London Library takes on 38 authors for Emerging Writers Programme

London Library takes on 38 authors for Emerging Writers Programme

The London Library has welcomed 38 authors onto its inaugural Emerging Writers Programme.

The recipients were selected from more than 600 applications and announced at a reception on Thursday (2nd May) at the Library’s historic reading room, in central London. They will receive one year's free membership (which normally costs £510) plus a programme of networking and developmental support.

Of the 38 writers selected, six are poets, five write for screen or stage, five are planning non-fiction books and the rest are planning to write fiction. Almost a third of them are under 28.

The intake includes 2018 Bath Novel Award-winner Abi Darè who has, since applying for the scheme, secured a book deal with Sceptre, performance poet Anna Kahn, Mónica Parle former executive director of First Story charity, along with Swithun Cooper who works in the British Council’s Literature Library.

Goodwin, who chaired the judging panel, said: “I’m delighted to have been a judge for this scheme - the number of entries and the quality of work show there is a real need for a place where emerging talents can find the space to produce their best work surrounded by like minded souls.”

©Philip Vile

Library director Philip Marshall said: “We are thrilled to have had such an enthusiastic response to our inaugural Emerging Writers Programme and to be able to engage with such a talented and diverse group of participants in the early part of their writing careers. For nearly 180 years, the Library’s has been a great source of inspiration and support to writers of all different kinds and we look forward to seeing how this wonderful group of new writers will use the Programme to develop their respective projects.”

Projects underway already feature present day Siberia, wartime Ukraine to colonial India, Antarctic exploration to Mayan folklore, activism, taxidermy, the joys of clubbing, the care system as well as an imaginary rodent underworld.

The candidates were chosen from a field of over 600 applicants by a panel of judges chaired by screenwriter Daisy Goodwin, novelist Nikita Lalwani, poet Raymond Antrobus, director of AM Heath Bill Hamilton along with Paula Johnson, head of prizes and Awards at the Society of Authors.

The programme is geared towards supporting writers at the start of their careers and helping develop their work. As well as membership of the Library, participants are given a programme of writing development and networking opportunities, peer support and guidance in use of the its resources. During the year they have access to its collection of around one million books and more than 2,500 periodicals titles as well as extensive online resources and dedicated writing and research spaces in the library. 

The scheme was established with the help of the Library supporters including AM Heath, The Garrick Charitable Trust and the Julio Nunez Memorial Trust.