Improve your writing with advice from the Royal Literary Fund

Hilary Davies, Jennifer Potter and Lynn Knight.

Would you like to develop and improve your writing? Three professional writers are available in the Humanities Floor 1 Reading Room to offer bespoke advice. This service is free to anyone with a Reader Pass but you need to book in advance.

Published date:

In a new partnership between the British Library and the Royal Literary Fund (RLF), three RLF Writing Fellows are available in the Humanities Floor 1 Reading Room. They are each at the British Library one day a week for bespoke one-to-one consultations with anyone holding a Reader Pass. This service is free to Readers. 

The Fellows are:

  • Hilary Davies poet, essayist and translator 
  • Jennifer Potter, novelist, biographer and author of social, cultural and botanical histories
  • Lynn Knight, writer of biography, memoir and social history.

Launched in 1999, the RLF Fellowship scheme was set up originally to place established writers in universities and colleges throughout Britain with the aim of fostering good writing practice across all disciplines and media. This is the first time the scheme is being extended to the British Library.

Whatever you're writing - fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose, biography or memoir, an academic thesis or something more personal - the Fellows can offer you advice.

Book a 50-minute consultation with one of the Fellows for advice on any aspect of your writing craft. You will need a British Library Reader Pass.

Lynn Knight on Mondays, Jennifer Potter is at the Library on Wednesdays and Hilary Davies on Thursdays.

The Fellows will want to know the nature of your enquiry and may ask you to send a short sample of your writing before you meet. The sessions are advisory in nature, designed to help you develop your writing and editing skills. Don't expect the Fellows to proofread or copy-edit your work.

Jennifer Potter

Jennifer Potter has published ten books: four novels, a biography, two books about gardens, and works of social, cultural and botanical history. Her most recent book, The Jamestown Brides, tells the true story of young English women shipped to Virginia and sold as wives to the planters. A long-time reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, she has been a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, a Hawthornden Fellow, an Honorary Teaching Fellow on the Warwick Writing Programme, and currently runs writing workshops at British universities as an RLF Consultant Fellow.

Hilary Davies

Hilary Davies has published four collections of poetry published by Enitharmon: the latest, Exile and the Kingdom, was published in November 2016. She is also a translator, essayist and critic. Hilary has won an Eric Gregory award, and been a Hawthornden Fellow and Chairman of the Poetry Society. She was Royal Literary Fund Fellow at King’s College, London, 2012-6 and is a regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, PN Review and The Tablet.  She is a Fellow of the English Association and for many years was Head of Languages at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in London.

Lynn Knight

Lynn Knight has written biography, memoir and social history. Her latest book, The Button Box: The story of women in the 20th century, told through the clothes they wore, reflects her interest in the texture and narratives of women’s lives. A Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Queen Mary University of London from 2015 to 2018, she teaches literature courses at the City Lit and has run study days at the Charleston Literary Festival, the Geffrye Museum and elsewhere. She has also edited two collections of short stories which grew out of her former role as an editorial director of Virago.