Writers in Residence 2018

SUBMISSION OPENS: MONDAY, 2ND JANUARY 2017

POSTMARK DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, 31ST MAY 2017 

Now seeking applicants for its seventh year, Gladstone’s Library’s competitive Writer in Residence programme provides space and resources for four 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.

Founded by William Ewart Gladstone in 1894, the Library is committed to maintaining his legacy of engagement with social, moral and ethical questions. It does not claim to provide any of the answers but it does offer a comfortable, sociable and stimulating environment so that answers may be found. unparalleled resources for creative study including renowned collections of historical, cultural, theological and political materials: 33,000 books came from Gladstone’s own library, many containing annotations made by Gladstone himself. We know from his diaries that Gladstone read on average five books a week – any applicants can be sure that the Library has something to offer them. The connections Gladstone made between the various disciplines he collected helped shape his form of liberalism.

Through reflection and writing during their stay, Writers in Residence help us redefine liberal values for the 21st Century. Their engagement might be critical, supportive or merely observant. Gladstone was a polymath with interests ranging widely across religion, history, social justice and politics from Classical times to what was, for him, contemporary culture. The scope of these four residencies is equally wide and we welcome fiction and non-fiction writers.

Gladstone's Library is unique. It is the only residential library in the United Kingdom. It provides a meeting place dedicated to dialogue, debate and learning for open-minded individuals. 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 Writers in Residence will be at ease with this inclusive ethos.

Four places will be awarded to writers working in the English language. The proposed dates of the tenures are February, May, September and November 2018. We like to support writers as best we can and we know that many cannot simply abscond from regular life for a month. Residencies can therefore be taken in two two-week blocks, and residencies of a single fortnight will also be considered. We are also flexible with dates. Please indicate the length and suggested date of Residency on your application.

Writers at all stages of their career should feel able to apply for Residency. We are proud to say that Residencies have supported some of the finest writers in the English language, whether they won for their seventeenth book or their first.

Each residency includes:

  • Accommodation in an ensuite room for a period of four 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 on Monday, 2nd October 2017;
  • 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;
  • Lead a creative writing workshop to not more than twenty participants;
  • Give an evening talk about any aspect of their writing and/or creative life;
  • 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 250-word statement about their take on (re)defining ‘liberal values’ and 250-words on the work that they plan to do at the Library as well as their proposal for an evening event and day masterclass.  Submissions should be sent to Louisa Yates, Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire CH5 3DF.
  2. Submissions must be written in English, and applicants should be able to communicate fluently in English. Prose fiction and non-fiction, poetry, screenplays and drama are all eligible for submission. Submitted texts must have been published in the last three years. We accept manuscript submissions accompanied by evidence of a contract and publishing schedule. Academic monographs are not eligible for Writer-in-Residence and should be submitted to the Library’s scholarship programme. As well as standard publication routes, we accept e-published texts. We do not accept self-published authors of any kind. No correspondence can be entered into.  Entry is free and limited to one entry per author. You cannot enter under a pseudonym. Winners will be notified by the end of September and invited to a launch event at the National Liberal Club on Monday, 2nd October 2017. Winners agree to take part in publicity activity and abide by Library rules during tenure.
  3. Situated just six miles from Chester, Gladstone’s Library is Britain’s only Prime Ministerial library and the national memorial to William Ewart Gladstone. It is home to a unique collection of more than 250,000 printed items and offers a comfortable, sociable and stimulating environment together with resources for creative study including renowned collections of theological, historical, cultural and political materials. For more information about the Library, please visit the Library’s website: www.gladstoneslibrary.org

'You are looked after well - the food is delicious, the accommodation, with writing desk, is comfortable, quiet and spotless. But it is the library that drew me, [...] I wrote so much, and am sure the magic will work again' (Vanessa Gebbie, 2013)