Over the last seven years the National Centre for Writing and British Council have promoted over 120 great writers as part of the International Literature Showcase.

This on-going project is operated every couple of years with the ambition of supporting the selected writers and their work, helping them to find and reach new audiences in every continent on the planet. The ILS has created dialogue, forged connections and generated and funded new projects between UK and international literature professionals, across festivals, translators, academics, journalists and readers.

It is therefore very exciting to announce the return of the ILS, which launches today at London Book Fair with Elif Shafak’s list of ten great UK women writers – the first of six showcases. Throughout 2019 and 2020 we are inviting the UK’s leading writers to hand-pick the authors for the showcases, each of which will focus on a specific aspect of the literature scene. We will highlight the curated writers and provide resources for further reading, providing inspiration for anyone who works in and around literature, anywhere in the world. You’ll be able to book them for your festival, understand how these writers relate and respond to canonical and contemporary UK literature, source translation rights, and much more.

Each of the showcases is themed to cast light on an area of the literary ecosystem: in 2019 we present three responses to UK diversity: showcasing women writers, LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender queer, and intersex) writers, and black, Asian, and minority ethnic writers. Moving into 2020 we will be exploring specific genres of literature, including speculative fiction, crime, and poetry. You’ll find storytellers, wordsmiths, playwrights, performers, non-fiction writers and more.

The ILS is a demonstration that UK literature is international in its outlook, engaged and engaging. We look forward to sharing great writing with you and being your guide to modern British literature.

Elif Shafak reveals her selection of 10 brilliant UK women writers

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