Writer-in-Residence Scheme 2013

Following the tremendous success of its first writers-in-residence scheme, Gladstone’s Library is looking for another four writers to take up residence in 2013, following in the footsteps of the 2012 winners: Naomi Alderman, Stella Duffy, Nadene Ghouri and Ian Parks. Built in 1902 to house the library of pioneering politican and celebrated Prime Minister William E. Gladstone, the Library has twenty-six recently renovated rooms and is the UK’s only residential library. “We are committed to maintaining Gladstone's legacy of engagement with social, moral and spiritual questions by helping people reflect more deeply on the questions that concern them,” says Peter Francis, Warden of the Library. “This scheme is an extension of that mission.”

Once again, four celebrated writers will stay at the Library for a month, each enjoying full access to the Library’s rich resources.  Each writer will keep a blog about their stay, run a creative writing workshop and an ‘Evening With’ event.  They will receive full board and lodging, travel expenses and a stipend of £100.00 per week.

Reflecting the heritage of the Library, these writers will be writing in the liberal (with a small ‘L’) tradition.  Our working definition of 'liberal values' is intentionally broad  - as broad as Gladstone’s interests: “ By liberal values, we mean: a commitment to freedom and social justice, tolerance and respect of difference, open-mindedness coupled with intellectual curiosity, generosity of spirit and a willingness to learn from others.  These values are not aligned with any particular political party.”

Through reflection and writing, the four writers will help us redefine liberal values for the 21st century – their engagement might be critical, supportive or merely observant.

The writers are being chosen by four judges: Richard Godwin, columnist on the ‘London Evening Standard’, Cathy Galvin, deputy editor of ‘The Sunday Times’ and Naomi Alderman, novelist and the Library’s first Writer-in-Residence in March 2012.  They will be joined by Charlie Gladstone, great great grandson of William E. Gladstone.  The scheme is the brainchild of writer and Salonierre Damian Barr.

Says Richard Godwin: “At a time when the differences between a liberal and a libertarian, between liberty and taking liberties are highly contested, it is a great opportunity to redefine what it means to be a liberal. It is also, perhaps, an occasion to reflect on that the fact that the difference between libation and liberation is only, er, a moment's hesitation."

Says Cathy Galvin: “What would Gladstone make of our times? He might have hoped the political theorist Francis Fukuyama would prove to be right - that the progress of liberal values would take us from the enlightenment to the End of History and a liberal-democratic world for all. He might also have seen, where we do not, the fragility of the triumphant welfare state in Britain that rose from the ashes of two world wars. Today, there are no certainties in our political or economic structures, no sense of inevitable progress. The baton of liberalism is being thrust into the hands of the writers and thinkers of today. How they run with it, none of us can guess but we will all be watching.”

Submissions open on Sunday 1st April and close on Friday 31st August.  For full rules, see below.  To request individual comment, interviews or photographs, please contact Annette Lewis at Gladstone’s Library: annette.lewis@gladlib.org and 01244 532350.

Rules for submission:

Would-be writers-in-residence must submit a one page CV/biog, a copy of their latest book, a 250 word max statement about their take on (re)defining ‘liberal values’ and 250 words max on the work that they plan to do at the Library (in addition to the public events).

Submissions should be sent to Annette Lewis, Development Officer, Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire CH5 3DF.

We will not accept self-published authors.  We will accept those who have published fiction, poetry, short stories, memoir and autobiography or e-published (but again, not self-published). No correspondence will be entered into.  Entry is free and limited to one entry per author (you cannot enter under a pseudonym). Winners will be notified by the end of September and invited to a launch event at the National Liberal Club in October. Winners agree to take part in publicity activity and abide by Library rules during tenure.