The London Library has announced the names of the second group of writers who will benefit from its Emerging Writers Programme. Of the 40 writers selected for the Emerging Writers Programme: 4 are poets; 6 are playwrights; 6 are screenwriters; 6 are planning non-fiction books and 18 are planning to write fiction. 12 of the writers are under 28. See the whole cohort here.

Isabelle Dupuy, Chair of the judging panel, author and trustee of The London Library comments;

'It's been a great honour to chair our Emerging Writers Programme this year. We had just reached the deadline for submissions when our lockdown began. Reading through over eight hundred writing samples ranging from non-fiction to poetry to screenplays with topics going from president Truman being told about the nuclear bomb to the impressions of a newly arrived Jamaican boy at a London comprehensive gave us all a deep appreciation of the talent, energy and range of voices striving to emerge in London and beyond. This is a historical year. Never before in my lifetime have I seen such an interest in changing the nature of the narrative in our country. We are convinced the cohort of 2020 will play an important role in shaping this new narrative. On behalf of The London Library, thank you.'

The Library’s Emerging Writers Programme is geared towards supporting writers at the start of their careers and helping develop their work. Participants benefit from one year’s free membership of The London Library (which normally costs £540 per annum) alongside a programme of writing development and networking opportunities, peer support and guidance in use of the Library’s resources.  

During the year participants will get free access to the Library’s unique collection which includes over one million books and over 2,500 periodicals titles that can all be borrowed. Membership also includes access to extensive online resources and dedicated writing and research spaces in the Library’s extraordinary building in central London.

 The candidates were chosen from a field of over 800 applicants and joining Isabelle Dupuy on the judging panel were: Bidisha (broadcaster, writer and film maker); Eleanor Greene (Executive Producer, Drama at Wall to Wall Productions); Daniel Hahn (writer and translator); Victoria Hobbs (agent at AM Heath), Karen McCarthy Woolf (poet); Amy Rosenthal (playwright) and Anna Whitwham (novelist).

Sian Chaney-Price, a participant in the first year of the Emerging Writers Programme which has recently finished comments; “The Emerging Writer's Programme has helped me to find a writing community when working at home can sometimes be lonely and isolating. It gives me monthly motivation and support when I need it and it is exciting to be surrounded by such a range of writing and creative ideas. The writing history of the library and the wealth of resources are awe inspiring and could provide a writer with enough ideas to never suffer from writer's block. The year has flown by and none of us want to leave!”

The London Library Emerging Writers Programme is only possible because of the generous support The London Library has received from A M Heath Literary Agency, The Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust, Adam and Victoria Freudenheim, The Golden Bottle Trust, Max Hastings, the Julio and Maria Marta Núñez Memorial Fund, O J Colman - Charitable Trust and other anonymous donors. If you are interested in supporting the Emerging Writers Programme please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or donate online.

The 2021-2022 London Library Emerging Writers Programme will open for applications in January 2021 and applicants will have until March 2021 to submit their application. The programme will then run from 1 July 2021- 30 June 2022. To apply you will need to submit a short application form detailing your relationship to writing, why you would like membership of both the Library and the programme, a short description of the project you intend to work on throughout the year and a 1200 word sample of your work. Please sign up to our mailing list here for notifications about the programme and the application process.

Read more about the Emerging Writers Programme.