Writers in Residence 2020 at Gladstone’s Library

Gladstone’s Library’s competitive Writer in Residence programme provides space and resources for four writers whose work engages with liberal values. By liberal values, they do not mean views aligned with any one political ideology, but rather:

  • 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.

Through reflection and writing during their stay, Writers in Residence help the library redefine liberal values for the 21st Century. Their engagement might be critical, supportive or merely observant. Gladstone was a polymath with interests ranging widely across religion, history, social justice and politics from Classical times to what was, for him, contemporary culture. The scope of these four residencies is equally wide and they welcome both fiction and non-fiction writers.

Four places are awarded to writers working in the English language. The proposed dates of the tenures are February, May, September and November. Residencies can be taken in two two-week blocks, and residencies of a single fortnight will also be considered. They are also flexible with dates. Please indicate the length and suggested date of Residency on your application.


Submissions for Writers in Residence 2020 will be open Monday, 4th February – Friday, 5th April 2019.


Each residency includes:

  • Accommodation in an ensuite room for a period of four consecutive weeks;
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and refreshments (telephone calls, alcoholic drinks, packaged snacks and formal Afternoon Tea are not included);
  • Travel expenses to and from the Library at the start and end of the residency (HMRC mileage allowance or standard bus/train fares within the UK);
  • An honorarium of £100.00 per week.

Each winning author must:

  • Attend the official London prizewinning ceremony
  • Participate, where possible, in any other publicity events held before or after their residency;
  • Respond to media/press enquiries as appropriate and by prior agreement with the library’s warden, Peter Francis;
  • Submit two blog posts to the Gladstone’s Library website;
  • Lead a creative writing workshop to not more than twenty participants;
  • Give an evening talk about any aspect of their writing and/or creative life;
  • Abide by the normal terms and conditions for guests staying at Gladstone’s Library.

Entrants must submit: 

  • a one-page CV/biography
  • a copy of the book they would like the judges to consider;
  • a statement about their take on (re)defining ‘liberal values’ (250 words);
  • a statement on the work that they plan to do at the Library (250 words);
  • a proposal for an evening event and day masterclass (250 words each);
  • the length and suggested dates of their residency;
  1. Shared residency: The programme has permitted two writers to split a month’s residency. Shared residency submissions should be submitted by both writers.
  2. Submissions: Due to the nature of the residency programme activities, applicants should be able to communicate fluently in English.
  3. Eligible texts: Submitted texts must have been published in the last three years. Prose fiction and non-fiction, poetry, screenplays and drama are all eligible for submission. The Residency programme will consider unpublished scripts if submitted with evidence of performance.
  4. Manuscript submissions: They accept manuscript submissions accompanied by evidence of a contract and publishing schedule. Preference will be given to books due to be published during the relevant year of residency.
  5. Non-eligible texts: Academic monographs are not eligible for Writer-in-Residence and should be submitted to the Library’s scholarship programme. Self-published authors are not eligible for Writer-in-Residence, but are supported through other Library programmes.
  6. Schedule: Judging takes place in August, and winners will be notified by the end of August. The official announcement is made at Gladfest on Friday, 6th September. All winners are invited to a launch event at the National Liberal Club in Westminster, London (likely Nov / Dec 2019).
  7. Entry regulations: Winners agree to take part in publicity activity and abide by Library rules during tenure. Entry is free and limited to one entry per author. You cannot enter under a pseudonym. Due to volume of entries, they will confirm your submission, but detailed correspondence or feedback cannot be offered.




Published on:
4 Mar 2019


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