Writing Portfolio – Anne Welsh

After completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing, I spent a decade teaching Cataloguing and Bibliography to the next generation of librarians. You can see my a selection of my academic output via ORCID and in our publications list. This page highlights some writing projects with a wider audience.

Working freelance now, I am building up my portfolio of essays and reviews, while completing a couple of book contracts.

Essays and Opinions

‘Serendipity Will Keep Bookshops Alive’, The Bookseller, 2 June 2020.

Opinion piece based on research for Beginning Cataloguing (forthcoming from Routledge) that identifies four elements for creating the feeling of serendipity that booksellers have tapped into during lockdown.

Available on thebookseller.com >>>

‘Books About Books; Libraries About Libraries’ in From Small Beginnings. London: UCL, 2019, pp. 4-9.

“A library implies an act of faith,” wrote Victor Hugo. This short essay introduces a public exhibition of objects of that faith and demystifies what librarians do to ensure researchers have what they need ready and waiting for them.

More (including full text, and links to the exhibition website and catalogue) >>>

‘Plus ça change: Book Reviews and the Woman Writer’, IES London Blog, 24 July 2019.

A dip into the Duckworth Publishing files to examine Beryl Bainbridge’s press clippings finds not much has changed since the 1970s in the coverage of novels by women.

Full article >>>

Book Reviews

‘Book Review: The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures by The Library of Congress. San Francisco: Chronicle, 2017. 224 pages, ISBN 9781452145402′, Catalogue & Index 189, 2017: 57.

Review of a coffee-table book that provides an insider’s view of some important changes in the inner workings of one of the world’s great libraries.

More (including full text and link to the journal issue) >>>

Bodies in the Library

A project due to launch later in the year, Bodies in the Library started with Twitter and Instagram accounts collating notes and quotes from crime fiction set in libraries. They now also include links to my reviews of advance reader copies, news about crime fiction events and retweets / reposts of selected content from the crime writing community. It’s particularly nice to hear from novelists, as in the thank you note Stephanie Scott posted to some of us.

@librarybodies on Twitter | @bodiesinthelibrary on Instagram

Working with Artists and Writers

Sam Winston Archive. Descriptions of Monster Story, Orphan and A Child of Books. London: Arc, 2019. Published in an edition of 8 copies.

Boxed set of three volumes documenting part of the archive of writer and artist Sam Winston, including photographs by him and Pietro Martini, inside a slip case by Haein Song. In a typical Winston flourish, Sam had our descriptions printed on pink paper, as close to the colour of archival tape as possible.


… my thanks go to … Anne Welsh and Rebecca Jones who helped me understand more about librarianship …”

— Fanny Blake, A Summer Reunion, London: Orion, 2019, p. 305.”

As someone who loves novels featuring librarians, it was exciting to give Fanny Blake some background knowledge for her character Linda in A Summer Reunion.

Broken Sonnets. Exhibited in Pistols and Pollinators 2, The Albion, London, 23-27 May 2013.

“An interdisciplinary project that explores the Arts through experimentation and collaboration,” curated by Accident and Emergence and Katrina Naomi. I was paired with visual artist Hermione Allsopp, who created a sculpture in which some of my ‘broken sonnets’ were embedded and displayed.

More (including photographs and links to poems)>>>


  • 2nd prize in the Essex Poetry Festival Competition 2013 for ‘Day at the Museum’. Adjudicator: Matthew Caley.
  • Highly commended in the McLellan Poetry Prize 2013 for ‘Sounds Reborn’. Judges: Peter and Ann Sansom. (Prize pictured left).
  • Shortlisted for the 2013 Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition for ‘In and Out of Love’. Judge: Christine Thatcher.
  • Shortlisted for the Cardiff Women’s Aid Creative Writing Competition 2013 for ‘The Bride Stripped Bare’ and ‘Womaniser’.
  • Shortlisted for the 2011 Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition for ‘Bride’ and ‘Prescience’.

The Heart of the Rose. Lerwick: Shetland Islands Council, 2012.

One of six poems selected as ‘Jen’s Second Batch’ of poems to be printed and displayed on the inside doors of public toilet cubicles on Shetland, in an initiative by Shetland Public Library and its Reader in Residence, the poet Jen Hadfield.

Spotted by friends in Lerwick bus station, and available online.

From 2006-2016 I published poems in a wide range of journals, including Poetry News, Poetry Scotland, Envoi, The Dark Horse, 14 Magazine, South Bank Poetry and English. Anthology publication credits include:

  • The Poet’s Quest for God, Eyewear, 2016.
  • From the Saltings to the City, Poetry in Practice, 2013.
  • Lung Jazz, Cinnamon Press, 2012.
  • Loose Muse Anthology, Morgan’s Eye, 2012.
  • Both the Poetry from Art at Tate Modern anthologies , 2010 and 2011.


Practical Cataloguing: AACR, RDA and MARC21. London: Facet, 2012. ISBN 9781876046954 (paperback); 9781856049283 (ebook).

The first book to deal with new international cataloguing standard Resource Description and Access (RDA), Practical Cataloguing has sold tens of thousands of copies across Europe and beyond. A set text on iSchool courses for Cataloguing and Knowledge Organization.

More (including reviews, publisher website, library copies and Google Books preview) >>>

Practical Cataloguing: AACR2, RDA and MARC21. Chicago: Neal Schuman, 2012. ISBN-13 9781555707439; ISBN-10 1555707432.

After a small bidding war, Helen Carley at Facet sold the North American rights for Practical Cataloguing to Neal Schuman, who were based in New York. Subsequently they merged with ALA in Chicago. We retained the spelling of “Cataloguing” (as opposed to the American “Cataloging”) to indicate that this is a British-style text.

More (including reviews, publisher website, library copies and sample pdf) >>>


Sophie Hannah’s How to Hold a Grudge podcast, Series 2, Episode 3, 2019: The Energy of Grudges.

“Sophie discusses the possibilities for a comprehensive grudge classification system with librarian and cataloguing expert Anne Welsh. Also in this episode: what emotional energy is attached to holding grudges? How can processing a grudge help us to transform our negative emotions into positive energy, and can the intellectual process of creating a grudge lead to greater objectivity?”

Podcast website >>>

Episode on Open Spotify >>>

Anne Welsh >>>

Page last updated 29 August 2020.