Get involved

Wellcome Collection x Spread the Word writing awards

Photograph of the audience in the Henry Wellcome Auditorium, showing a young woman speaking into a microphone.
Sixth form symposium, Camilla Greenwell. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Do you have a big idea or a burning story to tell that touches on being human? Our partnership with Spread the Word aims to find and support writers from underrepresented groups, who have a big idea for a non-fiction book for general readers, that engages with health and being human.

Our programme and publications explore health and human experiences, from climate change to mental health, identity, wellbeing and infectious diseases, making connections across science, medicine, life and art. But all too often the stories we have told and the narratives in our museum are from a white, Western, ableist perspective. We urgently need new points of view, and new voices. 

We are looking for applications from writers who have considered writing non-fiction for a general audience but have not had the guidance and support to develop their ideas. We will be offering up to 6 places on a five-month development programme that will run from February to June 2022.

Our programme will offer selected writers:

  • A £2,000 bursary
  • Insight and Industry days
  • Mentoring by a published author
  • Mentoring by a non-fiction editor
  • An induction to Wellcome Collection, its library and resources
  • 1:1 sessions with Wellcome Collection’s team, including the publishing team, library research specialists and Stories editorial team
  • The chance to be published by Wellcome Collection
  • Four workshops on writing non-fiction
  • Meeting with an agent
  • Travel and Access fund as required

We will select up to 6 writers to take part in the programme. By the end of the five-month programme, writers will have honed their book idea into a proposal and sample extract.

Find out more about the awards and apply at Spread the Word.

There will be a free online seminar for interested applicants on Wednesday 27 October at 7pm.