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English: Shared Futures - NAWE Invited Panels
Thu 15 Jun 2017
The English Association, University English and NAWE, with support from the Institute of English Studies and the Higher Education Academy, are organising a huge conference for the whole of the discipline of English in Newcastle in 2017

English Shared Futures: NAWE Invited Panels

1. Women Who Dare

Wednesday 5th July 2017 

12.30pm – 1.45pm 

Panel: Patricia Debney (Kent), Nancy Gaffield (Kent), Carrie Etter (Chair, Bath Spa/NAWE) 

A reading of fiction and poetry on the theme of Women Who Dare, with short explanations of context and influences, followed by an open discussion about the daring required to be a female writer and academic.

Originally from Normal, Illinois, Carrie Etter has lived in England since 2001 and taught at Bath Spa University since 2004, where she is a Reader in Creative Writing. She has published three collections of poetry: The Tethers (Seren, 2009), winner of the London New Poetry Prize, Divining for Starters (Shearsman, 2011), and Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014), shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. Additionally, she edited the anthology Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman, 2010) and Linda Lamus’s posthumous collection, A Crater the Size of Calcutta (Mulfran, 2015).

Patricia Debney’s most recent book is Baby (Liquorice Fish Books, 2016), a collection revolving around loss and dysfunction. Other publications include Gestation (Shearsman Chapbooks, 2014) and a collection of prose poems written in a beach hut, Littoral (Shearsman Books, 2013). Her first collection (also prose poems), How to Be a Dragonfly (Smith Doorstop Books), won the 2004 Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition. Other recent work has appeared in Tears in the Fence, Best British Poetry 2015, The Forward Book of Poetry 2014, The Sunday Times, and The Harlequin. She has also published a novel (bluechrome, 2007) and written libretti for opera, chamber groups, and solo voices. A former Canterbury Laureate, she is Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Kent. 

Dr Nancy Gaffield is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Kent. She is the author of two full collections of poetry. Continental Drift (Shearsman 2014), and Tokaido Road (CB editions 2011). Tokaido Road was nominated for the Forward First Collection Prize and was awarded the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. She has published three pamphlets: Owhere, a Templar poetry prize winner in 2012, and two Oystercatcher pamphlets: Zyxt (2015) and Meridian (2016). Nancy worked with composer Nicola LeFanu to adapt the Tokaido Road poems into a libretto; the opera, featuring Okeanos Ensemble and Caroline Clegg as director, premiered at the Cheltenham Music Festival in July of 2014 and toured the UK in 2014-15. Nancy teaches undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Creative Writing, and her research focuses on innovative poetry, the long poem series and sequence, and the stylistics of poetry.  

2. Realists of a Larger Reality: Teaching Genre Fiction Writing

Wednesday 5th July 3.30pm – 4.45pm 

Panel: Celia Brayfield (Bath Spa University), Matthew de Abaitua (University of Essex)


In her acceptance speech at the 2014 American National Book Awards, Ursula Le Guin called for writers to stand up against the tyranny of commercial publishing, saying “Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art.”   She called for writers to be poets and visionaries, realists of a larger reality.   At the same time, genre writing demands creative response to powerful and evolving context.   The traditional imperatives of literary fiction, which call for adventures in form or stylistic experiment, can be over-ridden by the need to reach a large internatinal readership and develop a powerful narrative.  And at the end of the process the writer must navigate the commercial fiction industry, which is often more willing to clone last season's bestseller than commit to innovation.   Genre writing, be it fantasy, science fiction, crime, thrillers or romance, is inspirational and students are eager to be part of a writing culture they know well.    How can we, as tutors, focus their passion and help them fight successfully for their artistic freedom?  

Dr Celia Brayfield, novelist and  Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and Matthew De Abaitua, novelist and Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Essex, discuss approaches to teaching genre fiction.

