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.