Ripe Literary Development Programme – Postponed

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Our recent funding application was unsuccessful. This, we hope, is merely a temporary setback, rather than the end of the project.

However, as this prevents us from offering free places on the programme, we have taken the very difficult decision to postpone the writer development programme until we can source additional funds to cover the mentoring and professional development costs associated with the Ripe project. Because we wish to work with writers who may not have access to the usual channels of publication and professional development, we believe it is absolutely essential that places be offered on the programme free of charge. Otherwise we’d be no different to the elite courses that are only open to those who can afford them. If you know us, you’ll know that doesn’t sit well with our general publishing ethos or our individual beliefs.

As all publishing and editorial costs are being met by Dog Horn Publishing, this element of the programme remains unaffected. As such there is still the possibility of a future anthology of new and emerging writers. Thanks to a small grant from NAWE’s Young Writers’ Enabling Fund, we have already begun to support a handful of new writers in developing their work, have offered placements to young people, and have provided intensive editorial support to the writers of the first three full-length Fruit Bruise Press titles. The NAWE grant also allowed us to revamp our website in such a way that, when required, we are able to provided a dedicated webspace for Fruit Bruise Press authors and books. Developing an anthology of new writing by emerging and excluded writers was one of our initial aims for Fruit Bruise Press, and one we hope to fulfil regardless. New Fruit Bruise Press chapbooks are currently in the works and, in collaboration with writers’ collective Young Enigma, we will be producing an anthology of LGBT poetry, prose and plays by writers aged 18-30 in the North of England.

The next steps are underway. We are seeking alternative ways of delivering the programme (including seeking ways to tie our activities into what’s already going on at a local and national level) and other methods of funding, as well as reapplying to the same funding body with a revised bid. We may think more widely about what support-in-kind we can obtain, and may explore models such as crowdfunding and donations. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and we’re a determined bunch.

If you are still interested in the project, and would like to lend your support to future funding applications, please email Potential participants, collaborators and funders (as well as readers!) are welcome to get in touch with their ideas, letters of support or general queries.

More information on the project, as planned in our initial bid, follows.


Fruit Bruise Press is our imprint which is dedicated to championing the transgressive, the excluded and the emergent within literary fiction, non-fiction and poetry. “Ripe” is a writer development and literature promotion programme which will allow us to work with a rich pool of emerging UK writers who are not engaged with existing publishing routes and who would be brought to publishable standard with a programme of mentoring and ongoing support. We aim to form the basis of a new kind of literary excellence.


All too often literary writing is seen as elitist or inaccessible for readers and writers without academic backgrounds. We feel that new writers should be introduced to and get involved with the way in which literary works can explore characters, language and style in more experimental forms. We intend to bring the exciting nature of literary fiction to life by giving writers of all backgrounds the opportunity to be heard and crafted with a nationwide programme of writer development and editorial support, starting in four areas across the UK.


Our focus will be those writers who are currently not adequately supported by UK publishing houses and who might be brought into the UK literature scene through a focussed outreach scheme that uses local hubs of literature activity as a base and offers a respected route to publication. We will reach out to and connect with diverse writing groups across the country to recruit the next generation of cutting-edge literary writers, providing ten places in each area for the programme.

Fruit Bruise Press will strive to find the hidden voices, those willing to venture into unknown and less explored literary territory, and who are willing to challenge themselves and their readers with stories from the Other.


This project will focus on talent development and bringing challenging but important writing to publication. The participants will take part in two one-day workshops led by acclaimed writers Jonathan Taylor (Leicester), David Gaffney (Manchester), Katy Derby (London) and Tania Hershman (Brighton). Furthermore, along with inviting participants to contribute to the anthology, Fruit Bruise will also provide writers with ongoing online support through a peer-support workshop portal, editorial and career development, a writing retreat for the most promising writers, and the opportunity to perform within their home cities to launch the anthology. These final performances will serve both as the conclusion and a celebration of the project, and will widen distribution of the anthology.


Participants will be expected to attend all three sessions in their chosen region, as well as a final performance. The Arvon residential is optional and spaces will be limited.

The programme may run as follows:


Month 1

  • Introductory workshops


Month 2

  • Advanced workshops and masterclasses, with ongoing workshopping via virtual learning environment


Month 3

  • One-to-ones
  • Group salon sessions begin (once per month, optional)


Month 4

  • Writing retreat


Months 5-8

  • Editorial process for anthology.


Month 9-11

  • Design and production of anthology
  • Coaching for live literature tour/performances from anthology


Month 12

  • Culmination of anthology project: performances to city centre audiences / trade launch of anthology in print format.



This project is at the funding stage, but we are opening for applications now. If this funding application is successful, all places on the programme will be fully subsidised. Should our funding application be unsuccessful, we will offer the programme at a reduced cost to participants and will offer a number of full and part bursaries for those who require it.

If you are interested in being considered for this, please apply with the following to

1. Cover Letter – this should include a short biography and reasons for applying (including your chosen region)

2.Up to ten pages of work – this can be prose, poetry, or anything in between

3. Ripe Application Form – this is for monitoring purposes with Arts Council England and is available to download here: RipeApplicationForm

A downloadable version of this call for applications is available here: RipeOpenforApplications

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Filed in News, Writer Development on July 2, 2013