3. Poetry Reading by US, UK and Australian poets

Wednesday 5th July 5pm – 6.15pm //OR Thursday 6th at 12.30 – duplicate time is being checked

Cassandra Atherton (Australia); Katharine Coles (US); Lucy Dougan (Australia); Paul Hetherington (Australia); Paul Munden (UK); Sarah Holland-Batt (Australia); Jen Webb (Australia)

Bios (not included elsewhere):

Cassandra Atherton is an award-winning writer, academic and critic. She is a Harvard Visiting Scholar in English in 2016. Her recent books of prose poetry include, Exhumed (Grand Parade Poets, 2015) and Trace, with illustrations by Phil Day (Finlay Lloyd, 2015). She is the recipient of a VicArts grant to collaborate on a prose poetry graphic novel and is the poetry editor of Westerly.

Lucy Dougan’s books include Memory Shell (5 Islands Press), White Clay (Giramondo), Meanderthals (Web del Sol) and The Guardians (Giramondo), and her prizes include the Mary Gilmore Award, and the Alec Bolton Award. A past poetry editor of HEAT magazine and the current one for Axon: Creative Explorations, she works for Westerly at UWA and also teaches creative writing at Curtin.

Sarah Holland-Batt is an award-winning poet, editor and critic, and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies at QUT (Australia). Her second book, The Hazards (UQP, 2015) was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize. She is editor of The Best Australian Poems 2017 (Black Inc.)

4. After Brexit: Life without ERASMUS+ European Association of Creative Writing Programmes  

Thursday 6th July 9.30am – 10.45am

Panel: Gale Burns (University of Kingston), Ana Guerberof (EACWP); 

There have been exciting initiatives in recent years in collaborations across Europe in the teaching of Creative Writing – enriching the writing traditions of institutes involved. These include teachers’ exchanges, exchanges of students, joint summer schools, accreditation arrangements, research projects, European Pedagogical conferences - many supported by ERASMUS +. This panel aims to describe the opportunities now available and consider the challenges posed by Brexit.

Ana Guerberof holds a PhD in Translation and Intercultural Studies. She teaches writing and copy-editing to writers in the Spanish language at the creative writing school in Barcelona —Escola d’Escriptura de l’Ateneu Barcelonès— both in the on-line and on-site formats. She is also an associated professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and at Universitat Pompeu Fabra where she teaches translation and technology.

Gale Burns is a London writer in residence at both the Sydenham Arts Festival and Kingston University, where he teaches Creative Writing. He convenes the long-running Shuffle poetry series in London, and was a 2012 Hawthornden Fellow. He is widely published with three pamphlets and a collection is due this year. His work has been translated into French, Romanian, Slovenian and Arabic, and he often performs and teaches abroad. He is the Vice-President of the European Association of Creative Writing Programmes.



5. Don’t give up your day job: preparing creative writing graduates for lifelong careers

Thursday 6th July 11am – 12.15

Panel: Randall Albers (Columbia College Chicago); Paul Hetherington, Jen Webb, Steve May

With the massification of higher education, the alignment between course curricula and career prospects is of growing significance, particularly for creative arts degrees that have no direct career path. Each member of this panel has had experience in devising curriculum designed to provide technical, creative and professional skills. They will explain how they aim to their students the best chance of shaping their own futures as creative writers who are able to make a living. 

Randall Albers, Professor/Chair Emeritus, Columbia College Chicago, chaired the Fiction Writing program, where pedagogical, curricular, and extra-curricular initiatives enabled students to develop the skills necessary to get and advance in jobs as well as work independently as publishable writers.

6. Ethics in Creative and Life Writing Research 

Thursday 6th July 12.30pm – 1.45pm

Panel: Hannah Lowe (Kingston University), Winnie M Li (LSE), Seraphima Kennedy (NAWE)

This panel will consider some of the ethical issues around the practice of creative and life writing. For many writers, the dictum has always been, write first, think later. In a PhD or research scenario, this dictum fails because of institutional ethical processes  that may require a writer/researcher to obtain consent. Yet consent itself can be fraught: what if the tale told is a narrative of harm, or a family story to which the writer can also lay claim?  Three panellists will discuss some of the hurdles faced in publishing fiction, poetry and life writing that has its foundation in true events. The presentations will also feature a short reading from published works and works-in-progress. 

