As a membership organisation we take the security of your data seriously and as such we have upgraded our systems to meet modern security standards. The legacy systems had reached end-of-life and could no longer be supported. These upgrades mean you willno longer use your membership number and PIN to log into Catalyst or our electronic resources.

From now on, in order to access the full range of electronic resources and catalogue features you will need to sign up to the new Members Sign In service. This will allow access to all of our online resources with one set of account credentials.

How to Sign Up for Catalyst

  • From the London Library website, click on the Sign in to Catalyst link in the top right corner which takes you to the Registered Member's Login.

Catalyst Sign In 1

  • Then click the red sign up now button

Catalyst Sign In 2

  • Enter your 5-digit Membership Number (this is on your Library card) and your email address.It is important that you enter your email address using only lowercase characters.
  • Institutional Representatives will need to sign up to the new single sign on service using their 5-digit membership number and the email address they registered with the Library. Once you have created a unique password you and your Nominee(s) need to use this email address and password combination to sign in on subsequent occasions.
  • Then click the red send verification code button.

Catalyst Sign In 3

  • Enter the code that was emailed to you and click verify code.



  • When your code has been verified you can continue to set your own password
  • This needs to be at least 8 characters in length and could take the form of a passphrase, three unlinked words that are memorable and meaningful to you but to no one else (for example, redbracketscissors). You do not need to include any numbers, capitals or punctuation unless you wish to.
  • Click create



The signup is now complete and in the future you should use this email and password combination to log into the Library’s electronic services. If you forget your password, you can use the Forgot your password? option on the sign in page to reset it. 

If you have any problems with the sign up process, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will be glad to help you.

The London Library Emerging Writers Programme

Applications for the 2024/25 programme are now closed.

The London Library Emerging Writers Programme, now entering its sixth year, is a unique opportunity which offers writers, in all genres and disciplines, one year’s free membership of The London Library and includes writing development masterclasses, networking opportunities, peer support, access to and guidance in using all the Library’s resources and publication in the cohort anthology. With its rich cultural heritage, extensive open access book collection, dedicated writing spaces and its diverse community of established writers, the benefits of Library membership are invaluable.

For over 180 years The London Library has played a central role in inspiring writers and researchers, helping them explore and develop their work. From Charles Dickens to Sarah Waters, Charles Darwin to Simon Schama, Virginia Woolf to Kazuo lshiguro, Bram Stoker to Jessie Burton, T S Eliot to Raymond Antrobus, writers have found it to be an unrivalled resource. Previous members of The London Library Emerging Writers Programme have gone on to find agents, publishers and have had work produced for stage, screen and radio. See below for more information on previous cohorts.

The London Library Emerging Writers Programme is open to anyone over 16 years of age who is committed to pursuing a career in writing and wants to develop their practice. Applicants should be working, or planning to work, on a specific project, with the aim of publication or production, and have a clear idea of how they might use the Library’s resources to achieve that aim. They should be willing to fully participate in all elements of the Programme and immerse themselves in the writing community it offers. There is no application fee and participation on the Programme is funded.

Applicants will be selected anonymously by a panel of judges including crime writer, poet, short story writer, self-help author and screenwriter Sophie Hannah (Little Face, The Monogram Murders, Pessimism for Beginners, How to Hold a Grudge, The Mystery of Mr E), playwright, poet and non-fiction writer Sabrina Mahfouz (A History of Water in the Middle East, These Bodies of Water, How You Might Know Me), novelist and non-fiction writer Amber Medland (Wild Pets, Attention Seeker), novelist, poet, publisher and children’s writer Nii Ayikwei Parkes (The Geez, Tail of the Blue Bird, Azúcar), novelist, short story writer and literary critic Chris Power (Mothers, A Lonely Man) and Lutyens and Rubinstein literary agents Jenny Hewson and Jane Finigan

Applications closed at 11am on Wednesday 28 February 2024. All applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application in early June.

