Applicants to the 2022 Emerging Writers Programme will be selected anonymously by a panel of judges. Chair of judges, YA novelist and essayist Yassmin Abdel-Magied will be joined by non-fiction writer Simon Garfield, literary agent Eli Keren, playwright and novelist Nell Leyshon, poet Rachel Long, and screen and children's writer John McNally.


Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-Australian writer, broadcaster, social advocate, mechanical engineer and Trustee of The London Library. Her written work includes a memoir, Yassmin’s Story, the Layla series of young adult novels and her essays have appeared in anthologies such as It’s Not About the Burqa and New Daughters of Africa. Yassmin will chair the judging panel.


Simon Garfield is a journalist and best-selling non-fiction writer. His published work covers a wide range of topics, from maps (On the Map) to fonts (Just My Type) to correspondence (To the Letter). His most recent work, Dog’s Best Friend (2021), examines the bond between dogs and their people and his next book, to be published in September is All the Knowledge in the World: the Extraordinary Story of the Encyclopaedia. 


Eli Keren is a literary agent at United Agents, whose growing list includes writers of fiction and non-fiction. Originally trained as a research chemist, Eli spends a lot of his time working with experts and academics to bring their areas of expertise to a commercial audience. He has a particular interest in non-fiction that communicates positive ideas effectively as well as LGBT-themed books in both fiction and non-fiction. 


Nell Leyshon is a playwright and novelist. Her play Bedlam was the first by a woman to be performed at the Globe Theatre and she has since become Deputy Chair of the Globe’s Board of Trustees. Her most recent play is the critically acclaimed Folk (Hampstead Theatre, BBC R3) and her novels include Memoirs of a Dipper and The Colour of Milk. She is Artistic Director of the Outsiders Project, a community-based initiative for outsider artists.  


Rachel Long is a poet and the founder of the Octavia Poetry Collective for Women of Colour. Her acclaimed debut collection, My Darling from the Lions, was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award, the Forward Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Rathbones Folio Prize in 2020.  


John McNally is a screenwriter and novelist whose past work includes projects with Aardman Studios, the BBC, and Sony. His most recent work is the Infinity Drake trilogy, a series of adventure novels for children.