Writers-in-Residence Scheme 2014
Now in its third year, the Writers-in-Residence scheme at Gladstone’s Library is going from strength to strength. Following the tremendous success of the last two years, the Library is looking for four writers to take up residence in 2014, following in the footsteps of the 2013 winners: Sarah Perry, Richard Beard, Peter Jukes, Vanessa Gebbie, Katrina Naomi and Angela Topping.
Built in 1902 to house the library of pioneering politician and celebrated Prime Minister William E. Gladstone, the Library has twenty-six boutique-style rooms and is the UK’s only residential library. “We are committed to maintaining Gladstone's legacy of engagement with social, moral and spiritual questions by helping people reflect more deeply on the questions that concern them,” says Peter Francis, Warden of the Library. “This scheme is an extension of that mission.”
Reflecting the heritage of the Library, these writers will be writing in the liberal (with a small ‘L’) tradition. Our working definition of 'liberal values' is intentionally broad - as broad as Gladstone’s interests: “ By liberal values, we mean a commitment to freedom and social justice, tolerance and respect of difference, open-mindedness coupled with intellectual curiosity, generosity of spirit and a willingness to learn from others. These values are not aligned with any particular political party.”
This year we're doing something unique. Ever-expanding, the Gladstone's Library Writer's-in-Residence Scheme 2014 is bringing nine writers to work with the Library throughout next year. Four of these writers will be with us for one month, and five shall be with us for two weeks. We've listed information on each below. To visit the website of any of our Writers-in-Residence just click on their name.
Says Stella Duffy: “The gift of a month at Gladstone’s Library was a joy for me, both in allowing me eighteen-hour days of virtually uninterrupted work, and in giving me somewhere welcoming to do that work."
"The other, unexpected, gifts were the conversations and the friendships created in that month. I look forward to making these gifts possible for other writers.”
Says Jessica Fellowes: “Since I was a little girl, libraries have always filled me with excitement and wonder. What could be more extraordinary than a room full of stories, people and imaginations gone wild?"
"Thank goodness for the hard work and innovations of Gladstone’s Library which allow us to continue to enjoy books. I'm very happy to be a part of it this year."
For one months' residency:
Judy Brown, winner of the Manchester Poetry Prize (2010), the Poetry London Competition (2009) and the Hamish Canham Poetry Prize (2005) and current Poet-in-Residence at the Wordsworth Trust. Her first collection of poetry, Loudness (Seren, 2011) was shortlisted for the 2011 Forward/Felix Dennis award and the following year for the Fenton Aldeburgh prizes for best first collection. Her pamphlet, Pillars of Salt (Templar, 2006), won Templar Poetry’s pamphlet competition.
Lesley McDowell is an author and critic living in Scotland. She earned a PhD for work on James Joyce and feminist theory before turning to literary journalism.
She has written fiction, The Picnic (Black and White, 2007) and her second book, Between the Sheets (Overlook Press, 2010) was shortlisted for the Scottish Book Awards 2011 (non-fiction). Her third book and second novel, Unfashioned Creatures, will be published in November 2013 by Saraband.
Rebecca Abrams, columnist and author of Touching Distance (for which she was shortlisted for the 2009 McKitterick Prize and won the 2009 Medical Journalists’ Association Award for Fiction) and several successful non-fiction titles including: Three Shoes, One Sock & No Hairbrush, a guide for second-time parents; The Playful Self: Why Women Need Play in their Lives, Woman In A Man’s World and the critically acclaimed When Parents Die (shortlisted for the MIND award).
Peter Moore, a visiting lecturer at City University and writer of historical fiction. His debut novel, Damn His Blood (Chatto & Windus, 2012) which explores the dark murder of a Reverend in the early nineteenth century, has been described as channelling Hardy in its cast of characters and expertly weaves the truth of the past into a gleefully twisted, bloody and thrilling fiction.
For two weeks’ residency:
Adnan Mahmutović, formerly a Bosnian war refugee, now a lecturer and Writer in Residence at the Department of English, Stockholm University. His fiction explores contemporary European history and the issues of identity and home for Bosnian refugees. His work includes: short fiction, How to Fare Well and Stay Fair (Salt, 2012); novel length fiction, Thinner than a Hair (Cinnamon Press, 2010); academic writing, Ways of Being Free (Rodopi, 2012) and film, Guzul.
Melissa Harrison, a writer, photographer and winner of the 2010 John Muir Trust’s ‘Wild Writing’ Award. Her debut novel, Clay (Bloomsbury, 2013), has been chosen for Amazon’s ‘Rising Stars’ programme and is shortlisted for the Portsmouth First Fiction award.
The novel explores the balance of life within a city and deconstructs binary opposites such as young and old, nature and development and recklessness and caution.
Neil Griffiths is the author of two novels. His debut novel, Betrayal in Naples (Penguin), explores the consequential nature of life and was the winner of the Authors' Club Best First Novel, and his second, Saving Caravaggio (Penguin), was shortlisted for the Costa Novel of the Year.
Patricia Bracewell is a Californian born author and the author of historical fiction debut Shadow on the Crown (Viking Adult, 2013). Based on real events and imagined as the first instalment of a trilogy, Shadow on the Crown delves into the lives of Emma of Normandy and King Æthelred the Unready and introduces readers to a previously unexplored chapter of English history.
Tania Hershman is the author of two short story collections. Her first, The White Road and Other Stories (Salt 2008), was commended by judges of the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers. Tania’s second collection, My Mother was an Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012). She is often broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4, and her work is commonly inspired by science. Tania was recently Writer in Residence at the Science Faculty of Bristol University from 2009-2012.