The Eccles British Library Writer in Residence Award 2016 is an award of £20,000 aimed at authors resident (for the year of residency at least) in the United Kingdom whose subject matter relates to the USA, Canada and/or the Caribbean. The award is not restricted to British nationals but is aimed at works written in the English language.
The award will go to a writer who is planning to use the Library’s extensive collection relating to North America in the creation of a full-length book. Writers of fiction, non-fiction and academic works are eligible to apply. The application should detail the potential benefits of the award to the work and to the Eccles Centre and the British Library, and should include evidence of a publisher’s intention to publish the finished work.
The panel of five judges for the award has recently been announced. Professor Richard Carwardine is President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, former Rhodes Professor of American History at Oxford, and himself winner in 2004 of the Lincoln Prize for the best work on the American Civil War. Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities at the University of East Anglia, is a regular fiction prize judge (including the Man Booker Prize 2014) and was herself the recipient of the 2015 Eccles British Library Writer in Residence Award. Professor Philip Davies is Director of the Eccles Centre for American Studies and Dr Matthew Shaw is Lead Curator for the Americas at the British Library. Catherine Eccles is an international literary scout.
Previous winners of this Award are Sheila Rowbotham, Naomi Wood, John Burnside, Andrea Wulf, Olivia Laing, Erica Wagner, Sarah Churchwell and Benjamin Markovits.
For details of Eccles Centre activities, and to find out more about the award, including former recipient Naomi Wood discussing how the residency helped her research her novel Mrs Hemingway (Picador, 2014), see www.bl.uk/ecclescentre.
The closing date for applications is 31 August 2015.