Hannah Lowe’s first poetry collection Chick  (Bloodaxe, 2013) won the Michael Murphy Memorial Award for Best First Collection and was short-listed for the Forward, Aldeburgh and Seamus Heaney Best First Collection Prizes. In September 2014, she was named as one of 20 Next Generation poets. She has also published three chapbooks:  The Hitcher (Rialto 2012) R x (sine wave peak 2013) and Ormonde (Hercules Editions 2014).

Winnie M Li is a writer, film maker, arts festival producer, and creative consultant. A Taiwanese-American brought up in New Jersey, Winnie studied Folklore and Mythology at Harvard, specialising in Celtic Languages and Literature. She earned her MA in English from the National University of Ireland, Cork, and has been involved in producing two shorts and six award-winning feature films, one of which was Oscar nominated, the other Oscar shortlisted.  Winnie is currently a PhD researcher at LSE, researching the impact of social media on the public discourse around rape and sexual assault, in the Department of Media and Communications. She launched Clear Lines in 2016, the first festival to address sexual assault through the arts. Winnie’s first novel, Dark Chapter, will be published in 2017. It was commended in the CWA Debut Dagger awards and shortlisted for the 2016 SI Leeds Literary Prize. 

Seraphima Kennedy is a writer, researcher, coordinator and Creative Writing tutor. From 2011 – 2014, she was an Associate Tutor at Goldsmiths on the BA in English and the MA in Creative and Life Writing while working towards a PhD in Life Writing. Seraphima has co-organised two successful conferences for the Goldsmiths Writers’ Centre: Beyond the Sheets: Writing Sexualities in the Age of Digital Reproduction and The Place for Poetry.  She is an Associate Member of the Higher Education Authority, and European representative for IABA SNS, the postgraduate network of the International Association for Biography and Autobiography. Seraphima is a member of Malika’s Kitchen, a poetry collective based in London, a Jerwood/Arvon mentee in poetry 2017/18. She is Programme Director at NAWE. 

7. Poetry: Form and Experiment 

Thursday 6th July, 3.30pm – 4.45pm 

Workshop: Paul Hetherington (Canberra), Cassandra Atherton

This workshop is aimed not only at those studying or teaching Creative Writing but also those whose focus is on Literature or Language. The session will begin by presenting the work of contemporary poets whose writing—however innovative or experimental—is influenced by the study of traditional poetic form. It will then demonstrate how a creative approach to poetic form—writing poems!—is an invaluable means of understanding technical challenges and the evolving nature of form itself. 

Paul Hetherington is Professor of Writing at the University of Canberra, Head of IPSI there, and a founding editor of Axon: Creative Explorations. He has published ten collections of poetry, most recently Burnt Umber (UWAP, 2016), and won the 2014 Western Australian Premier’s Book Award (Poetry). Paul recently completed an Australia Council for the Arts Residency in the BR Whiting Studio in Rome.

Cassandra Atherton is an award-winning writer, academic and critic. She is a Harvard Visiting Scholar in English in 2016. Her recent books of prose poetry include, Exhumed (Grand Parade Poets, 2015) and Trace, with illustrations by Phil Day (Finlay Lloyd, 2015). She is the recipient of a VicArts grant to collaborate on a prose poetry graphic novel and is the poetry editor of Westerly. 

8. NAWE PhD Network: Alternative Futures: 70/30

Thursday 6th July 5pm – 6.15pm time TBC

Panel: Zoe Gilbert (Birkbeck); Keith Jarrett (Birkbeck & SOAS)

How do you combine the creative and critical elements of a PhD? How can you use the skills from a Creative Writing PhD to develop or enhance your career? Representatives from NAWE’s PhD Network will bring together the creative and critical through a presentation of poetry, prose and a wider discussion around professional development.

9. Divided by a Common Language: Creative Writing Discourse in the US, UK and Australia.

Thursday 6th July 5pm – 6.15pm

Panel: Katharine Coles (University of Utah); Paul Hetherington (University of Canberra); Paul Munden (NAWE); Jen Webb (University of Canberra)

Creative Writing, as an area of study, varies considerably in its focus and discourse from one continent to another, made evident by the different types of conference run by the national peak bodies. This panel of leading representatives from those organizations will consider some of the differences encountered, and suggest how an increasingly meaningful conversation might proceed.


