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Writing and the Public Realm
Mon 2 Nov 2009
This NAWE seminar on 3 December is being run by two experts in writing and public art, and there are still places available. Please note that the venue for the event has been changed to a location in central Bath, making it more easily accessible.

NAWE in partnership with Bath Spa University Creative Writing Department

Venue: Duncan room at the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution, 18 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN. 

Thursday 3 December 2009

What opportunities are there for writers who want to work on public art commissions? What are the possibilities, the pitfalls, and the politics? Join Sarah Butler, director of the literature and regeneration consultancy UrbanWords, and Linda France, poet and experienced public artist, for an introductory day-long workshop on writing and the public realm. We will explore the commissioning process, current debates around art in the public realm, the difference between writing for a site and writing for the page, and offer practical advice on negotiating what can sometimes be a confusing and daunting area of work. This seminar is open to NAWE members, other writers and students of creative writing.


â?¢    To offer an introduction to working as a writer on public art/ public realm projects
â?¢    To examine the difference between writing for the page and writing for a place
â?¢    To explore the possibilities and pitfalls of work in this field


9.45am Arrival and coffee/tea

10 - 11.30am   
What is public art, and how can text-based pieces work?
The difference between writing for the page and writing for a place (discussion and debate)

11.45 - 12.45pm Practical writing exercises

12.45 - 1.45pm Lunch

1.45 - 3.00pm Writing exercises and discussion of process/experience

3.00 - 3.15pm Break

3.15 - 4.00pm 
Pitfalls, positives, and tactics: We'll examine the positives and negatives of working in this field and offer some suggestions about how to get started and keep going.  Evaluation of the day.


Sarah Butler runs a consultancy called UrbanWords which manages literature-based projects that engage with the process of regeneration. She also writes novels and short fiction, and has a particular interest in how creative writing can explore, question and strengthen our relationship with place. You can find out more at andâ?¨

Linda France teaches Creative Writing (and Poetry in Public Spaces) at the University of Newcastle and in a variety of adult community settings. Her books include The Simultaneous Dress (2002) and The Toast of the Kit Cat Club (2005), a biography in verse of the 18th century traveller and writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Linda also edited the acclaimed anthology Sixty Women Poets (Bloodaxe 1993). Smokestack Books recently published book of days, Linda's year renga, the world's first.  Her new collection You are Her is due from Arc in 2010.  Linda collaborates with visual artists and musicians and has worked on over 20 Public Art projects since 1990.  See

To book a place, please email Anne Caldwell for a booking form.

Cost including lunch:
£50 NAWE Members; £80 non members

Special Offer:
£50 for alumini and current students of Bath Spa University

Contact Information:
National Association of Writers in Education
Contact Name:
Anne Caldwell
Contact Email: