TLC Free Reads scheme


The TLC Free Reads Scheme offers low-income writers the opportunity to get free professional feedback on their writing via The Literary Consultancy, the UK's leading editorial consultancy. TLC has helped hundreds of writers on to publication, but its main aim is to support writers developing their work and honing their writing craft through structured constructive feedback. Since 2001, TLC has been in receipt of funding from Arts Council England to extend its offer to those unable to pay the fees for its commercial services. The Free Reads Scheme is open to all writers resident in England through a range of partners. You can find a map of the partners operating in each region, as well as more fulsome information about the scheme, here.

The Free Read scheme particularly welcomes applications from writers belonging to groups currently under-represented in publishing including women writers, disabled writers, BAME writers, and members of the LGBQT community. 

Who is TLC?
Established in 1996 as the first service of its kind, The Literary Consultancy (TLC) offers a range of services for writers including 
manuscript assessment, mentoring, and events at its base the Free Word Centre in London. TLC services are available to all writers, at all stages of development, writing in English. 

What is a Free Read?
TLC processes novels, short stories, non-fiction, poetry, scripts and screenplays, offering professional critical feedback. This service is open to all on a commercial basis, but Free Reads are on submission to TLC's regional partners, and subject to eligibility criteria. Your work will be hand-matched to one of TLC's 90+ professional readers, and writers can expect to receive feedback in the form of a written critique, sent within 4-6 weeks of the application being processed. The notes you receive are intended to help you develop your writing further. To read more about whether a manuscript assessment would be helpful, click here: 


'The scheme allows hard-working but isolated writers access to truthful and expert assessments of their work, and guidance about where to take it next. It does what friends, other writing group members, your partner or the dog can't do. What no one else can, in practice, do for most of us. It's irreplaceable and invaluable.'


'I'm grateful for the opportunity and the feedback and encouragement I received is priceless. I have gained so much confidence because of my feedback and I was taught so many valuable things which I will continue to apply in the future. To also be given this opportunity given my current financial situation is just an amazing. Thank you.' 

How to Apply:

We invite any low-income writers who are either attendees of our online or face-to-face courses, entrants to our Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction and National Creative Writing Industry Day attendees to get in touch to apply for the scheme, please email with the short story you would like assessed (including word count) to

Before contacting us, please check you are eligible for an assessment as part of the scheme, and find out more HERE.