Press Releases

Applications Open For 2023/24 Genesis Jewish Book Week Programme

17 April 2023

Bidisha Mamata, Amy Abrahams, Rachel Lewis and Tilly Rubens | Kings Place (2023)

Applications are now open for the third annual Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers’ Programme, which covers fiction, non-fiction and poetry and includes bursaries, mentoring, peer support and an event at London’s longest-running literary festival.

The Programme is open to emerging writers over 18 years of age and living in the UK with no more than three years’ experience of being published. Applicants should be working, or planning to work, on a specific project with the aim of publication and have until 31 May to apply via

Eleanor Myerson recently became the latest alumnus of the programme to see her project secure a publishing deal, with Cambridge University Press to release her book The Desire for “Syria” in Medieval England. “I’m sure that being part of the JBW scheme was part of what ensured that the Academic Impact pitch was successful – usually the books in that line are by much more established academics than me.” And next month sees the publication of fellow alumnus Oakley Flanagan’s debut poetry pamphlet G&T by Out-Spoken Press.

The launch of this year’s programme comes a month after the 2022/23 cohort appeared at a sold-out session on the final day of this year’s Jewish Book Week at Kings Place, alongside mentors including Bidisha Mamata and Anne Sebba. The full list of established writers serving as mentors for the third annual programme will be confirmed in the coming weeks, with the first four announced today: in the fiction category, Booker-nominated The Water Cure and Cursed Bread novelist Sophie Mackintosh and Ruth Gilligan, the youngest person to top the Irish Bestsellers’ List and winner of the 2021 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize for The Butchers; in poetry Boy Friends author Michael Pedersen, whose third collection The Cat Prince & Other Poems is published by Corsair this summer; and in non-fiction historian Helen Fry, whose 17th book Women in Intelligence comes out this autumn.

As well as mentorship the 10 selected emerging writers will receive bursaries of up to £1,500, peer support and specialist seminars, before appearing at the 73rd Jewish Book Week next March.

John Studzinski, Founder and Chairman of the Genesis Foundation said:

We are delighted to be continuing our support of Jewish Book Week’s emerging writers programme into a third year. It chimes with our work at the Genesis Foundation: supporting and nurturing emerging talent in the arts and creative sectors. We believe that effective mentoring can make all the difference to an artist or writer. To date, the programme has developed some outstanding talent and enabled them to have a real impact, with some of the writers already securing publishing deals. The mentors and the support offered through the scheme have given the writers a huge boost and expanded their horizons. We look forward to seeing how the next group of writers develop, with the support and commitment of our superb mentors and the excellent team at Jewish Book Week.”

Find out more about the Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers Programme