The Complete Works III

***The Complete Works website has been hacked. To avoid delay with getting the information about the programme out the callout has been placed on this temporary platform. A new website will soon be up. Apologies for any inconvenience. Please contact the Director, Dr Nathalie Teitler on natteitler at gmail dot com if you have any questions.***

TCW 2 for temporary page

The Complete Works Poetry III (TCW 3)
Deadline: February 14th, 2016

Are you a Black or Asian poet at the stage where you are committed to producing a full-length collection? Would you benefit from a tailored programme of support and career development? 

If you think you fit this description, then the Complete Works could be what you need to take your poetry to the next level. 

For one year you will have an individually assigned poet-mentor offering you intensive critical feedback on your writing. You will also have access to a professional development programme including seven full days of seminars, critical reading sessions and a week-long residential course, as well as career support and advice. You will take part in an international academic conference on diversity in poetry, as well as having the opportunity to take part in festival readings, events and a possible tour with TCW fellows. The Complete Works III will culminate in a final anthology to be published by Bloodaxe, and two showcase events.

 The Complete Works Poetry welcomes applications from poets of all ages with a lower limit of 18. We are particularly keen to have a varied age group. There are ten places on the scheme. Please note this is a national scheme and at least 6 of the 10 poets selected will be based OUTSIDE London (all of the 33 boroughs and the City).

Special one-to-one surgeries with poet and editor Karen McCarthy Woolf will be available online from January. She will help with editing and choice of poems for your application. Please contact Nathalie Teitler, the Director, see details below, to receive full details. There are limited places available so please register your interest as soon as you can. 
Interviews will be held in April 2016 and you will need to be available from May 2016 to November 2017, as well as taking part in showcases in November 2017. The Complete Works is highly subsidised, but there is a fee of £500.00 which is payable over 18 months of the programme.

How To Apply

To apply, send 5 copies of fifteen poems along with a covering letter outlining why you would like to join the programme. Your letter should state how you might benefit from it at this particular stage in your writing career and the contribution you can make. Your poems should be typed in 12 point Times New Roman and single-spaced.

Please DO NOT write your name on your sheets of poetry.

Please mark your envelope ‘The Complete Works Poetry’ and send it to:

Nathalie Teitler
Director, The Complete Works Poetry
Office 330
405 Kings Road, Chelsea
London SW10 0BB

About The Complete Works

The Complete Works is a national development programme for advanced Black and Asian poets funded by Arts Council England. Funded by Arts Council England 
Patron: Carol Ann Duffy

In 2007 the Arts Council England, Scottish Arts Council and Arts Council of Wales commissioned Free Verse, a report into diversity in poetry publishing. It revealed that less than 1% of poetry published by major presses in the UK is by Black and Asian poets. 

As a result Spread the Word literature organisation initiated a two year development project called The Complete Works. The project culminated in the anthology TEN, described by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy as “a joyful and important moment in publishing.” Dr Nathalie Teitler took the second round forward with ten new poets supported and at the end of this the level of black and Asian poets published by major presses had risen to 8%. The Complete Works III, again led by Director Nathalie Teitler, will develop 10 more advanced Black and Asian poets allowing them to take their poetry to the next level.


(1) Can poets from outside the UK apply?

Unfortunately, for this programme poets must be resident in the UK.

(2) What are the fees for the programme? 

The fee is £500.00 but payment plans can be worked out and spread out over the duration of the entire programme.

(3) Is the programme for poets who have not been previously published?

The programme is for advanced poets who are ready to publish a full collection. This could be a first collection, in which case it is likely they will have published in magazines/journals, or a second collection.

(4) Is the programme only for young poets? 

No. We are very keen to encourage inter-generational dialogue.

5) What is the time commitment necessary for the programme? 

The programme will involve at least 3 meetings in the year with your mentor. These will be of about half a day. In between these meetings there will be communication via e-mail and phone and an agreed amount of writing will be produced by the mentee. However, this agreed amount must be at least 3 poems a month, with one poem at a standard to be submitted for a monthly online showcase, or online work-shopping. 

You will be expected to comment on the work of other poets on the online workshop once a month. To gain as much as possible from the programme, you will need to be able to put in a significant amount of writing time on your own.

However, both the scheduling of the meetings and the timeframe of writing are extremely flexible, and as far as possible, every effort will be made to meet your needs and your individual circumstances. 

There will also be a residential course and seven seminar days, which will be divided between London and Manchester.

(6) What are we looking for from an application?

We expect you to show evidence of a good level of technical ability on the page but evidence of an ability to experiment and take risks and the potential to bring something new to contemporary British poetry will be the deciding factors. We are looking for poets who want to explore their own work and working practice, to go to the next level of their career and build the foundations for a lifetime of development. We are also looking for poets who are generous with their fellows and will build a community of diverse poets in future years.

(7) Is there any support available for poets who are not selected?

Yes, we are keen to build as large a community as possible. If you apply but are not selected you will have access to a large, online range of resources and learning tools from The Complete Works II and III.

The Complete Works
Promoting quality and diversity in British Poetry
Funded by Arts Council England | Patron Carol Ann Duffy