The Jewish Chronicle
Jewish Book Week authors to mentor emerging UK writing talent
News emerges today of the addition of yet another string to the infinitely capacious bow of Jewish Book Week, this time in a two-year collaboration with the Genesis Foundation. A new mentoring programme will give emerging writers the chance to be nurtured by established authors who have previously appeared at Jewish Book Week, including Tracy Chevalier, Benjamin Markovits, George Prochnik, A D Miller, George Szirtes and Sam Leith.
Jewish Book Week, now entering its 70th year, has grown from modest beginnings to a major, international literary festival, while the Genesis Foundation has donated more than £20 million to the arts in its 20-year history.
The programme will offer bursaries and mentorship to ten emerging writers of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or journalism, who are over 18, of any background, living in the UK. They will either not have been published or have an experience of being published of no more than three years, and must be working on, or planning a specific project, with the aim of publication.The ten writers will also be offered peer support sessions, opportunities to speak at Jewish Book Week events, and bursaries of up to £1,500 to complete research and writing. Applications are now open.
For the inaugural year, writers will be asked to work on the theme of “Beginnings”. The bursaries will be distributed from July and an event will be held at Jewish Book Week’s 70th anniversary festival in March 2022.
JBW director, Claudia Rubenstein says: “It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We have this amazing pool of talent – writers and speakers who come to the festival – and we’d been thinking about how we can give back to the large community of emerging writers.
“Our annual festival,” adds Rubenstein, “celebrates the wealth and diversity of writing talent within the Jewish community, and this new programme seeks to draw on the expertise of our festival speakers to foster and develop the careers of new writers from all backgrounds.”
John Studzinski CBE, founder and chairman of the Genesis Foundation, says: “We are thrilled to partner with
Jewish Book Week on this special project in our 20th anniversary year. It goes to the heart of what we have been doing for two decades: supporting and nurturing creative and emerging talent.
“Jewish Book Week provides a powerful intellectual framework for the programme.”