Meet the ILX 10: Rising Stars of UK Writing

Meet the ILX10: a selection of ten exciting, dynamic, and thought-provoking early-career writers based in the UK whose work has the powerful potential to speak to and engage with global literary audiences.

The list, which showcases writers of prose, poetry, creative non-fiction, and those working across intersections of form, is a call to festivals, publishers, educators, and activists around the world to consider broadening the scope of authors they connect with and commission.

Writers were selected by UNESCO Cities of Literature in England and Scotland – Edinburgh, Exeter, Manchester, Norwich and Nottingham – to promote writing from the UK to international audiences, as part of the three-year International Literature Exchange programme by NCW and supported by the British Council and Arts Council England.

In revealing the writers Holly Ainley, Head of Programmes & Creative Engagement at NCW, said:

‘This selection is intended to represent to our international community just how pluralistic, diverse, and globally engaged the UK literature scene is. We hope the list will act as a springboard for new conversations, partnerships, and projects for ILX participants and beyond.

‘Teaming up with our fellow UNESCO Cities of Literature here in the UK meant we could draw on their expertise and geographical spread to ensure we created as distinctive and wide-ranging a list as possible.’

The list includes Manchester-based scriptwriter and poet afshan d’souza-lodhi, who draws on the poetry of many different languages and cultures – Urdu, English, Konkani, Islamic and Christian – in her debut poetry collection [re:desire] (Burning Eye Books). She said:

‘It is an honour to be included in this year’s ILX10 amongst such a phenomenal list of writers. As a writer, my goal has always been to be a part of conversations that resonate across borders. This programme will give me a platform to engage in political dialogues with my contemporaries who have very different experiences and perspectives to myself.’

This programme will give me a platform to engage in political dialogues with my contemporaries who have very different experiences and perspectives to myself.

afshan d’souza-lodhi

Download the ILX10 pack

Download a PDF copy of the ILX10 showcase, featuring our Rising Stars of UK Writing and short commissions reflecting on their practise.

Download here

The ILX10 forms part of a three-year programme named the International Literature Exchange (ILX). The ILX explores the unique challenges and opportunities facing all those who work with words, books, and literature by bringing literature professionals from across the world together to learn, exchange expertise and experience, devise collaborations, and build international networks.

ILX launched in January 2024 with a three-day symposium for 32 international delegates on some of the key challenges facing literature professionals today: resilience and sustainability for the literature industry, quality of access and opportunity for artists and writers, and environmental responsibility. Delegates were based in Argentina, Australia, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Georgia, Germany, India, Kenya, Malasia, Morocco, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Ireland, Spain, Uganda, UK, USA and Vietnam. Find more about them here.

Join the conversation on social media by following @WritersCentre in Twitter/X and Instagram or by following the hashtag #LitExchange.


The International Literature Exchange is a programme from National Centre for Writing, supported by the British Council and Arts Council England.



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