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Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers' Programme

Applications have now closed for the 2021 Programme

The inaugural Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers’ Programme is now under way, with 10 authors, journalists and poets selected and paired with established mentors.

The Programme was open to emerging writers over 18 years of age and living in the UK with no more than three years’ experience of being published. Every submission was anonymised and read by an independent reader before successful applicants were chosen from shortlists by each mentor. The projects cover subjects including child development, foraging, mental health, refugees, Syriana and Wittgenstein, all linked to the designated theme of ‘Beginnings’.

The ten selected emerging writers were: Sara Doctors, Sophie Dumont, Madeleine Dunnigan, Linda Ford, Philip Glassborow, Fiona Monahan, Eleanor Myerson, Julie Noble, Karen Skinazi and Guy Stagg. They will receive mentoring, peer support sessions and bursaries, as part of the programme.

Mentors for the 2021 Genesis Emerging Writers Programme are Tracy Chevalier, Benjamin Markovits & AD Miller (fiction); Sam Leith & Kavita Puri (journalism); Caroline Moorehead, George Prochnik & Cathy Rentzenbrink (non-fiction); and  Sophie Herxheimer George Szirtes (poetry). In addition, the successful applicants will have sessions with Elif Shafak, novelist and TED Global speaker; Adam Freudenheim, publisher of Puskin Press and previously Penguin Classics; and agents from The Blair Partnership, whose clients include JK Rowling, Rafael Behr and Pete Townshend.

Booker-nominated novelist AD Miller said: “To judge by the verve and variety of their submissions, these emerging writers have already emerged.”

The Last Act of Love author Cathy Rentzenbrink said: “Mentoring is such an enriching pleasure for me and the standard of applications I saw were so high that I would happily have worked with all the writers. I am excited to see how the programme will develop and looking forward to doing the work.”

T.S Eliot Prize and Intetnational Man Booker winner George Szirtes said: “It was a marvellous shortlist comprising poems about Alzheimer’s, about a Jewish family in Belfast, about beginnings, about living through darkness, and about Piaget, all good, all promising even more.”

Sam Leith, Spectator literary editor added: “I was very impressed and encouraged by the standard of the submissions I read, their ambition and the range of enthusiasms they showed. I’m hugely looking forward to working with these talented people.”

John Studzinski CBE, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation, said: “Congratulations to our ten emerging writers selected. We are looking forward to creative sparks flying, as they team up with their mentors. We are delighted to be working with Jewish Book Week and in our twentieth year, continuing to fulfil our core mission: to support and nurture creative and emerging talent.”

About the Genesis Foundation

The Genesis Foundation was founded by John Studzinski CBE in 2001. Over the past 20 years the Foundation has donated more than £20million to the arts. Through its funding and partnership model, it has enabled opportunities for thousands of young artists in theatre and music, building both their experience and their resilience. Its main focus is on partnerships with leading arts organisations such as the Young Vic, National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, LAMDA and The Sixteen, and on training programmes that equip emerging artists for life as a creative professional.