International Literature Showcase 2019

Dates:
  • 2019-2020

The International Literature Showcase 2019-20 is an online programme from the British Council and the UK’s National Centre for Writing celebrating great British contemporary writers.

In the first of six showcases, Elif Shafak has revealed her selection of ten of the most exciting women writers working in the UK. Her list was commissioned by the National Centre for Writing (NCW) and British Council supported by Arts Council England to launch a new two-year programme to promote writing from the UK to an international audience. 


The International Literature Showcase will invite six guest curators to focus on different aspects of writing from the UK starting with Shafak’s selection of women writers and moving on to explore LGBTQIA+ writers with guest curator Val McDermid, followed by Jackie Kay’s selection of BAME writers. In 2020 the showcase will explore genre with a focus on poetry, speculative fiction and crime.

With a view to promoting the export of outstanding talent to international markets Shafak’s selection is a call to world-wide literature festivals, publishers and academics to look again at writing from the UK and broaden the scope of authors considered for literary events, translation and contemporary British literature courses.


Elif Shafak’s selected writers are:

  • Patience Agbabi
  • Lucy Caldwell
  • Gillian Clarke
  • Bernardine Evaristo
  • Jessie Greengrass
  • Kapka Kassabova
  • Charlotte Higgins
  • Sara Maitland
  • Denise Mina
  • Evie Wyld

“Each writer is very different in terms of style and subject matter, and yet they all share a significant trait: a passionate commitment to the art and craft of storytelling. To the power and the positive potential of words. Their voices bring clarity into the commotion of our times and help connect us across regions, religions, ethnicities and dialects.”
Elif Shafak

FInd out more about the writers here


The list includes Bernardine Evaristo who in The Emperor’s Babe challenges conventional narrative by contextualising black history in Roman London 1,800 years ago, Lucy Caldwell who in her play The Luthier examines the long-term impact of occupation and conflict, and journalist Charlotte Higgins who taps into British literature's longstanding preoccupation with landscape and the natural world.

Ways to get involved

Related writers

Patience Agbabi c Lyndon Douglas

Patience Agbabi is a poet, performer and workshop facilitator. She was born in London in 1965 to Nig...

Genres:

Lucy Caldwell credit Tom Routh 1

Lucy Caldwell was born in Belfast in 1981. She studied English at Queen's College, Cambridge, and fo...

Genres:

Clarke Gillian 2 CREDIT ADRIAN POPE website

Gillian Clarke was born in Cardiff, Wales, and now lives with her family on a smallholding in Ceredi...

Genres:

Bernardine Evaristo 2013 credit Hayley Madden web

Bernardine Evaristo was born in London to an English mother and Nigerian father. The fourth of eight...

Genres:

Kapka Kassabova c Marti Friedlander

Kapka Kassabova was born and raised in Bulgaria in the 1970s and 1980s, and educated at the French C...

Genres:

Charlotte Higgins web

Charlotte Higgins was born in Stoke on Trent in 1972 and studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford...

Genres:

Sara Maitland

Sara Maitland is a novelist and short story writer. Born in 1950, she grew up in Galloway, studied a...

Genres:

Denise Mina USE THIS ONE

After a peripatetic childhood in Glasgow, Paris, London, Invergordon, Bergen and Perth, Denise Mina ...

Genres:

Wyld Evie Credit Roeloff Bakker website

Evie Wyld was born in 1980 and brought up in London, also spending a lot of time in childhood with h...

Genres: