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Friday 12th March

Session: 8:15 - 8:45
Main Room - 8:15 - 8:45
BREAKFAST POEMS
with The Poetry Business

Tune into Soundcloud for some poetry with your snap, crackle and pop!

Session: 9:00 - 9:50
Room 1 - 9:00 - 9:50
FUNDING FOR WRITERS
Jonathan Davidson (Writing West Midlands)

Come along with a project idea that you would like to discuss. Think about who might benefit from this project (as artists, participants or audiences) and who might be a partner in this project that would be helpful. We will focus on Arts Council England funding, but the principles are similar for most funding streams.

Room 2 - 9:00 - 9:50
PhD & HE NETWORK MEETING
HE Committee Chair - Andrew Melrose

Join us at this open session for creative writing academics, PhD students and anyone involved in creative writing practice, teaching and research in universities. Prof Andrew Melrose from NAWE’s PhD Network and Higher Education Committees will discuss developments over the past year, but also how to get the best out of the conference, the connections you make and your NAWE - including editing, peer reviewing and writing for Writing in Practice.

Room 3 - 9:00 - 9:50
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ZOOM
Jane Moss

In 2020 lockdown forced many of us online, facilitating writing groups that have traditionally met in physical, not virtual, spaces. What is the difference for host and participants? Who benefits, and who is left out? What guidelines can we share for writer-facilitators taking their first steps into the Zoom room? Jane Moss, a community writing facilitator from Cornwall, and member of the NAWE Community Writers sub-committee, will invite you to share questions and suggestions about best Zoom practice in the post-Covid world.

Session: 10:00 - 10:50
Main Room - 10:00 - 10:50
WELCOME SESSION: WHAT NEXT?
A creative welcome from Daljit Nagra (RSL) followed by panel with Mairi Kidd (Seven Stories), Richard Russell (ACE) Jonathan Davidson (NAWE/Writing West Midlands)

To launch our first virtual conference, we’re delighted to have a creative welcome from Daljit Nagra, poet and chair of the Royal Society of Literature, followed by a panel discussion with Mairi Kidd, new Chief Executive of Seven Stories, Richard Russell, Chief Operating Officer of Arts Council England and NAWE’s chair Jonathan Davidson to consider where we are and what next for our sector.

Session: 11:00 - 11:50
Room 1 - 11:00 - 11:50
ISOLATION/ COLLABORATION
Oz Hardwick, Amina Alyal

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all to adapt to new ways of working and, indeed, engaging with the world in both the personal and global spheres. Whilst adopted purely pragmatically, these adaptations have initiated changes both in our creative practices and in our conceptualisation of, and relationship to, these practices. In this session, Amina Alyal (Senior Lecturer in English at Leeds Trinity University) will consider online creative responses to writing in lockdown, Oz Hardwick (Professor of English at Leeds Trinity University) will consider the importance of material artefacts in a virtual world, and there will be writing exercises which build upon these ideas.

Room 2 - 11:00 - 11:50
EVERY POEM BREAKS A SILENCE
Charmaine Pollard, Victoria Field

This workshop is based on a series led on Zoom in July 2020, using poetry and expressive writing to explore the experience and impact of racism on all of us. After the killing of George Floyd, Charmaine Pollard & Victoria Field were moved to start a more open conversation about racism in all its forms. The title for this workshop comes from poet and activist, Adrienne Rich. Charmaine Pollard & Victoria Field are both trained in biblio-poetry therapy which facilitates a non-judgmental space where we can listen, learn from each other and where previously silenced voices can be heard. We will share poems and techniques and talk about the process.

Room 3 - 11:00 - 11:50
ETHICS IN LIFE WRITING
Patrick Wright, Shanta Everington

Patrick Wright and Shanta Everington, Creative Writing PhD students at The Open University, will present on the ethical considerations involved in their life writing projects. Patrick will talk about ethical considerations when working with the creative content of someone who has died. With reference to his poetry collection, Full Sight Of Her, he will explore the difference between appreciation and appropriation. Shanta will talk about her PhD work-in-progress, Other Mothers, a life writing hybrid form combining interview material, poetry, fiction, personal essay and collage, curating and creating women’s stories of adoption, surrogacy and egg donation.

Session: 12:10 - 13:00
Room 1 - 12:10 - 13:00
POETRY'S NOT FOR YOU - POETRY'S FOR EVERYONE (extended to 60 mins)
UK Poetry Library Network in conversation

In 1983, Adrienne Rich described a culture in which as a poet she was always ‘destined to be a luxury, a decorative garnish on the buffet-table of the university curriculum, the ceremonial occasion, the national celebration’. With four dedicated poetry libraries situated within a 200-mile radius, does the UK now represent something different: somewhere that values poetry, that seeks to integrate it in the everyday, somewhere that poetry is central rather than marginal? The UK Poetry Libraries Network invites you to join them for a conversation about their past, present and future. Dr Martin Kratz (Chair), Asif Khan (Director, Scottish Poetry Library), Jenny Kinnear, Senior Librarian: Children & Young People, Northumberland County Council (Northern Poetry Library), Chris McCabe (National Poetry Librarian, National Poetry Library) and Becky Swain (Director, Manchester Poetry Library).

Room 2 - 12:10 - 13:00
CREATIVE INTERACTIONS: ART HISTORY AND CREATIVE WRITING
Dr Clare Taylor, Dr Heather Richardson, Helen Mosby, Dr Diana Newall

The connections between visual art and creative writing have long been a feature of creative writing pedagogy, and asking students to write in response to a piece of visual art is a frequently used activity in the writing workshop. Art History students engage with artworks in a very different way, employing visual analysis to ‘read the text’ of the work under consideration. Join Dr Clare Taylor, Dr Heather Richardson, Helen Mosby and Dr Diana Newall to explore the results of a scholarship project that brought these two approaches together and try these techniques in a writing activity using pieces from the Open University’s art collection.