If you have any questions, please contact the Programme Team at

Meet the Judges

The Programme runs from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2025. Successful applicants will be invited to a Programme launch on 3 July 2024. Sessions take place in the evenings (from 6.30-9pm) usually on the third Wednesday of the month and alternate between peer support meetings and masterclasses or workshops, all of which are designed to work across all or most forms of writing. The Programme will take place, as much as possible, at the Library, however some sessions may take place online. 

Two bursary funds are available to support members of the cohort who may face financial, health, or any other barriers that would prevent them fully accessing the Programme. The Emerging Writers Programme Access Bursary has been generously funded by the International Friends of The London Library to help support those participants most in need and the Virago Participation Bursary has been generously funded to support Black women and Black writers from under-represented genders. 

The 2024/25 The London Library Emerging Writers Programme is only possible because of the generous support the Library has received from the International Friends of The London Library, Bloomsbury Publishing, the PF Charitable Trust, the Garrick Charitable Trust, the Hawthornden Foundation, the Julio and Maria Marta Nuñez Memorial Fund and other anonymous donors.

The current Programme has been generously supported by the International Friends of The London Library, the Garrick Charitable Trust, the Julio and Maria Marta Nuñez Memorial Fund and other anonymous donors. If you are interested in supporting the Emerging Writers Programme please contactfThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.ordonate online.











We are delighted to publish the second volume of New Voices Rise, an anthology of exciting new writing by participants from the second cohort of The London Library's Emerging Writers Programme 2020/21.

Contributors for the new anthology are: 

Gaar Adams, Ayad Andrews, Krystle Zara Appiah, Helen Bain, Naina Bajekal, Marta Bausells, Zakia Carpenter-Hall, Flora Carr, Sarah Clegg, Chez Cotton, Benjamin Cusden, Beth Emery, Charlotte Forfieh, Russell Franklin, Marina Gerner, Carole Hailey, Lucian Huxley Smith, Daniel Marc Janes, Aaron Kilercioglu, Lanikai Krishnadasan Torrens, Lily Levinson, Freya Mavor, Shakira Moise, Nancy Netherwood, Charlotte Newman, Yosola Olorunshola, Anna Parker, Hannah Partos, Kate Perry, Amy Powell Yeates, Natalie Rule, Lisa Smith, Ana Soria, Natalie Whittaker, Matt Wixey and Nathan Lucky Wood.

New Voices Rise vol II is available as a PDF, an eBook on Kindle (costing £2) and you can view it here on Issuu.

Download as PDF

Purchase as eBook



You can also enjoy reading New Voices Rise vol 1, featuring writing by the inaugural cohort of The London Library Emerging Writers Programme 2019/2020. 

With contributions from 35 writers spanning prose to poetry, non-fiction to YA, stage to screen, this is a feast of words and creativity from an exciting array of bright new talent.  

Featuring work by: Bebe Ashley, Isabelle Baafi, Alex-David Baldi, Erika Banerji, Carmina Bernhardt, Helen Bowell, Megan Buskey, Sian Chaney-Price, Hattie Clarke, Abass Collier, Swithun Cooper, Natasha Cutler, L M Dillsworth, Joanna Dobson, Karim Flint, Emily Ruth Ford, Anita Goveas, Alice Hughes, Anna Kahn, L Kiew, Lou Kramskoy, Madi Maxwell-Libby, P T McCarthy, Amber Medland, Carly Minsky, Qudsia Mirza, Mónica Parle, Xenobe Purvis, Mandy Rabin, Sabrina Richmond, Laura Sanchez, Lucy Steeds, Deborah Torr, Mia Vigar and Jeremy Wikeley.


Download as PDF

Read on Issuu

Purchase as eBook


In this blog from 2014, Helen O’Neill looked at Christmas advertisements in 1914 and the depiction of the famous Christmas Truce.

