The 40 writers on the 2021/22 are working on a broad range of projects across poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, non-fiction, adult fiction, YA and children’s fiction and the graphic novel. 

The candidates were chosen from a field of almost 1000 applicants by a panel of judges comprising travel writer and London Library Trustee Sara Wheeler (Chair); YA and adult fiction writer Sareeta Domingo; screenwriter Karim Flint; poet Will Harris; playwright and screenwriter Alexis Zegerman; novelist, memoirist and writing mentor Tim Lott; the team at Virago; and agents from AM Heath.

The cohort are:

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Beth Alliband currently lives in London, but loves travel and big cities and has lived in both Paris in New York. Beth has a degree in Comparative Literature, is particularly drawn to stories that examine our humanity and hopes to become a published author and write something that matters. 

Leonie Annor-Owiredu is a writer, cultural researcher and strategist based in London. She writes fiction and has non-fiction work featured in Harper's Bazaar. She's an alumnus of HarperCollins Author Academy 2021 Children's. She is fuelled by her desire to show different perspectives that create a more inclusive world through storytelling.

Phoebe Yemi Ara graduated with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Warwick. She writes fantasy, science-fiction and romance novels, targeted at the Adult and YA market. She’s also a writer-director in animation and live-action. She spends her free time collecting biker jackets. 

Twitter: @PhoebeYemiAra 

Paul Atherton (FRSA) is a social campaigning film-maker, playwright and artist. Although he remains twelve years homeless, a situation caused by a creditfile error, his work in that time has been seen in the Odeon Cinema Leicester Square, Camden People's Theatre, Gallery@OXO and collected by Museum of London and the BFI archive. 

Twitter: @LondonersLondon

Ella Baron is an editorial cartoonist. Staff cartoonist of The TLS for 3 years, her work has also featured in The Guardian, The Times and The Observer. She’s illustrated two books, animated a BBC documentary and had an exhibition held at Christies. She’s now embarking on her first graphic novel. 

Twitter: @ebaroncartoons   

Isabella Bengoechea is a journalist and editor at The Times. She read for her MA in 19th-century literature at Oxford University, where her specialisms included aestheticism and Victorian erotica. She is a published short story writer whose fiction most often has a dash of fairytale, feminism and the fantastic.

Instagram: @the_book_imp

Katie Buckley is studying for an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, where she holds a Royal Holloway Principal’s Masters Scholarship. Her work, which has been published in Litro Magazine, The Teller and The Inkwell, explores how female subjectivity is shaped by myth.  

Paolo Chianta is a Scottish writer based in London. He was selected for the BBC Writersroom Comedy Script Room 2020/21 and his play Brighter Later will air on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb this year. He is currently developing several TV projects and a feature script. 

Twitter: @PaoloChianta 

Tilda Coleman is working on her first novel. She studied English at Oxford University and completed an MA in journalism at City, University of London. She works as a secondary school English teacher in London, and is shortlisted for The Alpine Fellowship Writing Prize 2021. 

Twitter: @TildaColeman4 

Tom Conaghan is a Pushcart-nominated short story writer based in London. He is a prose editor with Bandit Fiction and short story judge with The Word Factory. He’s writing a novel about an 18th century imposter.

Twitter: @tomconagh 

Courtney Conrad is a Jamaican poet. Her poetry explores the intersectional politics of race, religion, gender, sexuality and migration. Her poems appear in Bad Betty Press and Anamot Press anthologies, Poetry Birmingham, The White Review and The Adriatic. She was shortlisted for The White Review Poet's Prize and longlisted for the Rebecca Swift Women Poets’ Prize. 

Twitter: @courtneyconrad__

Viktoria Dahill studied an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University before diving head-first into the world of veterinary medicine. In a past life, she studied agriculture and dreamed of becoming a farmer. She’s currently working on a novel that explores emotionally taxing careers, compassion fatigue, and millennial love.   

Twitter: @ahthatsbecky 

Annie Fan is in her final year of reading law at Oxford University. Her first pamphlet, Woundsong, was published by Verve Press in May 2021 and recent work appears in The Offing and Puerto del Sol, among others. 

Twitter: @gnomic_aorist 

Hana Fazal works as a copywriter and is a former national newspaper and magazine journalist. Hana writes general commercial fiction about people who are trapped by family, culture and bad ideas. She is drawn to novelists who are just a generation from the oral tradition and write with a viscerally powerful voice. 

Oakley Flanagan’s poetry appears in Bath Magg, Poetry London, Under the Radar, and Wasafiri, and has been anthologised for Hachette and 3 of Cups Press. They were a winner of TLC’s LGBTQ+ Free Reads 2020 for their novel in progress and their play ‘This Queer House’ (OPIA Collective), was performed at VAULT.

Edward Fortes was born in London. Aside from writing, he works as a copy-editor and translator from Italian and French. After living in Rome for 7 years, he is now based in Bristol. 

