Writers-in-Residence Scheme 2014

Now in its third year, the Writers-in-Residence scheme at Gladstone’s Library is going from strength to strength. Following the tremendous success of the last two years, the Library is looking for four writers to take up residence in 2014, following in the footsteps of the 2013 winners: Sarah Perry, Richard Beard, Peter Jukes, Vanessa Gebbie, Katrina Naomi and Angela Topping. Built in 1902 to house the library of pioneering politican and celebrated Prime Minister William E. Gladstone, the Library has twenty-six boutique-style 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.”

Each of the four winning writers will stay at the Library for a month, enjoying full access to the Library’s rich resources and soaking up its wonderfully creative atmosphere.  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: Stella Duffy, Writer-in-Residence in May 2012 and author of ‘The Purple Shroud’; Jessica Fellowes, author of ‘The Chronicles of Downton Abbey’; Charlie Gladstone, great-great-grandson of William E. Gladstone and Damian Barr, Salonierre and author of ‘Maggie and Me’.

Stella DuffySays Stella Duffy: “The gift of a month at Gladstone’s Library was a joy for me, both in allowing me eighteen-hour days of virtually uninterrupted work, and in giving me somewhere welcoming to do that work. The other, unexpected, gifts were the conversations and the friendships created in that month. I look forward to making these gifts possible for other writers.”

Jessica FellowesSays Jessica Fellowes: “Since I was a little girl, libraries have always filled me with excitement and wonder. What could be more extraordinary than a room full of stories, people and imaginations gone wild? Thank goodness for the hard work and innovations of Gladstone’s Library which allow us to continue to enjoy books. I'm very happy to be a part of it this year."

Submissions open on Monday 1st April and close on Saturday 31st August.  For full rules, see below.

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, non-fiction, 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 expected to attend a launch event at the National Liberal Club, London in October. Winners agree to take part in publicity activity and abide by Library rules during tenure.