“At a time when the world is changing with a bewildering speed, and we are constantly bombarded with information and misinformation, stop what you are doing, find a quiet corner and read these amazing writers.”
Polyvocal poet, lover of formal constraints, film noir, sci-fi
“Patience Agbabi tirelessly innovates a new relationship between the classics and the contemporary.” – Elif Shafak
Mother-of-two, reader of everything, writer of novels, short stories, plays
“Lucy Caldwell’s words across discipline and form open compelling and unforgettable worlds with sensitivity and humanity.” – Elif Shafak
Welsh poet, broadcaster, playwright, conserver of eighteen beautiful Ceredigion acres
“A towering figure in Welsh literature, simultaneously haunting and immediate, shifting between languages in her exploration of the local and the global.” – Elif Shafak
Afro Saxon Amazon, experimenter, comedy & tragedy, activist for inclusion
“Bernardine Evaristo is one of those writers who should be read by everyone, everywhere. Her tales marry down-to-earth characters with engrossing story lines about identity, and the UK of today.” – Elif Shafak
Quixotically determined to reach the centre. Funnier than expected.
“Jessie Greengrass makes words dance. And she makes me want to stand up and dance with them….She is a brilliant, emerging talent.” – Elif Shafak
Author, journalist, classicist; I love tragedy, poetry and ancient tales
“An author with magic in her pen. From ancient subjects she conjures living text: vast conversations about who we are today and why the stories we tell really matter.” – Elif Shafak
Writer of deep journeys, explorer of human geographies, connecting worlds
“Unflinching, eloquent, Kapka Kassabova looks inside the human soul, excavates the deepest truth and tells us about it in all its tragic, mysterious beauty.” – Elif Shafak
Lives on her own in as much silence as possible on a high moor in S.W.Scotland
“Writer, thinker, seeker, seer, Sara Maitland is one of our most articulate and probing intellects, with an enervating ability to look closely at things and make us look with her.” – Elif Shafak
Feminist, internationalist, crime fiction, narrative champion, contemporary fiction, politics, giggler
“Compassionate, outspoken, witty, taking crime to places it hasn’t been before, Denise Mina is a tour de force.” – Elif Shafak
Landscape, ghosts, human beings and animals. Sharks in particular.
“A bold, often spectacular wordsmith, Evie Wyld’s restless characters are matched only by the rugged landscapes and untameable wildlife around them.” – Elif Shafak
“These ten writers open up the world to you and give you the world back. There’s a worldly-wise wisdom in their work, as well as an abundance of humour. They are bold. They often tackle difficult and dangerous themes with an extraordinary grace and lightness of touch.”
Interdisciplinary, critical, queer and rooted in the archive
‘Their poems sing with outrage and indignation, with fury and passion…They have brio, they have brilliance, they are breathtakingly brave’ – Jackie Kay
Poet, editor, academic. Proudly queer and BAME. Londoner from Hong Kong.
‘Her work has an astounding urgency to it. A poet of our time – she captures the newness of everything, stepping into a gay bar for the first time. Her poetry is psychologically astute and culturally complex.’ – Jackie Kay
Eric Ngalle Charles is a story-teller par-excellence with many tales to tell, a unique theatrical voice.
‘His voice reaches out across the divides, across the lands, from Cameroon, to Russia to the UK taking it all in.’ – Jackie Kay
Poet, pen-and-ink artist, video film maker, escaped shapeshifter
‘Her poetry shines a light in the dark… You cannot hear her perform without being somehow transformed by the experience.’ – Jackie Kay
One of the Observer’s New Faces of Fiction 2018
‘His work has an immediacy and a warmth to it and his is a world you want to enter.’ – Jackie Kay
Aiming for a perfect balance between narrative drive and close attention to language.
‘A brilliant craftswoman, a master of the form, she makes the reader ask important questions of themselves and makes them laugh at the same time.’ – Jackie Kay
Writer building bridges made of stories, connecting people through words.
‘A fearless poet, who boldly takes on difficult themes, like gender-based violence, reasserting her right to speak out about those things that are often hidden from view.’ – Jackie Kay
Subtle poet whose writing addresses language, family, heritage, nature and time.
‘His poems are precise, startling in their originality, full of grace. Kunial traces the roots in language to then track the roots in his mixed-race identity, effortlessly transporting the reader from one place to another”‘- Jackie Kay
Ugandan writer keen on folklore, feminisms, masculinities, renergising readerships for African fiction.