Katharine Coles’ fifth poetry collection, The Earth Is Not Flat (Red Hen 2013), was written under the auspices of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. Her sixth collection, Flight, was published by Red Hen Press in 2016. A Professor at the University of Utah, she served from 2006 to 2012 as Utah Poet Laureate and in 2009 and 2010 as the inaugural director of the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet Monroe Poetry Institute. She has received grants and awards from the NEA, the NEH and the Guggenheim Foundation. 

Paul Hetherington is Professor of Writing at the University of Canberra, Head of IPSI there, and a founding editor of Axon: Creative Explorations. He has published ten collections of poetry, most recently Burnt Umber (UWAP, 2016), and won the 2014 Western Australian Premier’s Book Award (Poetry). Paul recently completed an Australia Council for the Arts Residency in the BR Whiting Studio in Rome.

Paul Munden is Director of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Canberra, where he is also Program Manager for the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI). He has worked as conference poet for the British Council and edited Feeling the Pressure: poetry and science of climate change (British Council, 2008). His book of poems, Asterisk (Smith/Doorstop, 2011), relates to Shandy Hall, former home of Laurence Sterne. His latest volume is Analogue/Digital: New and Selected Poems (Smith|Doorstop, 2015). 

Jen Webb is Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice at the University of Canberra, and Director of the CCCR. Her recent work includes Researching Creative Writing (Frontinus, 2015), Art and Human Rights: Contemporary Asian Contexts (with Caroline Turner; Manchester UP, 2016), and poetry volumes Watching the World (with Paul Hetherington; Blemish Books, 2015) and Stolen Stories, Borrowed Lines (Mark Time, 2015). She is also lead investigator on two Australian Research Council Discovery projects.


10. Paper Nations: Building a Creative Nation for Young Writers 

Friday 7th July 

9.30am – 10.45am 

Panel: Kate Haines (Bath Spa), Seraphima Kennedy (NAWE), TBC

Funded by Arts Council England, Paper Nations is the country’s first and only creative writing hub for young people. This ambitious project brings together the best and most innovative arts organisations, creative writers and academics with a common purpose: to inspire a creative nation of young writers. 

The Young Creative Writer Award is a new accredited scheme that will inspire young people to develop their writing talent and build their confidence. Designed in conjunction with NAWE, Bath Festivals and Bath Spa University, this award will be the very first National Creative Writing qualification for children. 

NAWE are working with Bath Festivals and the Paper Nations Team to design a national framework for the award and a set of tutor-facing resources. 


11. Hometowns & Influences: NAWE & THE GOLDSMITHS WRITERS’ CENTRE 

Friday 7th July 12.30 – 1.45 

Panel: Paul Munden (NAWE; Canberra), Susan Watson (Goldsmiths), Maura Dooley (Goldsmiths), Jack Underwood (Goldsmiths)

Not Harold Bloom’s ’the anxiety of influence’ exactly, more of a negotiation with shadows. 

Susan Watson’s writing and PhD research has concerned her relationship, through reading, with a diverse group of writers, amongst them D H Lawrence whose back streets of Nottingham shaped her childhood. Maura Dooley was writer-in-residence at the Jane Austen House Museum, Chawton. She will discuss what a contemporary writer might expect to find at the hearth of another writer; a connection, a shadow, a cash register or nothing at all. Jack Underwood considers whether in an era of swift communication the instant connections possible between different generations of writers makes a discernible difference to the matter of influence. Paul Munden has a long association with Shandy Hall, the former home of Laurence Sterne and now a centre for narrative experiment (and NAWE’s registered office). He will reflect on several international projects initiated by the Laurence Sterne Trust, as well as his own collection of poems, Asterisk.

This panel would present itself by a combination of poetry readings and papers for discussion.