In the five days preceding 12 December 1914 the Post Office reported that 250,000 parcels had been sent to troops at the Front and the following week 200,000 more were despatched along with two and a half million letters. The Post Office increased its van fleet by half to cope with demand, and as rail services were disrupted by the war and vehicles were in scarce supply, post was transported in a range of conveyances including open cars and furniture vans.

So how did the recipients of these letters and parcels spend Christmas 1914? Christmas adverts in the pages of The Times in December 1914 include household brands such as Boots, Perrier, Oxo, Bovril, Horlicks, Burberry’s, Moss Bros and Shell, to name a few, which capitalised on their presence and use at the Front. From Burberry fleece lined gabardine trench coats to Shell fuelling the ambulances of the Allied forces, the adverts are rich in detail, many using soldiers’ testimonies as proof of their efficacy. Acquasctuum, Burberrys and Moss Bros all advertised officer’s kit. Burberry used no less than six quotes from those on active service as endorsements, including this from A.D.P. of the 16th Battalion London Regiment: “All officers coming out for the winter should have a Burberry with detachable fleece lining and Gabardine overalls. They will be covered in mud the first hour in the trenches but Gabardine dries well and the mud drops off.”


(L: The cover image of The Illustrated London News on January 9 1915 depicted a German soldier opening the truce by approaching British lines with a small Christmas tree. R: Christmas True depicted in The Illustrated London News showed German and British soldiers meeting in No Man’s Land shaking hands and exchanging headgear. The etching was taken from a photograph taken during the truce. The figure on the extreme left is a German soldier in a British service cap and the fourth figure from the left is a British soldier wearing a Pickelhaube or German helmet.)

If testimonies from the Front were not suitably persuasive Burberry had a secret advertising weapon in the shape of Antarctic explorer and national hero, Ernest Shackleton: “Gabardine is a lightweight weatherproof material of such remarkable warmth-maintaining powers that Sir E. Shackleton recently said nothing would induce him in polar regions to use any substitute even if the price of gabardine doubles and the substitute were offered free of charge.”

Benson’s advertised an “essential” part of an officers’ kit – an “active service watch” with fully luminous figures and hands so that the time could be seen at night. Boots ran several versions of an advert for its own brand of British cologne: White Heather and Jersey Castle under the header “No more German eau de cologne”. Food stuffs featured too.

Oxo adverts claimed to be “exactly suited to the needs of our men at the Front – made in minutes and sustains with bread and a few biscuits for hours”. If a few minutes were not to be had, Horlicks Malted Milk tablets were advertised as “invaluable to any soldier in the field. Most efficient at relieving hunger and thirst and preventing fatigue”. Horlicks offered free post to the Front if the name, regimental number, brigade and division of the soldier was supplied. Bovril used a military metaphor in its advertising asking “Are your communications threatened? Build up the defensive forces of your body. Bovril is and has always been at the Front.” Paisley Flour addressed itself to mothers of sons on active service in an advert that encouraged the baking and sending of home-made cake to the Front:

“You could not offer your boy in camp or at the Front any greater treat than a good wholesome home-made cake like those he used to get at home. Send him one this week with Paisley Flour”



(L: Benson’s Active Service Watch with illuminated figures and hands was marketed as an essential part of an officer’s kit. R: Under the title “No more German eau de cologne” Boots advertised British alternatives.)

If cake, Perrier water and a waterproof gabardine failed to stave off colds Dr J. Collis Browne’s Chloradyne –a remedy for “coughs, colds, colic, ague and kindred ailments” claimed to do the trick:

“Next to the weapons he bears, the best safeguard of a soldiers’ life is a small bottle Dr Collis Browne’s Chloradyne…it is a medicine chest in itself…Every man on active service should have a supply.”

The Civil Service Supply Association advertised service kits and camp equipment but also “Gifts for the Troops“ which included small items such as tobacco, cigarettes, socks, mittens, mufflers, caps, chocolate, ointments, foot powder, pocket knives, postcards and pencils. Taken in their totality the adverts provide a grim picture of conditions at the Front.