‘Witty as well as deeply affecting, Makumbi is as comfortable in the grand sweep of the epic novel as she is in the powerful shot of the short story.’ – Jackie Kay
Feminist exploring innovative writing and accessibility, committed to voice(s) and representation
‘Her elegant and lyrical prose is instantly engaging. She is fascinated with the spaces in between culture and form, and she is adept at moving between Nigeria, Germany and the UK.’ – Jackie Kay
“Words do change the world, reader by reader. They open our eyes, they provoke thought, they make us uncomfortable in our entrenched positions. The work of these ten writers will do all of those things.”
Manchester poet exploring the intersections of Masculinity, Sexuality and Violence
“He explores marginal lives and masculinity as well as his own lived experience as a gay man from the North of England.” – Val McDermid
Poet – lover of the singing line – long lost Derry girl
“The deceptive simplicity of her language disguises a profound engagement with identity.” – Val McDermid
“Lyrical, ethereal and sometimes brutal, it’s an intense exploration what it means to be different.” – Val McDermid
Trans writer and filmmaker, inspired by modernism and socialism
“Combines critiques of trans theory, literature and film with a personal story of transition.” – Val McDermid
A contemporary voice in journalism and cutting-edge YA fiction
“A School Role Model for LGBTQ charity Stonewall and runs writing and story-telling workshops in underprivileged schools.” – Val McDermid
Cross-genre writer & performer; British and Caribbean history, sexuality, religion…
“A poetry slam champion both in the UK and internationally.” – Val McDermid
Professional daydreamer; creator of queer feminist fairytales
“She reworks folk tales, fairy stories, myth and magic to explore desire, identity and our hidden queer lives.” – Val McDermid
A writer exploring complexities and seeking nuance in binary times
“Marries nature writing with his struggle to reject the binary and accept his internal contradictions.” – Val McDermid
Edinburgh novelist of the overlooked. Likes to wander in graveyards.
“Firmly rooted both in the secret lives of Edinburgh and what she calls ‘the murderous side of family life – the dark, the quirky and the strange.’” – Val McDermid
Will take you to strange places, yet bring you back safely
“A poet, short story writer and novelist whose work also incorporates a wide range of performance.” – Val McDermid
“From travelogues to poems to memoir to YA and adult fiction, these ten writers create stories and poems which offer us glimpses of how we might reposition ourselves in relation to each other and the natural world; they invite us to imagine other ways to be.”
Everyday life as science fiction.
“Inventive and inquiring novels explore what it means to be human in the 21st century.” – Owen Sheers
Daydreamer. Sometimes angry, always hopeful. Writing in the margins. Dancing in the kitchen.
“Poems born of a fearless and unflinching interrogation into heritage, race, identity and the nature of belonging…driven by an honesty and energy of surprising power and immediacy.” – Owen Sheers
English-Kenyan writer whose creative and critical work explores environmental themes.
“This is a work of illuminating grace and observation that offers us glimpses of new ways to know ourselves and to be”– Owen Sheers
Gender equality activist and author making the invisible visible
“At once ultra contemporary and tragically timeless…brilliantly harnesses the empathy and insight of the novel to challenge the restrictions and injustices of patriarchal societies.” – Owen Sheers
I often write in an attempt to answer something confusing.
“An acute insight into human nature to explore the blurred edges of kindness and compassion...” Owen Sheers
I build homes of voices, each word a stone.
“A novelist of rare accomplishment and skill whose use of language and characterisation effortlessly carries readers away.” – Owen Sheers
Searching, reflective, sanguine, vulnerable, direct, historical, relevant, multi-textural, rhythmical, intersectional.
“Poems about masculinity, loss, silenced voices, the d/deaf experience and personal and communal inheritance.” – Owen Sheers
Poet, editor, critic. Looking at the stories we tell ourselves.
“Poems of fierce love about the full scope of contemporary life from the intimacy of motherhood and the divided streets of London to elegies for the victims of honour killings and the climate crisis.” – Owen Sheers
Telling stories at the overlap of the human and non-human worlds
“The human and ecological stories, connections and histories…come together to create a beautiful, devastating and painfully urgent piece of travel writing.”– Owen Sheers
Through mapping and writing, I consider how we shape landscape and are shaped by it.
“Carr approaches his subject both from across history and from within the immediate moment of his travels to produce a particularly timely and resonant travelogue.” – Owen Sheers