Partners and Supporters 2023


CRIPtic Arts

CRIPtic Arts focuses on three areas of the arts:

● Creating opportunities for deaf and disabled people in the arts, through workshops, readings, and events

● Creating, developing, and producing work accessible to deaf and disabled audiences

● Supporting institutions to put access at the heart of their practice

They offer individual artists a wide range of events, workshops, and creative writing sessions alongside funding application support, 1:1 advice and a community drop-in for deaf and disabled artists. CRIPtic also works with companies and institutions to make creative work more accessible, and to offer speeches, training and institutional disablelism reviews. Their artistic programming is of ground-breaking creativity within disability arts, challenging audiences to consider new perspectives and limited priorities. They look to find, create, and champion work by all deaf and disabled people, with a particular focus on those whose access requirements are not met elsewhere.

As well as their artistic programming, CRIPtic Arts are currently working with Spread the Word on Access to Literature; carrying out Arts Council funded research into the experiences of disabled performers with significant physical access needs in London theatres; Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded research into whether inaccessible work should be boycotted, and developing an online tool for creating access riders.

Spread the Word

With over 150 poems being submitted to the Best Single Poem category, it has been a real privilege to read the work being created by deaf and disabled poets from across the UK. We are delighted to be able to celebrate and support the development of the winning, shortlisted and longlisted poets, helping them to build their careers and get their work out to readers and audiences.

Ruth Harrison, Director, Spread the Word

Spread the Word is London’s writer development agency, a charity and a National Portfolio client of Arts Council England. It is funded to help London’s writers make their mark on the page, the screen and in the world and build strategic partnerships to foster a literature ecology which reflects the cultural diversity of contemporary Britain.

Spread the Word has a national and international reputation for initiating change-making research and developing programmes for writers that have equity and social justice at their heart. In 2015 it launched, Writing the Future: Black and Asian Writers and Publishers in the UK Market Place. In 2020 it launched Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing by Dr Anamik Saha and Dr Sandra van Lente, Goldsmiths, University of London, in partnership with The Bookseller and Words of Colour.

Spread the Word’s programmes include: the Wellcome Collection x Spread the Word Writing Awards, the London Writers Awards, CRIPtic x Spread the Word Salon, City of Stories Home, the Deptford Literature Festival and Runaways.

Verve Poetry Press and Festival

It is a real pleasure and a privilege to be involved in supporting the inaugural Disabled Poets Prize, and to be publishing the winning pamphlet as part of VERVE Poetry Press’s autumn season. The quality of the entries has been wonderful to behold. This feels like such a vital and important prize, providing a platform to raise up disabled voices in poetry in a way that still isn’t happening in the wider book industry.

Stuart Bartholomew, Co-founder and Director of Verve Poetry Press and Festival

VERVE Poetry is a poetry press which focussed initially on meeting a need in Birmingham – a need for the vibrant poetry scene in Brum to find a way to present itself to the poetry world via publication. Co-founded by Stuart Bartholomew and Amerah Saleh, it is now publishing poets from all corners of the UK and beyond – poets that chime with the city’s varied and energetic qualities and add new voices to its poetic clamour and buzz. Like the festival, we will strive to think about poetry in inclusive ways and embrace the multiplicity of approaches towards this glorious art.


The Literary Consultancy

The Literary Consultancy (TLC) was set up in 1996 as the first editorial consultancy of its kind, offering professional feedback to writers at all levels through their core manuscript assessment service. Since then, they have sent detailed feedback reports to thousands of writers on a range of writing projects: across novels, memoir, poetry, short stories and scripts, from beginner writers to well-known names. Their expert team of readers is made up of world-class writers, tutors, and publishing professionals who, guided by TLC, write reports which help their clients better understand their work, how to improve it, and where it might sit in the changing landscape. Alongside their assessment service, they also offer a popular mentoring programme, Chapter and Verse, with both online and face-to-face options available, and a range of literary events, all carefully designed to offer additional support and inspiration to writers.

Arvon Foundation

For over fifty years Arvon has been the UK’s home of creative writing. They have three centres, in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire. Their residential courses and retreats, led by highly acclaimed writers, span poetry to playwriting, song to screenplay, fact to fiction, starting to finishing – and they offer grants to help with course fees for those who need it. Each year, over 40 of their courses are with vulnerable groups and schools. They offer a home for creative writing, where anyone, regardless of writing experience, can step away from their normal routine, immerse themselves in the creative process, be inspired by experienced writers and release their imaginative potential.

The Disabled Poets Prize 2023 was also supported by individual donations from Jamie Hale, Nathalie Teitler, and others.

The 2024 Disabled Poets Prize is supported by ALCS, and is actively seeking donations and conversations with people and organisations who are interested in supporting deaf and disabled poets and would like to contribute to the Prize’s growth.