Event Information:

  • Mon

    Writers in Residence and Political Writers in Residence

    Gladstone's Library, Church Lane, Hawarden, Flintshire CH5 3DF / National Liberal Club in London

    Gladstone’s Library has announced the names of the six winners of its Writers in Residence award and the two winners of its Politics in Residence prize 2019.

    Now into its eighth year, Gladstone’s Library’s successful Writers in Residence programme was established in association with Damian Barr (saloniere and author of Maggie and Me (2013) and You Will be Safe Here (2019)) to support contemporary novelists and poets across the UK and beyond.

    This year’s judging panel consisted of Senior Strategy Director at FutureBrand and Trustee of Gladstone’s Library, Freddie Baveystock; writer and editor William Atkins (The Moor); poet Jenny Lewis (The Epic of Gilgamesh); writer and journalist Patrice Lawrence (Orangeboy); Peter Francis, Warden of Gladstone’s Library; and Director of Collections and Research at Gladstone’s Library, Louisa Yates.

    The six winners of the 2019 Writers in Residence award at Gladstone’s Library are:

    • Sarah Day, Mussolini’s Island (Headline Publishing, 2017)
    • Oliver Emanuel, The 306: Day (National Theatre of Scotland, 2017)
    • Suzannah Evans, Near Future (Nine Arches Press, November 2018)
    • Susanna Forrest, The Age of the Horse (Atlantic Books, 2016)
    • Sophie Mackintosh, The Water Cure (Penguin, 2018)
    • Emily Morris, My Shitty Twenties (Salt, 2017)

    The authors will each receive up to a month’s residency at Gladstone’s Library – the world’s only residential library, and a place that the UK’s creative community call home – where they will use the Library’s tranquillity and resources to work on their current project. During this time, the authors will engage with the library’s creative community, running a creative writing masterclass, giving an evening talk, and submitting a blog to the Library’s website.

    Rachel Hewitt (A Revolution of Feeling, Granta 2017) and Amber Massie-Blomfield (Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die, Penned in the Margins 2018) have been chosen as Gladstone’s Library’s Political Writers in Residence for 2019. Both Amber and Rachel will spend three weeks at Gladstone’s Library in 2019 during which time they will each host an evening event linked to their writing.

    Politics in Residence at Gladstone’s Library recognises the best written expressions of political thought, particularly that which encourages political debate with a public audience. Developed from the Library’s successful Writer in Residence programme, Politics in Residence recognises some of the best non-fictional writing in English. The programme rewards thoughtful, well-researched considerations of contemporary political topics: we take ‘political’ to mean any cultural, spiritual, economic, political, social or ethical issue. The prize does not distinguish between political leanings or affiliations; all submissions, however, must be aimed firmly at engaging the general public. Creative non-fiction, journalism, lifewriting and biography are all eligible.

    Politics in Residence provides space and resources for two writers whose work engages with liberal values. By liberal values, we 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.

    Acknowledging the global significance of political topics, the winning writer will also submit two blogs about their work while in residence.

    The 2019 Writers in Residence and Politics in Residence programmes are officially launched on Monday, 8th October at the National Liberal Club in London when each of the winning writers will be invited to read from their work. Tickets for this popular event are priced at £15 and can be booked by calling 01244 532350 or emailing Please note, the dress code for this event is smart – jacket and tie for men and no t-shirts or vests for women. No jeans will be permitted.


     Amber Massie-Blomfield said 'I'm over the moon to have been selected as a 2019 Political Writer in Residence at Gladstone's Library. I can't think of a more fitting place to have the time and support to explore the political potential of the arts to make change happen. May my work be a fitting legacy to one of the greatest Liberals of all time - who knew the importance of a decent cup of tea.'

    Rachel Hewitt said ‘Gladstone’s is a unique library and residency, with impressive holdings, natural surroundings conducive to mental and physical exercise, an awe-inspiring backlist of past Writers in Residence, and its generosity in allowing authors to work and reflect free from domestic responsibilities. I am beyond delighted to be selected as a Political Writer in Residence, and that my book-in-progress - In Her Nature, which charts women’s myriad interactions with the natural world, from gardening and agriculture to environmentalism and trail-running, and lays bear the political dynamics that shape such interactions - will be researched and written in such a strikingly apt environment.’

    Emily Mackintosh said ‘Juggling my writing career with full-time work and parenting leaves me with precious little time to write. The Gladstone's Residency will give me pure, unadulterated writing days - long stretches working on my novel in the most perfect location. I am overjoyed, honoured and very excited.’

    Sarah Day said ‘I'm absolutely thrilled to have been awarded a residency at Gladstone's Library, which has hosted so many writers I admire. Every time I've visited the library to write I've wished I could stay longer, so to spend a whole month there is a dream come true.'

    Notes to Editors

    Gladstone’s Library is situated just six miles from Chester with good transport links to Liverpool and Wrexham. It is Britain’s only Prime Ministerial library and the national memorial to William Gladstone. It is home to a unique collection of more than 150,000 printed items and offers a comfortable, sociable and stimulating environment in which to read, relax, converse and become inspired. It is the UK’s only residential library.

    The 2019 Writers in Residence Launch Evening is held at the National Liberal Club in London on Monday, 8th October. Press tickets are available.

    For further information, photographs and press tickets to the launch event, please contact Amy Sumner on or 01244 532350.

    Amy Sumner

    Marketing Manager

    Working Hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

     Gladstone's Library

    Church Lane



    CH5 3DF

    Tel: 01244 532350

    Fax: 01244 520643 | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram