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The CHEERIO Scholarship for Writers with Low Income

This scholarship will award one talented writer of limited financial means a fully paid place on our six-month online Writing Your Novel course.

The CHEERIO Scholarship for Writers with Low Income will award one talented writer of limited financial means a fully paid place on our six-month online Writing Your Novel course. This hugely popular course features direct input from our literary agent team and top publishers. The course will run from 15 February to 26 July 2021, and is designed to enable people to take part from anywhere in the world – in any time zone, and at hours of the day or night that work best for the individual participant. The scholarship is part of The Breakthrough Writers’ Programme, a major new outreach initiative offering opportunities to under-represented writers.

This scholarship is fully funded by CHEERIO – a new, independent publishing and film production company. The company is the brainchild of leading literary agent Clare Conville and celebrated author and curator Harriet Vyner. Partnered by The Estate of Francis Bacon, CHEERIO will commission unexpected and provocative essay collections, books and film from contributors across a broad range of artistic disciplines. Much of its content is inspired by or linked to Francis Bacon’s life and work, although that is not a prerequisite. Its eclectic mix of fiction and non-fiction, drama and factual, will appeal to enquiring minds with an artistic bent.

If you have the desire to write, a great idea and a compelling voice, and if you’re without the financial means to attend a Curtis Brown Creative course, this opportunity is for you. We are grateful to CHEERIO for funding this scholarship and are excited at the prospect of supporting the writing process of a talented new student.

Course details


The scholarship is open to people over the age of 18, either:

  • unmarried and not co-habiting with a partner, with an annual (gross, pre-tax) income of less than £25,000 and personal savings of less than £5,000.
  • married or co-habiting with a partner, with a total annual (gross pre-tax) household income of less than £35,000 and personal savings (jointly or individually) of less than £5,000.

If you don’t quite fit our financial criteria but are nonetheless very financially challenged, then do apply, explaining your circumstances in the form.


Curtis Brown Creative offers places on our courses on the basis of proven writing ability. We ask applicants to send us the first 3,000 words of a novel in progress, with a one page synopsis, and to fill out our application form.  Please note that those with the financial means to attend our courses should not apply to this scholarship. 

The CHEERIO Scholarship for Writers with Low Income will be awarded to the applicant whose submission material shows the greatest potential and promise in our view. The decision will be made by the Curtis Brown Creative team.

Head to the blog for tips and advice on preparing your application material. 


  • Applicants to The CHEERIO Scholarship for Writers with Low Income must fulfil our eligibility criteria. Our form asks you to make a statement about your financial circumstances and the reason you deserve the scholarship.
  • With respect to the earnings thresholds set out in our eligibility section: for salaried applicants, your current salary at date of application must be under the threshold. For self-employed applicants, your gross pre-tax profits (average figure for the last two financial years) must be under the threshold. State benefits such as jobseeker’s allowance should be counted as income.
  • Applicants may be asked to provide proof of their financial circumstances in support of their scholarship applications.
  • Because the scholarship is open only to those who do not have the means to attend the applicable course without financial assistance, applicants should bear in mind that their application will be considered only for the scholarship place on the relevant course and not for other fee-paying places on the course.

Applications now closed

Our application process is simple, and we encourage all writers meeting the eligibility criteria to apply.

Don’t worry if you have little or nothing to say in response to questions about e.g. writing experience or employment. Just fill out the form, upload your work and we’ll be in touch soon.

Please apply with the first 3,000 words of the novel you’d like to work on during the course, and a synopsis of no more than a page (both need to be in the same document, as you can only upload ONE file in the application below).

The deadline for applications is midnight, end of day Sunday 24 January, and we will respond to applicants by Thursday 28 January.  If you encounter any problems during the application process or have any more questions about the course, please email for assistance.