Ten winners of the inaugural Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers’ programme selected

5 July 2021

Ten emerging writers have been selected as the inaugural cohort on the Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers Programme. The writers have been paired with their established mentors.

The emerging writers chosen were:

  1. Sara Doctors
  2. Sophie Dumont
  3. Madeleine Dunnigan
  4. Linda Ford
  5. Philip Glassborow
  6. Fiona Monahan
  7. Eleanor Myerson
  8. Julie Noble
  9. Karen Skinazi
  10. Guy Stagg

The projects cover subjects including child development, foraging, mental health, refugees, Syriana and Wittgenstein, all linked to the designated theme of ‘Beginnings’.

The emerging writers will receive mentoring, peer support sessions and bursaries, as part of the programme. The programme will run over the coming months and an event will be held at JBW’s 70th anniversary festival in March 2022.

Booker-nominated novelist AD Miller, one of the fiction mentors for this year’s programme, 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.”

Poet 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. It was very difficult to judge by three poems in each case but, having chosen, I am delighted to be working with Sophie on her Piaget project.”

Sam Leith, Spectator literary editor and journalism mentor 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.”

Others mentors for this year are Tracy Cheavlier, Sophie Herxheimer, Benjamin Markovits, Caroline Moorehead, George Prochnik, Kavita Puri and George Szirtes.

In addition to one-on-one mentoring the writers receive bursaries, group support sessions and guest seminars from Elif Shafak, Pushkin Press publisher Adam Freudenheim and agents from The Blair Partnership.

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.”