Click here to skip to content

Eccles Centre Writers in Residence

The Eccles British Library Writer in Residence Award was first awarded for the calendar year 2012. The Award of £20,000 is open to writers resident in the United Kingdom. Writers should be working on a non-fiction or fiction full-length book, written in the English Language, the research for which requires that they make substantial use of the British Library’s collections relating to North America (the USA and/or Canada).

Watch former Writer in Residence, Naomi Wood, explain how the award helped her research her novel Mrs Hemingway (Picador, 2014).

Read blog posts by current and former Writers in Residence on the Americas blog.

Applications are invited for the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence Award 2015

This award of £20,000, sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, is open to writers resident in the United Kingdom. Writers should be working on a non-fiction or fiction full-length book, written in the English language, the research for which requires that they make substantial use of the British Library’s collections relating to North America (the USA and/or Canada). The award holder will be the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence for a period of one year from 1 January 2015.

The award will be made in four quarterly grants of £5,000. The Writer in Residence will have privileged access to the expertise of the British Library’s curatorial staff, will be able to use the Writers and Scholars’ Room and will be entitled to use some British Library staff facilities. On publication of the book every effort will be made by the Eccles Centre to host a launch event at the British Library. The Eccles Centre and British Library’s support of this award will be acknowledged in the book when published, and in any other publications, web articles or media features resulting from the award.

Residency with the Eccles Centre at the British Library presents opportunities for the award holder to co-operate with the Director of the Eccles Centre to initiate, develop and facilitate seminars, workshops and other activities and events related to their research. The Writer in Residence will also be invited to promote public awareness of the Eccles Centre and its aims through the web, social media and in print.

The British Library website, including public access to the catalogues, can be found at www.bl.uk. The Eccles Centre does not house a collection separate to that of the British Library, and the bibliographies on the Eccles Centre web pages give only a snapshot of some of the items in the British Library collection.

Enquiries regarding the British Library’s holdings relating to the USA and Canada can be directed in the first instance to the US curator Dr Matthew Shaw (Matthew.Shaw@bl.uk), the Canadian curator, Dr Philip Hatfield (Philip.Hatfield@bl.uk), or to the Eccles Centre (eccles-centre@bl.uk).

How to apply

Applications (no more than 5 pages) should:

  • Include a resumé of the book being written;
  • Include a brief CV;
  • Explain the nature and extent of the anticipated use of the British Library’s collections relating to North America (the USA and/or Canada);
  • Propose ways that the project will promote awareness and use of the British Library’s collections relating to North America (the USA and/or Canada);
  • Include evidence of a publisher’s intention to publish the finished book – this should include a hardcopy publication by an established publisher;
  • Be submitted before 17.00 on Sunday 31 August 2014

Applications should be submitted by email attachment to eccles-centre@bl.uk.

The judges reserve the right to request further information, including full book proposals, at a later stage of the application process.

Download the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2015 leaflet.

Previous recipients

2014 Recipients - Olivia Laing and Erica Wagner

2013 Recipients - Andrea Wulf and John Burnside

2012 Recipients - Sheila Rowbotham and Naomi Wood

Top of Page Top of page