Politics in Residence 2020

Politics in Residence at Gladstone’s Library recognises the best written expressions of political thought, particularly that which encourages political debate with a public audience. Developed from the Library’s successful Writer in Residence programme, Politics in Residence recognises some of the best non-fictional writing in English.

Politics in Residence provides space and resources for two writers whose work engages with liberal values. By liberal values, we do not mean views aligned with any one political ideology, but rather:

  • 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. 

The prize rewards thoughtful, well-researched considerations of contemporary political topics. We take ‘political’ to mean any cultural, spiritual, economic, political, social or ethical issue. The prize does not distinguish between political leanings or affiliations; all submissions, however, must be aimed firmly at engaging the general public. Creative non-fiction, journalism, lifewriting and biography are all eligible.

In keeping with the ethos of the prize, the winning writer will take up residency at Gladstone’s Library for two weeks. During the residency the writer must host a discussion event that includes a presentation of their work and a Q&A. The event must be designed to engage with an audience of the general public. Acknowledging the global significance of political topics, the winning writer will also submit two blogs about their work while in residence.

Founded by William Ewart Gladstone in 1894, Gladstone’s Library is committed to maintaining his legacy of engagement with social, moral, spiritual and ethical questions by helping people reflect more deeply on the questions that concern them. The Residency programme is designed to share the Library’s benefits with as many people as we can, broadening the Library’s audience and benefiting from their perspectives in turn. The Library welcomes all, regardless of gender, race, class, sexual orientation or religious affiliation. All Political Writers in Residence will be at ease with this inclusive ethos. 

Each residency includes:       

  • Accommodation in an ensuite room for a period of two consecutive weeks;
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and refreshments (telephone calls, alcoholic drinks, packaged snacks and formal Afternoon Tea are not included);
  • Travel expenses to and from the Library at the start and end of the residency (HMRC mileage allowance or standard bus/train fares within the UK);
  • An honorarium of £100.00 per week.

Each winning author must:

  • Attend the official London prizewinning ceremony;
  • Participate, where possible, in any other publicity events held before or after their residency;
  • Respond to media/press enquiries as appropriate and by prior agreement with the Library’s Warden, Peter Francis;
  • Submit two blog posts to the Gladstone’s Library website;
  • Give a talk or host a discussion event one evening;
  • Abide by the normal terms and conditions for guests staying at Gladstone’s Library.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Entrants must submit: 
    • a one-page CV/biography;
    • a copy of the book they would like the judges to consider;
    • a statement about their take on (re)defining ‘liberal values’ (250 words);
    • a statement on the work that they plan to do at the Library (250 words);
    • a proposal for an evening event and day masterclass (250 words each);
    • the length and suggested dates of their residency;
    • Please note that we can only accept manuscript submissions via email (see point 5). All other submissions must be submitted by post.
  2. Shared residency: The programme has permitted two writers to split a month’s residency. Shared residency submissions should be submitted by both writers.
  3. Submissions: Due to the nature of the residency programme activities, applicants should be able to communicate fluently in English.
  4. Eligible texts:  Creative non-fiction, journalism, life-writing and biography are all eligible for submission. Submitted texts must have been published in the last three years. The Residency programme will consider unpublished scripts if submitted with evidence of performance.
  5. Manuscript submissions: We accept manuscript submissions accompanied by evidence of a contract and publishing schedule. Preference will be given to books due to be published during the relevant year of residency.
  6. Non-eligible texts: Academic monographs are not eligible for Politics-in-Residence and should be submitted to the Library’s scholarship programme. Self-published authors are not eligible for Politics-in-Residence, but are supported through other Library programmes.
  7. Schedule: Judging takes place in August, and winners will be notified by the end of August. The official announcement is made at Gladfest on Friday, 6th September. All winners are invited to a launch event at the National Liberal Club in Westminster, London (likely Nov / Dec 2019).
  8. Entry regulations: Winners agree to take part in publicity activity and abide by Library rules during tenure. Entry is free and limited to one entry per author. You cannot enter under a pseudonym. Due to volume of entries, we will confirm your submission, but detailed correspondence or feedback cannot be offered.
  9. Postal address: Submissions should be sent to Politics in Residence, Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire CH5 3DF. Queries should be directed to louisa.yates@gladlib.org only. Emails to other addresses will not be redirected.

Submissions for Politics in Residence 2020 will be open Monday, 4th February – Friday, 5th April 2019.

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