The Jhalak Prize was established in 2016 to celebrate books by British and British resident writers of colour and the Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize was founded in 2020. We are delighted to be partnering with the Jhalak Prize to offer shortlisted and winning authors complimentary London Library membership with full access to the Library’s collection of around one million books and to its extensive online resources.

The shortlisted works for the Jhalak Prize 2022 have been announced. They are:

Consumed, Arifa Akbar (Sceptre)

Somebody Loves You, Mona Arshi (And Other Stories)

Like a Tree, Walking, Vahni Capildeo (Carcanet)

Keeping the House, Tice Cin (And Other Stories)

The Roles We Play, Sabba Khan (Myriad)

Things I Have Withheld,  Kei Miller (Canongate Books)


The shortlist for the Children's & YA category has also been shared. It is:

Ace of Spades, Faridah Àbíkí-Íyímídé (Usborne) 

We're Going to Find the Monster, Malorie Blackman & Dapo Adeola (Puffin) 

The Musical Truth: A Musical History of Modern Black Britain in 28 Songs, Jeffrey Boakye, illustrated Ngadi Smart, (Faber & Faber)  

Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths, Maisie Chan (Piccadilly Press) 

The Sound of Everything, Rebecca Henry (Everything With Words) 

The Crossing, Manjeet Mann (Penguin Random House Children’s)


We are hosting a celebration of the nominated authors on Wednesday 11 May which will feature readings by the shortlisted authors. Tickets are available here.

For the next three years, the shortlisted authors for the Jhalak Prize and the new Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize will receive a complimentary one-year membership and the winning authors of both prizes will receive a complimentary two-year membership of The London Library.

Following a decision by the Board of Trustees we shall be removing the Sackler name from our small reading room currently known as The Sackler Study. This room will now be referred to as The Study. We shall be making changes to our signage and communications materials over the coming weeks.

'Consumed' by Karis Kelly was announced on 10 March as the winning script for The Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2021 in an award ceremony at the Library. The Prize, now in its second year, is produced by Ellie Keel and Paines Plough, with Principal Partner 45North and in association with Sonia Friedman Productions. Kelly has won for her play 'Consumed,' a story of four generations of Northern Irish Women and "a house full of hungry ghosts, with more than one skeleton in the closet." Having written a play about the transgenerational impacts of war, Kelly will be donating a portion of the prize money to those impacted by the war in Ukraine.

On winning the award, Kelly said “I’m absolutely blown away to be the Winner of the 2021 Women’s Prize for Playwriting. In today’s theatre ecology, we really do need programmes that highlight female and female identifying voices. I’m so proud to be a part of its legacy. Like many others in the arts, during the pandemic, I had a complete crisis of faith, and was considering a complete career change! So, to go from that point, to receiving recognition from such an amazing prize and panel of judges is genuinely a dream come true.”

We are pleased to welcome Kelly to the Library with a prize of two years' membership alongside the 7 other finalists of this year's prize who will each receive a year's membership: Alison Carr, Somebody Jones, Isabella Leung, lydia luke, Isley Lynn, Paula B Stanic and Abi Zakarian.

In line with Government guidance and the increasing relaxation of preventative measures around covid, we are updating arrangements at the Library.

From Monday 28 March, it will no longer be mandatory for members to wear masks when entering, moving around, or being seated in the Library. It is however the government’s guidance that masks are worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, and we would encourage you to follow that advice. We would also ask you to wear a mask during interactions with members of staff. A supply of face masks will remain available at Reception.

Distancing will be removed between all desks in the Library and The Writers’ Room, Sackler Study, and Reading Room will be reset to their normal configurations. 14 distanced desks can still be found in the Art Reading Room and members can make use of individual desks around the Library and within the stacks, which are placed a good distance from one another. For help finding these, please do ask a member of staff. While desk signs will be removed, hand sanitiser will remain available by shared equipment and at key touch points around the Library.

We ask that members please do not come to the Library if they have tested positive or are showing symptoms for covid.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in keeping everyone at the Library safe.