-economic disadvantage, such as Twerton or Whiteway in Bath, and Midsomer Norton or Trowbridge in Wiltshire.

Applicants must be aged 16 or over.

What do we expect from successful applicants?

Writers receiving a commission will need to keep journals of their progress and document their experience through any of the following (depending on the type of commission awarded): reports, blogs for the Paper Nations website, and quotes to be used online and in print.

Completed work will be showcased as part of our Writing for All events planned for 2020-2021. Writers will be asked to demonstrate the impact of the commission on their creative practice. Paper Nations will assist with this.


Applications closed on the 5th of January 2020 at midnight.

Successful applicants will be announced in January 2020. Writing projects and other activities funded through the commissions need to be completed by the end of September 2020.

Need more information?

Access requirements: If writers need access to support to complete the application form or have further questions, they can email .

Exceptions: The commission will not be open to staff of Bath Spa University, including casual staff and staff that have left employment in the last three years. Former undergraduate and postgraduate students may apply. Please note that preference will be given to those who have fewer resources available to them.

The Selection Panel

Kit De Waal
Kit was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother and Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, for Social Services and the Crown Prosecution Service. She is a founding member of Leather Lane Writers and Oxford Narrative Group and has won numerous awards for her short stories and flash fiction. MY NAME IS LEON, her debut novel won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2017 and was shortlisted for numerous other awards including the Costa First Book Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize. THE TRICK TO TIME, her second novel, was published in 2018 and longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. BECOMING DINAH, her first YA novel, was published in 2019.

Photo Credit: Justin David

Sophie Lambert
Sophie started her career in publishing as a bookseller and a buyer for Blackwell and for Foyles. After working at Janklow & Nesbit in New York for three years, Sophie returned to London and worked at Tibor Jones & Associates before joining C&W (part of Curtis Brown) in 2013, where she is now a director. Her authors include Sunday Times bestsellers Christie Watson, Nathan Filer, Rhik Samadder and Karen Hamilton, as well the current Dylan Thomas prize winner, Guy Gunaratne and Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, Adam Weymouth.

Lucy Sweetman
Creative Producer, Lucy, spent more than twenty years working with disadvantaged young people in the UK, Europe, and Australia. Her most recent work has focused on children in care and care leavers. Her ethnographic research into the lives of writers has directly informed the themes and approaches explored in academy workshops and events. Lucy heads up the Discovery and Artistry strands of Paper Nations, and leads on the Time to Write project.

Author: Bilden Tags: