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Evening Events at NAWE Conference
Mon 10 Nov 2008
If you are unable to join us for our conference in Manchester this weekend, you are nevertheless most welcome to attend either of the evening events, with Willy Russell (Friday) and Frank Cottrell Boyce (Saturday). Admission to each event is £5.


Chancellors Hotel & Conference Centre is approximately 3 miles from Manchester Piccadilly station - 10 or 15 min taxi ride or the 42 bus from Piccadilly Gardens. For detailed travel instructions please see

Friday 14 November: An Evening with Willy Russell

Willy Russell is one of the UK's most successful playwrights, well known as the writer of Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine and the musical Blood Brothers (for which he also wrote the score). His first novel, The Wrong Boy, published in 2000, has been translated into fifteen languages and serialized for Channel 4's 'One Word' programme.

Born in Liverpool, Willy became a hairdresser on leaving school, an experience, he says, that made him an indifferent dresser of hair but 'a good listener'. He then undertook a variety of jobs, also writing songs which were performed in local folk clubs. At 20 years of age, he returned to college and became a teacher in Toxteth, after which he began to become interested in writing drama.

His first play, Keep your Eyes Down, was produced in 1971, and he became well-known after his musical about the Beatles, John, Paul, George, Ringo â?¦ and Bert, ran for eight weeks at Liverpool Everyman Theatre. It was transferred to the West End and won the Evening Standard and London Theatre Critic Award for best musical in 1974.

Both Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine were made into films from Willy Russell's own screenplays starring Julie Walters and Pauline Collins respectively, each winning an Oscar nomination, as did the author for best screenplay.

Willy will be available to sign books (on sale) after the event.

Saturday 15 November: Frank Cottrell Boyce in conversation

Frank Cottrell BoyceFrank Cottrell Boyce is an established British screenwriter whose film credits include Welcome to Sarajevo, Hilary and Jackie, 24 Hour Party People and The Claim. His first book, Millions, won the CILIP Carnegie Medal in 2004 and was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award. It was made into a movie directed by Danny Boyle and chosen as the Liverpool Reads book for 2005/06.

Frank's second novel, Framed, has followed the success of Millions, already being shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Award and the Guardian Prize. It was also selected as a Booked Up! title in 2007. His third novel, Cosmic, was published in June 2008 to great acclaim and has been longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2008.

In his own words: "Shortly after leaving university, I had a radio play broadcast and it led to a job at Thames Television, where I met Michael Winterbottom who was an editor at the time. We planned to make movies. At the time everyone in England had given up on films. It was after the Goldcrest debacle so it was like saying you wanted to do door-to-door roof thatching or scrimshaw work - a lost art. I supported myself by writing for Coronation Street - wonderful fun and the nearest I've ever got to a proper job. Then we made Welcome to Sarajevo and we've made several films since.

"When I met my wife-to-be, she was planning on becoming a nun. Luckily I managed to persuade her to marry me instead. We now have 7 children, ranging from 24 to four years old and we live in Liverpool.

"I can just about remember sitting on the couch with my parents, watching the first men landing on the Moon. We really did think that we were living in the space age and that by the time I had children we would all be able to go on space holidays together. Lots of other amazing things happened instead, of course, but I am still hoping that one day I'll go into space. In the meantime it seemed like it would be fun to go there in my own imagination."

Frank will be in conversation with Patrick Wildgust, Curator of Shandy Hall, and will be available to sign books (on sale) after the event.

Contact Information:
National Association of Writers in Education
Contact Name:
Gill Greaves
Contact Email: