The London Library Emerging Writers Programme opens for submissions today for its sixth year. This increasingly influential scheme is geared towards supporting writers at the start of their careers. The Programme is open to anyone over the age of 16 years, from any background, who is committed to pursuing a career in writing and wants to develop their work.

The Programme is targeted at emerging writers who have not yet published a full-length work of fiction, non-fiction, a collection of poems, or had a full-length work professionally produced for mainstream film, TV or the stage. The Programme offers writers one year’s membership of The London Library (which normally costs £615 per year) alongside writing development masterclasses, networking opportunities, peer support and guidance in use of the Library’s extensive resources. There is no application fee and participation on the Programme is funded by philanthropic donations.

Last year, the programme achieved a recording-breaking near 1,400 applications. Since the initiative launched in 2019, the programme has supported 198 previously unpublished writers and, in that time, participants have enjoyed increased awareness for their writing from the publishing industry – many have had first books and poetry collections published, secured publishing deals, and been recognised with awards.

Previous members of The London Library Emerging Writers Programme have gone on to achieve considerable success. Including writers Abi Daré, Amber Medland, Daniel Marc Janes, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Lianne Dillsworth, Isabelle Baafi, Flora Carr, Russell Franklin, Krystle Zara Appiah, Carole Hailey, Marina Gerner, Gaar Adams, Paolo Chianta, Oakley Flanagan, Ella Baron and Natalie Linh Bolderston.

Applicants will be selected anonymously by a panel of judges including literary agents Jane Finigan and Jenny Hewson, best-selling author Sophie Hannah, writer, performer, and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, author and former London Library Emerging Writer Amber Medland, writer and publisher Nii Ayikweii Parkes and writer and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, Chris Power.

Head of Programmes for The London Library, Claire Berliner said, “We are so excited to be opening applications again for our Emerging Writers Programme. Each year we are blown away by the quality and diversity of literature being created. The Programme was set up to share The London Library’s incredible resources in order to develop and nurture literary talent and provide a platform and community for new voices. Year after year, it has proven to be a transformative, inspiring and enriching opportunity for those who take part. I look forward to receiving applications from writers in every form, of any age or background, and from every corner of the country to find our next talented cohort of emerging and aspiring writers.”

London Library Director Philip Marshall commented, “For five years now, The London Library has supported scores of early career writers through the Emerging Writers Programme, and I am delighted that it will do so again, now entering its sixth year, continuing the Library's 180-year long tradition as a home and a refuge for writers of all genres."

The sixth year of the Emerging Writers Programme will run from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025. Applications open at 11am on 10 January 2024 and close at 11am on 28 February 2024.

Further information and how to apply can be found here