International Literature Showcase 2019

  • 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 showcase, Elif Shafak revealed her selection of ten women writers. The second showcase saw Val McDermid celebrate ten LGBTQI+ writers.

Now, Scots Makar Jackie Kay has announced her list of ten of the most interesting writers of colour working in the UK today.

The lists were 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 Elif Shafak’s selection of women writers and moving on to explore LGBTQI+ writers with guest curator Val McDermid, followed by Jackie Kay’s selection of writers of colour. 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 the showcases are 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.

Showcasing women writers 

Elif Shafak’s selected writers 

“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

Showcasing LGBTQI+ writers 

Val McDermid's selected writers

Watch Val McDermid discussing her selection of LGBTQI+ authors.

Showcasing writers of colour

Jackie Kay’s selected writers

Watch Jackie Kay discussing her selection of BAME authors.



Ways to get involved

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PODCAST: International Literature Showcase

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary writers - Georgina Godwin discusses the first of 2019's international literature showcases which focuses on women writers.

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