Hay Festival Writers at Work 2020 open for applications

Hay Festival is inviting new applications for Hay Festival Writers at Work 2020, its professional development opportunity for Welsh writers, in partnership with Literature Wales, funded by Arts Council of Wales.

Deadline for submissions is 5.00pm, Monday 6 April 2020. 

This opportunity for professional development for Welsh writers will take place during Hay Festival, which runs Thursday 21 May to Sunday 31 May 2020. The fully programmed week will allow selected writers to attend masterclasses, workshops, and to network with UK and international writers, publishers, press and agents.

The unique gathering of the publishing industry that takes place at Hay Festival will enable selected writers to create new work, increase confidence, skills, and to form peer group support. We also expect new networks to be created that can aid Welsh writers in navigating the changing ways the publishing industry works in a digital age.

Applications are now open for 13 new places (to join the existing 2019 cohort). There is no age restriction. 

Hay Festival invites applications from poets, fiction (all genres) and non-fiction writers in English and Welsh. Eligible applicants are Welsh writers (born, schooled, or currently living in Wales) who show a clear commitment to professional development via evidence of publication, no matter how small.

A Writers at Work Bursary will cover accommodation, travel from within Wales and subsistence on site. The Festival site is fully accessible for wheelchair users and performance venues are fitted with induction loops. Guide dogs are permitted. All accommodation will be booked by Hay Festival, but participants must make their own travel arrangements; costs for travel will be reimbursed.

How to Apply

Please include:

  • A writer’s biography - including professional experience, publication/s (no more than 200 words).
  • A statement outlining your commitment to professional development as a Welsh writer and how a place on the Writers at Work scheme will enhance this (no more than 200 words).
  • A short outline of your current project or work in progress (no more than 200 words).
  • An Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form (available here).

Your application should not exceed two double-spaced sides. Only electronic applications are accepted. Applications delivered by post and late applications will not be considered. Please send your completed application to haywritersatwork@literaturewales.org.


The aim of the week is to broaden creativity, output, peer group support and publishing contacts. As part of the bursary selected writers will therefore be resident close to Hay-on-Wye for the entire festival from Thursday 21 May to Sunday 31 May 2020. Most workshops begin at 10.00 am each day. There will be at least one further meeting during 2020 that participants must be able to attend. Each writer will be expected to complete a full and detailed evaluation of the week and to write for Hay Festival’s blog during the Festival week.

If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact: haywritersatwork@literaturewales.org.