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Saturday 11 November

07.30–08.30 Breakfast 

08.00–09.00 Registration

09.00–10.00 Choice of: 

A3: The Creative Writing Teacher’s Toolkit – Francis Gilbert

This workshop will show delegates what the most successful teaching strategies are when teaching Creative Writing to all age ranges, from small children to the elderly. Based on respected research, this interactive session will illustrate the “high impact, low effort” tactics that make creative writing workshops fun, purposeful and productive. Topics covered: using mindful meditation and creative visualization; using visual organisers, collages, pictures and video; using objects to stimulate sensory writing; quick, fun starters to ‘hook’ students· Using your own writing to nurture personal writing; asking students to reflect upon their writing in order to improve it. A useful handout will be provided which sums up the key points. If you are “beginner” teacher or an experienced practitioner, there will be something for everyone to take away from the session.

B3: Access Granted – Lania Knight, Megan Paul, Helen Allison

The creative writing workshop is a hands on, practice-based component of most creative writing courses, but it can prove challenging for students with disabilities, impairments or limitations. This panel will discuss, from both the student and the lecturer perspective, how to make the creative writing workshop more accessible. We'll offer tips and suggestions as well as problem-solving strategies to help you design and run a workshop all students can access.

C3: Jumpstart Your Muse – Heidi Williamson & Sue Burge

Engine trouble? Battery feeling a bit flat? Let poets Heidi Williamson and Sue Burge apply a series of short sparky shocks to your muse. They have a whole toolbox of inspiring exercises to help re-ignite your creativity. They’ll help you put your Wheels In Motion, Sound Your Hooter, Get Under the Bonnet, Keep Your Engine Running, make the most of Idling Time and Watch Out For The Squirrel! Whatever kind of wordsmith you are, come along and enjoy a session designed to help you shift up a gear when you head back to your desk.

D3: Time to Write Workshop – Louise Tondeur

If you want to write but never seem to find the time, this workshop is for you. Using a series of practical exercises, I will guide you through the process of finding time to write and share creative productivity resources with you. Structuring your daily routine to fit in time for creative practice: looking after yourself; tracking your time; finding your time drains; your optimal writing time. Structuring your writing project around the time you have: looking long term at the shape of your project; planning over a year; creative signposting. Top time management tips: batching; automating & templates; writing routines; Cal Newport’s Deep Work.

E3: Poetry & Empathy Masterclass with Sarah Howe (booking required)

How difficult is it for one body to feel the injustice wheeled at another?’ Claudia Rankine’s question points towards the possibilities and the limits of empathy, our capacity to cross the border between ‘self’ and ‘other’. Looking at poems that invite us to try on someone else’s shoes – or question the attempt – we’ll range from questions about the lyric ‘I' to mirror neurons, through a mixture of reading, discussion and writing. 

F3: Poetry Writing From ‘Recycling’ – Pam Thompson

This workshop offers ways to explore how texts written by other people can be used to stimulate ideas for new poems and provide ways to improve writing productivity more generally. It begins with the idea that no text is ever original and that writers have always been influenced by other writings and have brought them, consciously or consciously into their own work. In this workshop we will look at some examples of poems that draw from existing texts and particular techniques (e.g. collages, using ‘found’ text and rewriting stories). Participants will then have an opportunity to practise recycling techniques to create new poems. What are the benefits/pitfalls of this approach? How can poets avoid accusations of plagiarism? This workshop is suitable for writers/teachers who want to develop their own writing practice as well as extending their creative writing teaching ‘toolkit’.

10.00–11.00 Choice of:

A4: First Story: Best Practice for Writers in Schools – Pat Cochrane, Mónica Parle

What are the best pedagogical approaches to teaching creative writing in schools? Leading national creative writing charity First Story presents its findings from an intensive research project with Cape UK's Pat Cochrane, drawing on the extensive experience of some its most expert writers-in-residence. Through this project, First Story has gained a better understanding of the approaches, skills and aptitudes that their most successful writers draw on in their transformative work with young people. Sharing key findings and examples of best practice, this session gives writers an enhanced understanding of how to achieve the highest impact when working with young people in schools.

B4: Experimental Fictions - Patrick Wildgust 

Join Patrick Wildgust, curator of Shandy Hall, in a conversation about Experimental Fictions. The Laurence Sterne Trust was established as a registered charity in order to promote the writings of Laurence Sterne, the 18th century novelist and vicar of Coxwold. Shandy Hall is where Sterne lived and wrote The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy. The Trust promotes Sterne’s work and international reputation through exhibitions, events and public access to the property and its collection of books, paintings, manuscripts, prints and ephemera.

C4: Breakfast with the NAWE PhD Network 

Lily Dunn, Derek Neale, Helena Blakemore, Tom Lee, Jocelyn Page

The NAWE PhD Network was created to offer networking opportunities and support to creative writing PhD students from across the country. This session will aim to provide PhD students with guidance on subjects from the creative/critical divide, employment in an HE framework, publishing, and building a career post-PhD. 

Come and join new, continuing and recently completed PhD students in Creative Writing for a morning of networking, advice - and a lot of coffee. 

D4: Disability and Access to Creative Writing Education – Hannah Bullimore & Sarah Gonnet

In this talk we will use expertise by experience to explore different methods of Creative Writing education, and the limits of these methods for those with a long-term physical or mental health condition. We will speak about our own experiences as chronically ill young people, who have encountered numerous methods of Creative Writing education, including the traditional academic Masters, mentoring, writing workshops, distance-learning and training programmes. We will also look at how difficulties in access to education often begin in secondary school. Our talk should be empowering and will end with a discussion.

E4: Creative Wreading: Mapping 'Difficult' Poetry And Prose – Tania Hershman

The “creative wreading” workshop was pioneered by American poet Charles Bernstein for discussing fiendish poems that readers – and writers – find difficult to understand. He says: “In the Wreading workshop, such non understanding flourishes. Reading ambiently and associatively rather than rationally and systematically, a poem may come to life even as it remains out of our grasp…then difficulty ceases to be an obstacle and is transformed into an opening." In this workshop we’ll try out – and invent – some bizarre and novel “wreading” techniques for dismantling and mapping tricky poetry and prose, to help us and our students!

F4: a) Controlling Ideas: Trademarks, Narrative and Creativity – The Role of the Writer In a Market of Enclosures – Dan Anthony

My doctoral research into the relationship between creativity and intellectual property in Creative Writing at Cardiff University explores the tensions between literary creativity and capitalism. Premised on my experience as a specialist in trade marks law, scriptwriting and children’s book author, my paper focuses on the issue of whether trademarks liberate or restrict our narratives. This cross-disciplinary presentation for creative writing practitioners touches on history, law and cultural theory. Do we control trademarks or do they control us?

b) Creative Writing: Business Writing – Gwyneth Box

Among authors and poets who consider their work to be an art form, there is often a kind of snobbery about commercial writing. But the world of business is not afraid to borrow from the world of creativity: brochures and other print collateral have long been referred to as “corporate literature”, while marketing copy and slogans often rely for their effectiveness on the same rhetorical devices used by creative writers. Now “storytelling” has become a vogue word among entrepreneurs. This brief talk aims to show that the traditional creative/business writing dichotomy is no more than an unhelpful fallacy.

11.00–11.30 Tea/Coffee

11.30–13.00 Choice of:

A5: Writing Education for Young People: Seeking Your Views on the Future of Writing - Bambo Soyinka, Seraphima Kennedy

How do we work together to champion good practice; and how do we engage decision makers in dialogue about the future of the art of writing in the UK? 

This year NAWE celebrates its 30th Birthday and many writing tutors, groups and hubs have reached similar milestones. Writing, like music, is a core part of our heritage and culture. But, as we all know, young people’s writing does not receive the same level of national support and recognition as other arts forms do.  Funded by Arts Council England, Paper Nations is a strategic hub, investigating good practice and barriers to writing education for young people. Our research this year has shown that a major barrier to the sustainability of writing provision for young people is economical - many writing tutors, groups and teachers struggle to keep provision going simply because they do not have the time or cash. 

In this open consultation session, reflecting on 30 years of best practice, we will discuss key success factors and barriers to good creative writing education for young people. We are keen to hear your stories and views; and to include you in our research and good practice case studies. We'd love to see you at this session, but if you can't make it then please pop to our stand at the front desk to find out how to get involved with this national research and engagement project. 

Funded by Arts Council England’s strategic fund for Creative Writing in Schools. 

B5: PhD In Creative Writing: The Critical Component – Sarah Barnsley, Maura Dooley, Tom Lee, Jocelyn Page

This panel explores some of the processes and challenges involved in developing the critical component for PhDs in Creative Writing. Recent PhD graduates and creative/critical staff from Goldsmiths reflect on their experiences of writing and supervising the critical component, before inviting audience discussion. Questions to be considered include: what is the place of the critical component in PhDs in Creative Writing? How do you write one? When is the best time to begin? What are the challenges – for students, for supervisors, for HEIs – and how might they be met? How might the critical component have a purpose beyond the PhD?

C5: a) Prose Poetry, Photography and Place – Anne Caldwell

My PhD research examines the idea of the North through prose poetry. Is this place real and/or imaginary? I am using photography and walking as ekphrastic approaches to writing about place. Lucy Lippard said ‘place is latitudinal and longitudinal within the map of a person’s life. It is temporal and spatial, personal and political.’ How can landscape photography inspire the process of writing? I am examining how the two art forms can work in juxtaposition, deepening my understanding of the North and its fragile landscapes. 

b) That’s Not Poetry – It’s Sociology! Riff, Experience and Hybrid Form In Contemporary Poetry – Andrea Holland

This presentation considers how contemporary, not-obviously-poetry texts, read as poetry: is Bhanu Kapil's The Virtual Interrogation of Strangers survey, travelogue or prose-poetry? The responses to Kapil’s questions (eg,’What are the consequences of silence?’) result in a curated text of poetic exchanges; disparate voices which may be read as a creative interrogation of self, of ourselves. But is it poetry? Similarly, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen uses layering of incident from life, to ask, in exacting language and even tone, what it means to be both citizen and invisible, ‘translating’ incident. Can a book which uses prose, images, and an essay on Serena Williams, be a poem?

c) The Poetry Map – Matt Bryden

The Poetry Map is a free online teaching resource designed to encourage students to engage with poetry. The map consists of 67 poems, each positioned on a map at the location of either its setting or composition. These are divided into four navigable ‘paths,’ each with its own theme. Scattered along the paths, a series of ‘magic tickets’ provide further information – in images, video and audio files – about the poems and their background, adding to the sense that students are searching for clues. Working in pairs, students navigate the paths completing downloadable worksheets which encourage the use of intuition and nous. To date, the Poetry Map has been used in places as far afield as the University of California and Taunton Primary School.

D5: Writing for Wellbeing: Finding Balance – Anne-Marie Smith & Clare Scott

The use of creative writing to meet the therapeutic agenda has come to the forefront of current discussions about ways of improving and maintaining mental health. As practitioners of Writing for Wellbeing and Therapeutic Purposes, we are very aware of the benefits of such work, whilst also ensuring that it is delivered by those who have undertaken suitable training to achieve appropriate skill levels and knowledge. Using strategies adapted from poetry/bibliotherapy practice, we will explore the theme of‘ balance’ in response to literary and ekphrastic prompts. This workshop offers a safe space to take a different journey through your writing, focusing on emotional response and process. There will be the opportunity to discuss the experience and any arising issues of writing for wellbeing.

E5: a) Mythic Journeys: Teaching Poetry and Storytelling – Jessica Clapham

In this session, we will explore writing about identity through ancient mythology. By introducing the myth of Pandora with references to Celtic mythology, we will consider poems related to the theme of identity and our response in a series of brief writing activities. (45 mins)

b) Horror Writing Workshop – Glenn Fosbraey

This workshop will give a potted history of the genre (from Folklore, Superstition, and Religion to ‘Slasher’ Horror via Witchfinder General, The Woman in Black, Clive Barker, Stephen King, and Shirley Jackson); an overview of techniques Horror authors have used in the past to create 'scares' (including Poe’s ‘Formula for Fear’ and Lovecraft’s ‘Cosmic Terror’); exercises which encourage participants to explore the darker recesses of their minds to uncover their own Horror pressure points; and the opportunity to scare others with their own story ideas. Participants will leave the session with the task of writing a 500 word self-exploratory piece entitled ‘Horror and Me’. 

F5: a) Creative Lives: Using a Family Archive – Mariah Whelan

In 1920, Wilfred Whelan ran away to New York City. He was out on bail, awaiting trial for beating his wife, fixing a sign to the door that read ‘Repeat Performances Every Night, 8pm’. He wasn’t heard from again. Certainly not by his son, my grandfather, until 2015 when I unearthed a box of newspaper clippings, bibles, letters, birth certificates and photographs telling his life story. This presentation explores the creative afterlife of this material, probing the ways in which they prompted a poetry collection, delineating the opportunities and obstacles a writer faces when responding to the historical and the personal.

b) Overheard n the Archives: Oral Histories as Creative Inspiration – Helen Foster

This session explores how a group of writers in the Scottish Borders engaged with oral history archives as an inspiration for creative writing as part of a wider project exploring Scotland’s Sound Heritage. Audio recordings, held by repositories around the country, are notoriously dense to navigate and some older formats are obsolete making playback impossible. However, oral histories spark creative responses. They are valuable research tools, offering direct connections with voices from the past and hidden histories. This session considers the creative inputs and outputs of this writing project in overcoming obstacles and producing new works of poetry and prose.

c) The Thick Consciousness of Now: Nick Humphrey & the Haiku Moment – Judy Kendall

Nick Humphrey’s concept of ‘the thick moment of now’ takes us out of the habitual bind of linear and temporal thinking patterns into the ‘sting and excitement’ of ‘things really being decided’ (William James, The Principles of Philosophy). The haiku moment, often inelegantly referred to as the ‘aha’ moment, stems from a similar attitude of mind, where the moment of now eludes and escapes temporal dimensions to reach a more fully satisfying if less explanatory ‘truth’. The paper will present the ways in which such creativity can occur and how to apply it in our teaching and /or writing. (30 mins)

13.00–14.00 Lunch

14.00–14.45 Two Dystopian Novels from the Creative Writing Team at York St John University – Abi Curtis & Naomi Booth

Dr Naomi Booth and Professor Abi Curtis will be reading from their debuts novels and discussing dystopia, motherhood, climate change and creative writing.

Our thanks to York St John for sponsoring this event.

14.45 - 16.15pm      Choice of:

A6: Screening & Discussion – TMX Engineer Battalion: Tales From A Refugee Camp – Tim Kelly, Alyson Morris  

722 TMX Engineer Battalion is the title of a documentary film shot in a refugee camp in Northern Greece. The film documents life on the camp and contains interviews with the Army and NGOs that run the camp, with locals and with the refugees themselves. The film has aired on Greek national television and had screenings in London, Athens, Madrid, Palermo and New York. In this session we will show the film and discuss the follow-up project in which creative writing lecturers from Coventry University delivered storytelling workshops to the refugees and highlight the creative work emerging from the camp.

B6: Designing and Teaching an Online Creative Writing MA – Nessa O’Mahoney, Shanta Everington, Joanne Reardon, Nicky Harlow, Siobhan Campbell, Derek Neale 

What goes into the making of an online Creative Writing MA and how do students still participate in writing workshops? This session will consider the design and assessment features, the structure and innovations, of The Open University’s new Creative Writing MA – a programme that has an open postgraduate admissions policy. In its first year it has attracted hundreds of students, but there have been many challenges for those who designed and made it, and for those who teach it.

C6: a) The Xenophobia Project – Sarah  Penny

Endemic xenophobic violence is a huge problem in South Africa, fuelled by discriminatory rhetoric by press and government. The attacks are usually initiated by young men in the townships. South Africa has provision within its national curriculum to educate youth about human rights and cultural diversity but there is currently no content about migrant experience in the curriculum at all, and no will to introduce any. Sarah Penny is leading an expressive arts project whose core aim is to create an intervention whereby her team can bypass government inaction entirely.  The team will collate written and filmed narrative about migrant experience into a cohesive resource, and train concerned teachers in how to use these resources with secondary school students. Sarah will talk about the project’s first phase in which she worked with a group of 12 migrants to map their memories of why they left their homes, their journeys to South Africa and their experiences since arriving.

b) Writing Characters From Underrepresented Communities: A Perspective From a Young Adult Fiction Writer – Sylvia Hehir

When responding to the call for greater diversity in YA fiction and the representation of characters from marginalized communities, how far can a writer stray from their own lived experiences? This presentation refers to practice-led research combining a new YA novel and a critical reflection on the processes relating to writing characters from under-represented communities. It considers uncertainties faced by the writer regarding issues such as authenticity and cultural appropriation and refers to conversations with a focus group of teenagers, with established, award winning YA authors and with publishing industry personnel.

c) Making Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Voices Heard in Children’s Literature: Why does it matter and how do we go about it? – Leila Rasheed

Megaphone (www.megaphonewrite.com) is a development scheme for British BAME writers of children’s literature, funded by Arts Council England and The Publishers’ Association. From 2016–2017 it successfully supported five writers through the process of writing their first novel for children or teenagers. This presentation describes the background to the scheme, the practice of the scheme and shares insights arising from its evaluation. More generally, it will share information that has been gathered to date about BAME people’s experiences as writers and readers of children’s literature, with the aim of stimulating discussion and revealing new ways forward. 

D6: Has Creative Writing Lost Touch With The Creative? Lily Dunn, Robin Mukherjee, Lucy Sweetman, Sophie Nichols

There’s an old joke: A man goes into a doctor’s surgery with a toad growing out of his head. The doctor says: 'Good Lord how did that happen?' The toad says: 'Well, it started with a boil on my bum'. The question is: Are writers a toad on the head of the industry or is the industry a boil on the bum of writing? By allowing a notion of what the industry demands, complicated by our understanding of ‘impact’, are we losing sight of the exploratory, risk-taking notion of real creativity? Is it all about the sellable product, and is that what the industry really wants?

E6: The Schellberg Cycle: Five Novels and Multiple School Workshops from One Sabbatical – Gill James

This session discusses how the project came about and gives delegates hands-on experience of the associated workshop that explores a slightly under-examined aspect of the Holocaust and World War II – what it was like for ordinary German women. Delegates are introduced to the teacher pack and have the opportunity to try out the materials and activities. These include: board games; speed-dating; letter-writing; letter analysis; discovery packs; discussion. Each activity leads to a creative writing output.

 

F6: Writing An Opera: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Writing with Young People – Judi Sissons & Omar Shahryar

In opera much of the meaning is conveyed by the music, so the writer must leave room for the music to play its part. The challenge for a writer is to find the emotional moments and exploit them with dramatic imagery, creating a rhythmical structure of ‘invisible music’ from which the opera emerges. A libretto is compressed in length, not depth. This experiential workshop will show how writing and setting libretti to music offers unique opportunities to explore the musicality of language (and the language of musicality) whilst engaging young people in the crafts of writing, musicking and more.

16.15–16.45 Tea/Coffee Break

16.45–17.45  Choice of:

A7: Breaking Grice’s Maxims for Dramatic Effect– Billy Cowan

In his influential Logic and Conversation (1975) Linguist H.P. Grice suggests that conversation is based on a shared principle of co-operation. Intrinsic to this principle are four rules or maxims that underlie all human discourse. In this fun, practical workshop playwright Billy Cowan will demonstrate how being conscious of these maxims, and then flouting, breaking, or even sticking to them religiously, can help writers create much more dramatic and interesting scenes.

B7:  Creating Place in Fiction and New Words from Old – Judith Allnatt & Barbara Large

New Words from Old

How can language from the past rejuvenate our writing? Come and discover strange words with long-lost meanings, quaint expressions and archaic idiom to fire your imagination, freeing you to experiment and be playful. Using extracts and writing exercises we will refresh our imagery and inspire colourful and exuberant new writing. 

Creating Place in Fiction 

Having a convincing place for a story to happen is vital to create verisimilitude. Using photographs to demonstrate setting as a specific place, time, weather, geography or climate, exercises will show how it can be layered with atmosphere into every scene, providing rich themes for you and your students.

Judith will draw on extracts from the work of acclaimed historical fiction writers to demonstrate the joys of widening one’s vocabulary by delving into the language of the past, as well as exploring the opportunities offered to refresh imagery and inject charm, liveliness and colour into one’s writing. Using defunct words and quotes from historical documents as stimulus material, writing exercises will encourage writers to enter the past world of their choice, invent and play.

C7: Unpacking Diversity, Difference and Privilege In Creative Writing – Sharlene Teo

Now more than ever, diversity matters. Stories frame how we shape meaning and see ourselves. Yet Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) voices are under-represented both in the workshop and on bookshelves. What strategies can we use to shift the dynamic of the creative writing classroom from a space that perpetuates unacknowledged but pervasive white norms toward one of greater inclusivity? How are writerly decisions influenced by racial and cultural identities, blind spots and assumptions? Using practical exercises and drawing from my own experiences as a BAME writer and writing tutor, this session will explore how privilege and power operates in the literary landscape.