12. Diversity in Teaching and Learning – National and International Approaches

Friday 7th July 3.30 – 4.45pm 

Panel: Andrea Holland (UEA), Claire Hynes (UEA)

Are some of us working in Literature and Creative writing suffering from what Claudia Rankine calls ‘a deficit of understanding inside a world that has thrown all its weight into shielding (us) from a reality that makes (our) reality possible?’ What (often deeply ingrained) norms and assumptions do we encounter in our classes and writing workshops? Do ‘universal’ experiences discussed in classes fit everyone’s reality? Rankine suggests we recognise the smallest of differences in order to help ‘reroute’ any ‘biased structures girding our own academic and personal relationships’. Similarly, Fred D’Aguiar writes (in AWP) ‘Democratic spaces are all about diversity and inclusion. But diversity can be undermined by a minimalist devotion to meeting its requirements’ He suggests that ‘writers in administrative roles may need instruction in how to examine biases and invigilate against them’. We ask what can we do, as educators, to counter bias and ‘normative’ approaches within our teaching and administrative roles at HEIs.

Andrea Holland is a Lecturer in creative writing and literature at UEA. She has two poetry collections, Broadcasting (Gatehouse Press, 2013), winner of the Norfolk Commission for Poetry, and Borrowed (Smith/Doorstop, 2007). She is a contributor to the Portable Poetry Workshop (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and has poems in a number of journals.

Claire Hynes is a tutor in literature and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. Her monologue, ‘Welcome To The Freak Show,’ was performed at The Contact Theatre (2016), her story, ‘Assorted Biscuits,’ is published in Tangled Roots Anthology (2015), and her story, ‘In Her Hair,’ is published in the Bath Short Story Award Anthology (2014). She was commended in the Words and Women, ‘about,’ competition (2014). Claire is a director and editor at Gatehouse Press. She is a former news editor of The Voice newspaper and she contributes to publications including The Guardian, New Statesman and Mslexia.

13. Creativity and Research in the 21st Century

Friday 7th July 3.30 – 4.45pm 

Panel: Celia Brayfield (Brunel University); Jeri Kroll (Flinders University); Steve May (Bath Spa University); Jen Webb (University of Canberra); Derek Neale (Open University)

This panel will discuss the changing relationship between the academy and the creative arts, and the capacity of the arts to deliver research. It will consider the international environment in which developments are taking place, and the key government policies currently shaping the field. The current updating of NAWE’s Creative Writing Benchmark Statement will be considered, and research assessment procedures (REF in the UK and ERA in Australia) compared.


Celia Brayfield is a novelist, journalist and cultural commentator. Her most recent novel is Wild Weekend (Little, Brown/Time Warner Books), which transposes the eighteenth-century play She Stoops to Conquer to a Suffolk village in the heyday of New Labour. Celia is a Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University, and the Chair of NAWE’s Higher Education Committee. 

Jeri Kroll is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Flinders University in Adelaide. She has published poetry, picture books, young adult novels and adult fiction. Recent books are Workshopping the Heart: New and Selected Poems (Wakefield, 2013) and Vanishing Point (Puncher & Wattmann), a verse novel shortlisted for the 2015 Queensland Literary Awards.

Derek Neale is a novelist, short story and script writer; he is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at The Open University where he chairs the new writing MA and is lead Educator on the Start Writing Fiction MOOC. His publications include The Book of Guardians (Salt 2012), Life Writing (Taylor Francis 2016), Writing Fiction (Routledge 2016), A Creative Writing Handbook (A&C Black/Bloomsbury 2009).   

Steve May has won awards for drama, poetry and fiction. He studied English at Cambridge, and gained his doctorate in Drama from the University of Bristol.  His book for undergraduates (Doing Creative Writing) was published in 2007. In 2008 he co-authored the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) Creative Writing subject benchmark, and in 2015 co-chaired the QAA Benchmarking panel for Creative Writing. He also served on the QAA panel reviewing the English benchmark in 2013. From 2011 - 2014 he was chair of the NAWE HE Committee, was appointed to the AHRC Peer Review College in 2012 and elected a Fellow of the English Association in 2014. He continues to write for radio -  ten plays in the Higher series (written as Joyce Bryant, and dealing with current issues in HE) have been broadcast between 2008 and 2015. He is also a musician and composer.


Click here for the full programme and to book your place


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