Event Information:

  • Mon


    National Liberal Club in London

    Gladstone’s Library has announced the names of the five winners of its Writers in Residence award and the two winners of its Politics in Residence prize 2020.

    Now into its ninth year and approaching a decade of awards, Gladstone’s Library’s successful Writers in Residence programme was established in association with Damian Barr (saloniere and author of You Will be Safe Here) to support contemporary novelists and poets, and publishing industries across the UK and beyond.

    This year’s judging panel consisted of Trustee of Gladstone’s Library and teacher at Harris Westminster Sixth Form, Freddie Baveystock; Warden of Gladstone’s Library, Peter Francis; Director of Collections and Research at Gladstone’s Library, Louisa Yates; as well as three past recipients of the Writers in Residence award - poet Penny Boxall (Ship of the Line); and novelists Rachel Malik (Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves) and Rowan Hisayo Buchannan (Harmless Like You).

    The five winners of the 2020 Writers in Residence award at Gladstone’s Library are:

    • Charlotte Higgins, Red Thread: On Mazes and Labyrinths (Jonathan Cape, 2018)
    • Jonathan Edwards, Gen (Seren, 2018)
    • Katie Hale, My Name is Monster (Canongate, 2019)
    • Isabel Galleymore, Significant Other (Carcanet, 2019)
    • Rachel Heng, Suicide Club: A Novel About Living (Sceptre, 2018)

    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.

    Jonathan Heawood (The Press Freedom Myth, Biteback, 2019) and Marva McClean (From the Middle Passage to Black Lives Matter: Ancestral Writing as a Pedagogy of Hope, Peter Lang, 2019) have been chosen as Gladstone’s Library’s Political Writers in Residence for 2020. Both Jonathan and Marva will spend two weeks at Gladstone’s Library in 2020 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. Acknowledging the global significance of political topics, the winning writers will also submit a blog about their work while in residence.

    The 2020 Writers in Residence and Politics in Residence programmes are officially launched on Monday, 25th November 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.


    Jonathan Heawood said, ‘As the tone of public debate grows ever fiercer, I’m looking forward to reflecting calmly on the meaning of democracy in the company of other writers and thinkers at Gladstone’s Library.’

     Charlotte Higgins said, ‘Gladstone's Library is a very special place indeed, and I'm looking forward so much to working on my book in that beautiful and peaceful reading room. It's a real honour to be selected for this amazing residency.’