D7: ‘What Were You Thinking?’ Reading and Q&A – Julian Stannard 

Julian Stannard will read from his latest collection What were you thinking? (CB Editions, 2016). He will discuss how creating a collection of poetry – with a unique dynamic and particular process – makes it different from other kinds of writing, and how students with publishing intent need to know something about the 'poetry market'. Julian will conclude the reading/discussion with a Q&A.

E7: a) On The Love of Poetry & Poems – Vasilis Papageorgiou

This paper will be a discussion with John Ashbery and his poem “Homeless heart”, Jacques Derrida and his text “Che cos’è la poesie?“, and Giorgio Agamben and his various short contributions on the nature and role of poetry.

b) Thinking Up, Writing Down – Claudia Davidson

This paper argues that the creative writing comprises two quite distinct processes, namely, Thinking Up – the conceiving of the creative ideas, and Writing Down – giving written expression to them. While these two processes are intricately enmeshed in a dynamic interplay, they nevertheless have unique purposes and roles, and require quite different skill sets. A better understanding of this dynamic would inform our creative writing practice and pedagogy in a significant way.

F7: Fold, Cut, Write Draw: Comic Making Workshop – Hannah Sackett

Comics and graphic novels now cover a wide range of genres. Superhero comics have been joined by biographies and memoirs, non-fiction and informational comics, poetry comics and accounts of landscapes, cityscapes, tales of the everyday. The combination of word, image and sequential narrative make comics a versatile medium that has something to offer writers of all ages and interests. The workshop will start with simple drawing and writing games, before moving on to a comics jam and making mini-comics. It will give the foundations for making your own comics, and for introducing comic-making into your own classroom practice and/or writing workshops. No drawing experience necessary!

17.45–18.15 Launch

Robyn Bolam, Hyem

Robyn Bolam has published four poetry collections with Bloodaxe. The third, New Wings, was a Selected Poems and Poetry Book Society Recommendation. The selectors commented that her work made ‘disciplined craft appear natural’ while her perceptions were ‘at once worldly and otherworldly’. Hyem, her fourth volume, is about where and why we feel at home – creative homes, final homes, those we choose and those we don’t. Finding inspiration in a high-voltage laboratory or on a Solent ferry, she also writes about growing up on Tyneside, loving a place through changes and celebrating those who preserve its history and spirit. Hyem includes eco-poems about some of our ‘elusive neighbours’ with settings ranging from the New Forest to New Zealand. It is a collection concerned with transformations – of places, people and the natural world.

Metamorphic: 21st century poets respond to Ovid

‘Of bodies changed to other forms I tell’

Metamorphoses has influenced countless writers and artists over the centuries. In 1996, Michael Hoffman and James Lasdun published After Ovid, which featured work by Hughes and Heaney, among others. 21 years later, to celebrate Ovid’s 2,000th anniversary, editors and poets Nessa O’Mahony and Paul Munden invited poets to respond to Metamorphoses with new poems that explore the many contemporary resonances in that seminal work. The anthology, entitled Metamorphic: 21st century poets respond to Ovid, is published by Recent Work Press, in association with the International Poetry Studies Institute at the University of Canberra.

18.15–19.45            Dinner

19.45–20.45            Evening Events

Professor Bernadine Evaristo: A Reading and Conversation 

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of seven books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora – past, present, real, imagined. Her latest book is Mr Loverman, about a septuagenarian Antiguan-Londoner who is closet homosexual (Penguin 2013). Other works include Lara, Blonde Roots and The Emperor’s Babe. Her writing also spans the genres of short stories, essays, poetry, literary criticism, stage and BBC radio writing.

Two of her novels have been adapted into BBC Radio 4 dramas. She has edited several publications including the 2012 centenary winter issue of Poetry Review, the poetry journal of the Poetry Society of Great Britain. She has held several international fellowships and undertaken over 150 international tours as a writer. She was the Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, USA, in 2015 and she is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.

She has chaired and judged many literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction, the T.S.Eliot Award for Poetry, the Orange Award for New Writers and the National Poetry Competition. She founded the Brunel International African Poetry Prize in 2012, which has brought African poetry to the fore. All the winning and most of the shortlisted poets have now had chapbooks published with the African Poetry Book Fund in the USA. She also founded the The Complete Works poets' mentoring scheme. Since its inception, most of the poets who have been on the scheme have achieved publication success including Mona Arshi, Malika Booker, Sarah Howe, Nick Makoha, Warsan Shire and Karen McCarthy Woolf. Earlier initiatives include co-founding Spread the Word writer development agency in 1995 and co-founding Theatre of Black Women in the 1980s.

