Wed 26 October 2016
Writing on Location
Arvon Week
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Writing on Location

This NAWE project brought together writers, educators and teachers to re-invigorate their practice, as part of the British Library’s larger Literature in Context project. The aim for NAWE was to provide a creative writing element within the project’s professional development events for teachers, in turn providing a clear means of engaging school pupils with museum collections through creative writing. A residential Arvon week complemented the individual interventions.

The project took shape as a series of ten commissions for writers at literary houses, museums or libraries with literary archives throughout the UK. The commissions involved a day to visit the venue, get inspired and meet staff, a day of delivery of workshops for teachers and educators, and a day to write the articles and resources that would create a legacy for the work. Not all of these elements went according to plan but NAWE was delighted with the quality and range of work that did take place as part of the project. 

‘Fascinating – every visit here makes me want to go back into the classroom and teach! Inspiring, thank you. So many wonderful ideas’. Teacher at the Shandy Hall event

We should like to thank Alex Whitfield and Abi Barber of the British Library and Jan Kofi-Tsekpo from MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives) for their support and excellent partnership with NAWE.


A special edition of the NAWE Magazine, Writing in Education has been produced with input from each of the ten writers and the museum colleagues. This provides a reflective summary of the work undertaken, itself pitched as a resource for other writers, museum professionals and teachers. The publication has been sent to all NAWE members, with copies also provided for the British Library and the participating museums. Further copies are available to purchase.

The ten participating museums/literary houses were:
For details of other literary houses and museums, and their annual conference, visit the Lithouses website.

Knebworth House, home of Victorian novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton

Dove Cottage, the home of William Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808

Shandy Hall, home to Laurence Sterne

The Bronte Parsonage