Twitter: @parentheticale 

Eleanor Franzén was born in central Virginia and diagnosed with type I diabetes at age three. A US/UK dual citizen, she has lived in England since 2010. She has been a professional personal bookseller since 2017, and will begin an MPhil/PhD in 18th-century literature at Birkbeck in October 2021.  

Twitter: @EleanorFranzen 

Gilli Fryzer’s fiction plays with folklore and old beliefs.  Winner of the Mslexia Short Story prize 2020, her work has appeared in print and online, including Litro, Earthlines, Mechanics’ Institute Review, and Sahenhafte Geschichten, a collection of modern European fables. She holds a Creative Writing MA from Birkbeck, London University. 

Twitter: @GilliFryzer 

Ella Godfrey is a writer and dramaturg from Birmingham. She has had three plays performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was a winner of The Popelei Seed Commission 2020. She is currently a part of Broken Silence Theatre’s Playwrights Hive. Her work examines the uncomfortable relationship between women and power. 

Twitter: @EllaWritesWords 

Stewart Gott is a History graduate and qualified Librarian who recently took very early retirement from the Civil Service to pursue his passion for writing. He is now fully focused on creating commercially viable historical fiction. His current project, Hammerhead, is a relentless blood-and-thunder trilogy set in Anglo-Saxon Kent. 

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Dominique Heyse-Moore is Senior Curator at the Whitworth, The University of Manchester. Her work as a curator explores the colonial structuring of art galleries, asking if and how these can be undone. She is working on a graphic memoir about the ramifications of the manifold global movements of her family. 

Instagram: dominiquehm_whitworth 

Kate Holderness is an actor and illustrator from Lancashire. She’s lived in London for a decade but still calls her evening meal her ‘tea’. A proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, she’s passionate about positive visibility in her art and writing. Kate is working on her first children’s adventure novel.

Twitter: @kateholderness

Niamh Adrianna Hunt is a fiction writer based in Bristol. She studied English at the University of Cambridge where she spent most of the time being distracted by the student theatre scene. In 2021, she participated in the inaugural HarperCollins Author Academy. She is currently working on her debut novel.

Twitter: @niamh_adrianna

Simon Jaggers is a playwright from London. His plays have been performed at Theatre503, Soho Theatre, The Bunker, Bread & Roses and Southwark Playhouse. He has an MA from Goldsmiths College’s Dramaturgy & Writing for Performance programme. He is also a songwriter/performer and spent his youth playing in punk bands and deejaying hip hop.  

Twitter: @milkkan 

Alexis Keir grew up in Luton, and his family are from Saint Vincent, where he lived for a year as a child.  His writing has been published by The Selkie and The London Magazine. In 2019 he took part in the London Writers Award Programme run by Spread the Word.

Twitter: @alexismontekeir

Sasha Kim divides her time between Little P'yongyang, New Malden, Surrey UK and Little Seoul, Bergen County, NJ US.

Will Lord is a writer and script editor from Essex. His writing for theatre has been longlisted for schemes at The Space and the Royal Court. He is currently an Assistant Script Editor for a London production company, and has worked on shows for Netflix, BBC One, and HBO Max.

Twitter: @itslordy

Gerline Ndombasi is a screenwriter from South London whose work primarily explores the lives of black people within liminal and intimate spaces. Beyond this, her interests lie in pop culture, politics and travelling.

Twitter: @iamgerline

Vanessa Phan is a British-Chinese writer living in London. She writes contemporary fiction and has been published in Bad Form literary magazine. She is an alumnus of the HarperCollins Author Academy and studied Creative Writing with author Erika L. Sánchez at Princeton University where she graduated with Honors in Politics. 

Twitter: @vanessakphan 

Charles Edward Pipe (he/him) is a playwright with a love of period pieces, wry and dry humour, and morally grey characters.  Having had several one-act and short plays produced while studying at Durham University, he is now working on his first full-length play. 

Twitter: @Charles_Pipe  

Grace Quantock is a writer and psychotherapeutic counsellor. She writes narrative non-fiction and has been published in The Guardian, The Metro and The Fabian Review; she has also appeared in The New Yorker Online, The Observer and The Times. She lives in Wales. 

Twitter: @Grace_Quantock 

Harriet Rix studied biochemistry and the history of science before working in landmine clearance in the Middle East. Her photographs and articles have been published in the Financial Times and Cornucopia Magazine. She is a co-editor of Pericles at Play, a journal of modern classical reception. 

Twitter: @rix_harriet 

Sid Sagar is an actor, playwright and screenwriter. He grew up abroad and has lived in England since the age of eight. He read History at the University of Bristol. He is currently developing a range of projects for stage and screen.

Twitter: @Sid__Sagar

Daisy Syme-Taylor is poet from Wiltshire, now based in South London. She studied Classics at the University of Oxford, where she was the winner of the Newdigate Prize in 2013, and Comparative Literature at King’s College London.  

Anastasia Taylor-Lind is a British/Swedish photojournalist covering issues relating to women, war and violence. She is a National Geographic Magazine photographer, a TED fellow and a 2016 Harvard Nieman fellow. She writes poetry about contemporary conflict and the experiences she cannot photograph. 

Twitter: @anastasiatl 

Jessie Thompson is a writer and arts journalist from Kent. She is working on a novel, Don’t Worry It’s Fine, as well as researching a cultural history of women in the Nineties. She is Deputy Arts Editor at the Evening Standard, where she specialises in theatre. 

Twitter: @jessiecath 

Liz Tresidder is working on her first novel, Greetings From Cooke, Montana. Living in central London, she takes inspiration from the bustle of the city as well as the natural world. Her short story, from the forest, was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize in 2019. 

Twitter: @liztresidder 

Esohe Uwadiae is a playwright. Her debut play She Is A Place Called Home ran at VAULT Festival 2020 and has since been longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. She has been part of programmes with the Royal Court Theatre, Almeida Theatre and Mercury Theatre.  

Twitter: @esoheuwadiae 

Kathleen Walker-Meikle is a historian specialising in animal studies and medical history. Writing in the genre of popular history, she aims to tell the story of animal-human relationships through various perspectives, from companionship to exploitation. Born and raised in Chile, she lives in London with her partner and their puritanical cat. 

Twitter: @Medieval_Badger 

David Willey writes short fiction under the name JL Bogenschneider and has had work published in a range of print and online journals, including The Stinging Fly, 404 Ink, PANK and Ambit.

Twitter: @bourgnetstogner 

newbooksjune

Hundreds of new books were added to The London Library's collection in May 2021, across shelfmarks. 

They include A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago in Fiction, 4to; Berlin: the story of a city by Barney White-Spunner in T. Germany and The Cancer Problem: malignancy in nineteenth-century Britain by Agnes Arnold-Forster in S. Pathology.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL LIST

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We have recently installed a new display of pictures on the Library’s atmospheric Red Stairs which tells the story of the Library as a unique centre of creativity and inspiration.

Along six flights of stairs - from the Issue Hall up to the entrance of the St James’s Stacks - over 60 framed pictures have been put in place. Included in the display are portraits of over 50 well-known members with interpretation describing their remarkable connections to the Library and the work they produced during their membership.

It is an extraordinary and varied list – from Angela Carter to Charles Dickens, Christabel Pankhurst to Stanley Kubrick, Alec Guinness to Daphne du Maurier.

The exhibition shows how a remarkable number of members joined at an early stage in their careers and the Library provided a thread through much of their writing lives. Virginia Woolf joined 11 years before writing her first novel; Ian Fleming’s entire output on James Bond was written as a Library member; TS Eliot’s early writing career depended on access to the Library’s collection.

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Personal connections are revealed – EM Forster donated the manuscript of The Passage to India to save the Library he loved; George Bernard Shaw applied for life membership only hours after the death of his wife, Charlotte Payne-Townshend (a member for 45 years); sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf celebrated their father becoming Library President in their childhood diaries; Diana Rigg joked about her age on her membership form.

Alongside the Library’s connections with well-known members, the exhibition profiles some of the world-famous books – such as Dracula and Possession - that have been inspired by the Library and its collection.

We also take a look at the Library’s vibrant and varied events programme – which is open to anyone; the important work we do to support writers; the personalities featuring in The London Library magazine; and the role the Library plays as a location for filming and media work – from Killing Eve to the Netflix comedy Death to 2020.

We hope that anyone visiting the Library – whether longstanding members or first-time visitors – will enjoy finding out more about the remarkable community that is connected in so many diverse ways to this remarkable place.

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EM Forster by Dora Carrington ©National Portrait Gallery
Beryl Bainbridge by Eamonn McCabe ©Eamonn McCabe
Virginia Woolf by George Charles Beresford, ©National Portrait Gallery

Paul Robeson, anon c1942
Muriel Spark by Mark Gerson ©Mark Gerson/National Portrait Gallery
HG Wells by George Charles Beresford ©National Portrait Gallery

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Looking for a creative place to work, study, write or read? The London Library is an independent library with a lending collection of over one million books, 180 desks to work at and creative community of readers and writers.

We offer amazing and quiet spaces to work, think and create in beautiful St. James's Square, for £45 a month, or £22.50 if you're 29 and under.

The Library is a magical place with six dedicated reading rooms plus individual desks hidden in the book stacks of our atmospheric building. 

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By becoming a member of The London Library you will have access to:

  • Beautiful and practical spaces in which to read and write, open six days a week with late night openings;
  • An incredible collection of 1 million books, with 6,000 more being added every year, almost all of which are available to browse on open shelves and borrow;
  • A postal loans service anywhere within Europe, currently with free postage anywhere in the UK;
  • Subscriptions to thousands of journals and periodicals and a wide range of digital resources;
  • Fiction and non-fiction eBooks;
  • Expert staff, always on hand to assist with enquiries;
  • Invitations to special events and discounts on our popular public speaker events.

View all of the benefits of membership.

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