New bursary for writers

<p>A new bursary for aspiring writers has been set up by the family of Luke Bitmead, who died in 2006. The bursary will include a cash award of &pound;2,500 for the winner and a publishing contract from Bitmead&#39;s publisher Legend Press.</p><p>Author of <em>White Summer</em> and <em>Heading South,</em> Bitmead died aged 34. His family set up the memorial fund in his name to encourage writers who may have personal or financial issues, which restrict them from pursuing a writing career.</p><p>Submissions must be from unpublished authors and have to include the first three to four chapters of their novel and a personal statement describing why they would benefit from the bursary.</p><p>Bitmead&#39;s mother and sister will be on the judging panel, along with Legend Press and novelists Zoe Jenny and Sam Mills.</p><p>Entries must be received between 1st January and 1st March, and the winner will be announced in May. Further details are available at <a href="http://www.lukebitmead.com" target="_blank" title="www.lukebitmead.com">www.lukebitmead.com</a>.</p><p>Bitmead&#39;s mother Elaine Hanson said: &quot;The life of a writer can be both lonely and a financial struggle. This bursary honours Luke&#39;s idea to assist fledgling writers through what can be a bleak time before a novel is flying off the shelves and generating sufficient royalties to provide a proper income. Legend Press has been a huge support since Luke&#39;s death and it is fantastic that the winner will not only get a lump sum of &pound;2,500 but also the &#39;Holy Grail&#39; of a publishing deal.&quot;</p><p>Legend m.d. Tom Chalmers added: &quot;We are delighted to be working with the greatly-missed Luke Bitmead&#39;s family to ensure that Luke&#39;s name and memory lives on-not only through his work, but through this wonderful Memorial Bursary too.&quot;<br /></p>