Bernardine has won many awards for her writing and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004, joined its Council in 2016 and became a Vice Chair in 2017. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and Fellow of the English Association in 2017. She was appointed an MBE in the Queens' Birthday Honours List in 2009.  www.bevaristo.com

21.00 New Voices in Fiction and Memoir: Tom Lee and Winnie M Li 

Regatta Room 

Tom Lee’s fiction and memoir have appeared in The Sunday Times, Esquire and Prospect in the UK, The Dublin Review in Ireland and in Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope All Story in the United States, among others.  Greenfly, his debut collection of short stories, was published by Harvill Secker.  In 2012 he was shortlisted for The Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, the largest prize for a single short story in the world and in 2015 his non-fiction account of spending 51 days in intensive care was longlisted for The Notting Hill Essay Prize.  He lives in London and teaches at Goldsmiths.

Tom’s first novel, The Alarming Palsy of James Orr, is published by Granta.  James Orr - husband, father, reliable employee and all round model citizen - wakes one morning to find himself quite transformed. There's no way he can go into the office, and the doctors aren't able to help. Waiting for the affliction to pass, he wanders the idyllic estate where he lives, with its pretty woodland, uniform streets and perfectly manicured lawns. But there are cracks in the veneer. And as his orderly existence begins to unravel, it appears that James himself may not be the man he thought he was.

Winnie M Li is an author and activist.  Her debut novel, DARK CHAPTER, is winner of The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2017 and will be translated into seven languages. It was also 2nd place in the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2016 and Highly Commended for the CWA Debut Dagger 2015. A Harvard graduate, Winnie previously wrote for travel guide books, produced independent feature films, and programmed for film festivals. After earning an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, she now writes across a range of media, runs arts festivals, and is a PhD researcher in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. http://winniemli.com Twitter: @winniemli

Inspired by a real-life experience of a violent crime and its aftermath, DARK CHAPTER is the winner of The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2017. The book has received extensive media attention, covered by The Guardian, The Times, The Mail on Sunday, BBC World News, and BBC Women’s Hour.  In writing the book, author Winnie M Li used crime fiction as a means of exploring the same issue that is also the focus of her academic and activist work: narratives around sexual assault.  In this exclusive session, Winnie will discuss how literature can reframe the narrative of the rape survivor from a story of weakness and vulnerability to one of resilience and recovery.

Speaker 2

8pm: Bernadine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of seven books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora – past, present, real, imagined. Her latest book is Mr Loverman, about a septuagenarian Antiguan-Londoner who is closet homosexual (Penguin 2013). Other works include Lara, Blonde Roots and The Emperor’s Babe. Her writing also spans the genres of short stories, essays, poetry, literary criticism, stage and BBC radio writing.

Two of her novels have been adapted into BBC Radio 4 dramas. She has edited several publications including the 2012 centenary winter issue of Poetry Review, the poetry journal of the Poetry Society of Great Britain. She has held several international fellowships and undertaken over 150 international tours as a writer. She was the Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, USA, in 2015 and she is currently Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London.

She has chaired and judged many literary prizes including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction, the T.S. Eliot Award for Poetry, the Orange Award for New Writers and the National Poetry Competition. She founded the Brunel International African Poetry Prize in 2012, which has brought African poetry to the fore. All the winning and most of the shortlisted poets have now had chapbooks published with the African Poetry Book Fund in the USA. She also founded the The Complete Works poets' mentoring scheme. Since its inception, most of the poets who have been on the scheme have achieved publication success including Mona Arshi, Malika Booker, Sarah Howe, Nick Makoha, Warsan Shire and Karen McCarthy Woolf. Earlier initiatives include co-founding Spread the Word writer development agency in 1995 and co-founding Theatre of Black Women in the 1980s.

She has won many awards for her writing and she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004, joined its Council in 2016 and became a Vice Chair in 2017. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006, and  Fellow of the English Association in 2017. She was appointed an MBE in the Queens' Birthday Honours List in 2009.  www.bevaristo.com