Ten emerging writers have been selected as the first cohort on the Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers Programme.
Jewish Book Week (JBW), an international literary festival, held in London annually since 1952, is organised by the Jewish Book Council, a registered UK charity. Its inaugural writers will receive mentoring, peer support sessions and bursaries as part of the programme, which will culminate with an event celebrating the festival's 70th anniversary in March 2022.
The 10 emerging writers are Sara Doctors, Sophie Dumont, Madeleine Dunnigan, Linda Ford, Philip Glassborow, Fiona Monahan, Eleanor Myerson, Julie Noble, Karen Skinazi and Guy Stagg. In addition to bursaries and mentoring, the group will receive support sessions and guest seminars from Elif Shafak (pictured), Pushkin Press publisher Adam Freudenheim and agents from the Blair Partnership.
The programme was open to anyone writing fiction, journalism, non-fiction and poetry aged over 18 living in the UK with no more than three years’ experience of being published. Every submission was anonymised and read by an independent reader before successful applicants were chosen from shortlists by each mentor. The projects cover subjects including child development, foraging, mental health, refugees, Syriana and Wittgenstein, all linked to the designated theme of "beginnings".
Booker-nominated novelist A D Miller, one of the fiction mentors for this year’s programme, said: “To judge by the verve and variety of their submissions, these emerging writers have already emerged.”
Author and non-fiction mentor Cathy Rentzenbrink added: “Mentoring is such an enriching pleasure for me and the standard of applications I saw were so high that I would happily have worked with all the writers. I am excited to see how the programme will develop and looking forward to doing the work.”
Other mentors for this year are Tracy Chevalier, Sophie Herxheimer, Benjamin Markovits, Caroline Moorehead, George Prochnik and Kavita Puri.
John Studzinski, founder and chairman of the Genesis Foundation, which funds JBW, said: “Congratulations to our 10 emerging writers. We are looking forward to creative sparks flying, as they team up with their mentors. We are delighted to be working with Jewish Book Week and in our 20th year, continuing to fulfil our core mission: to support and nurture creative and emerging talent.”
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