08 April 2021, The Tablet

Genesis Foundation partners with Jewish Book Week

Genesis Foundation partners with Jewish Book Week

American-British novelist Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, will be one of the mentors in the new programme.

The Genesis Foundation, which over the past 20 years has donated more than £20 million to the arts, has launched a new programme in cooperation with Jewish Book Week to support ten emerging writers in the UK.

Genesis Jewish Book Week Emerging Writers’ Programme, which will run for two years, will offer bursaries and mentorship to ten emerging writers over 18 years of age, of any background, writing fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  

Established writers who have take part in Jewish Book Week in the past will mentor the emerging writers. They include Tracy Chevalier, Sam Leith and George Szirtes. 

The ten successful applicants will also be offered peer support sessions, opportunities to speak at future JBW events and bursaries of up to £1,500 to complete research and writing. Jewish Book Week, is one of the best-known international literary festivals. It runs for nine days and has taken place annually since 1952.

Claudia Rubenstein, director of Jewish Book Week, said: “As Jewish Book Week enters its 70th year, we are delighted to be working with the Genesis Foundation in offering mentorship and support to emerging writers.

“Our annual festival 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. We are tremendously excited to discover the poets, authors and journalists who will form the Genesis Emerging Writers cohort of 2021.”

John Studzinski, pictured here in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Pic: Adrian Myers.

John Studzinski CBE, who founded the Genesis Foundation in 2001, said: “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. As a devout Christian, I am delighted to be working within the parameters of the Abrahamic faiths to promote culture and creativity. It highlights one of the UK’s great strengths – literature and the spoken word – which we must keep encouraging and developing.”

The programme is open to emerging writers over 18 years of age and living in the UK with no more than three years’ experience of being published, who feel they would benefit from the support and insight of a more established writer. Applicants should be working, or planning to work, on a specific project, with the aim of publication.

The Genesis Foundation has partnerships with leading arts organisations such as the Young Vic, National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, LAMDA and The Sixteen, and runs training programmes that equip emerging artists for life as a creative professional.

Applications are now open and for the inaugural year writers will be asked to work on projects with the theme of “Beginnings”. The bursaries will be distributed from July and an event will be held at JBW’s 70th anniversary festival in March 2022.To apply, go to https://jewishbookweek.com/genesis-jewish-book-week-emerging-writers-programme/.





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