Room 3 - 12:10 - 13:00
CIRCLE OF TRUST: HOW WRITERS HELP EACH OTHER
Carys Bray, Stephanie Butland, Sarah Franklin, Shelley Harris

The novels of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Virginia Woolf were all, in part, shaped by friendships with other writers. How could you find a support network? What difference could it make to your career? Carys Bray, Stephanie Butland, Sarah Franklin and Shelley Harris, all authors and tutors, have created an invaluable space where they can ‘speak their brains’. Here, they reflect with honesty, openness and insight on the benefits of their informal support network. Join them as they discuss why all writers should have a Circle Of Trust, and invite the audience to consider establishing one of their own.

Session: 13:45 - 14:35
Room 1 - 13:45 - 14:35
HOW WRITERS CAN BENEFIT FROM THE ACTION LEARNING PROGRAMME
Fiona Linday, Julia Payne, Susanna Roland

In 2020, NAWE was fortunate to receive a grant from Arts Council England’s Covid Emergency Response Fund, part of which funded a pilot Action Research for Writers programme, to support writers in education weather the pandemic storm. We teamed up with creative social enterprise the hub (thehubuk.com) to deliver the programme. Through it, 8 writers in education had the chance to come together as part of a new action learning set, to help each other develop new ideas, plans and understanding and receive support to set up their own follow-up action learning sets with other writers. Join action learning set-members Fiona Linday and Susanna Roland, Julia Payne (the hub) and Fiona Mason (NAWE) to hear more about the ins and outs of action learning and to share lessons and insights from NAWE’s first action learning set.

Room 2 - 13:45 - 14:35
WRITING IS WORD AND IMAGE
Cindy Shearer

In Ten Not To Tangible Tools for Writers, Cindy Shearer offers writing “tools” as “precepts of awareness,” principles to help us better attend to what and how we write. For the NAWE Conference, Cindy will focus on two precepts, “Writing is word and image working together” and “Writing is art,” to show how when we create relationship between word and image in our writing, we learn to better evoke and articulate experience and to access what is core to as well as the contexts that inform our writing. This workshop will introduce these precepts and invite participants to complete a writing/image exercise.

Session: 14:45 - 15:15
Room 1 - 14:45 - 15:15
ALICE'S NORTH
Anne Caldwell

Peter Davidson, in his classic book, The Idea of North, says that ‘everyone carries their own idea of "North" within them’. He sees the North as a compass direction: a mutable notion, that shifts and changes in relation to an artist’s viewpoint. Anne Caldwell’s new prose poetry collection, 'Alice and the North' (Valley Press, 2020), is an attempt to discover an idea of the North. Anne has been connected with the North of England since childhood and has chosen to make it her home as an adult. This prose poetry sequence does not attempt a definition of the region as such but intends to celebrate what she has named ‘Alice’s North’ in a linked sequence of prose poems. Anne will read from the collection and discuss some contemporary notions of 'northernness' through the eyes of the central persona of Alice, as well as open up the topic for discussion.

Room 2 - 14:45 - 15:15
CREATIVE WRITING AND PUBLISHING AT YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY
Rob O’Connor

Dr Rob O'Connor lectures in Creative Writing at York St John University. He will talk about creative writing and publishing, fostering employability skills, and some of the creative writing projects and publications that students are working on.

Room 3 - 14:45 - 15:15
UEA FUTURE & FORM: CREATIVE WRITING IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Sasha Bergstrom-Katz, Wes Brown

Celebrating fifty years of creative writing at UEA, a landmark project Future and Form will see a number of leading writers work with creative technologists, local young people, schools and key cultural organisations to explore the interface between contemporary literature and creative technology. Writers commissioned by UEA included Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Mona Arshi, Tash Aw, Imogen Hermes Gowar, Mitch Johnson and James McDermott. Researchers Sasha BergstromKatz (Birkbeck) & Wes Brown (University of East London) will discuss the ways in which the works pushed the boundaries of literary form, challenged and extended the role of the author, changed perceptions of literature, impacted audiences and fostered greater social empowerment.

Session: 15:45 - 16:15
Room 1 - 15:45 - 16:15
FREELANCERS' FORUM NAWE COMMUNITY WRITERS' NETWORK
Chair – Caleb Parkin

NAWE’s Community Writers’ Network was convened to support writers and facilitators working in community settings. Come along and network peers and colleagues and find out how to get involved.

Room 2 - 15:45 - 16:15
THE VALUE OF WRITING CONSTRAINTS IN THE GENERATIVE WORKSHOP
John Vigna

In a generative writing workshop, students create new material, experiment with form and technique and develop their aesthetic. However, when low stakes writing experiments with specific constraints are incorporated, it moves students to the edge of their competency where new material, insights and breakthroughs can take place. Constraints help students scaffold their writing projects by trying new strategies, taking stylistic risks and working without the pressure or judgement that polished work often provides. In this presentation, John Vigna (University of British Columbia) explores how writing with constraints also helps writers deepen their process, lays the foundation for rich discussion and reflection, and helps them become more skilled writers.

Room 3 - 15:45 - 16:15
PASSING FOR STRAIGHT
Kari Silvola

In Passing for Straight; Writing on the Border of Accepted and Forbidden, Kari Silvola (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) examines the boundary between the socially accepted and the forbidden in a concrete phenomenon called passing for straight and its effects on language, narration and literariness. Theoretically framed by the queer feminist standpoint and the epistemology of the closet, Silvola approaches cultural prohibition as both a repressive and a productive factor; while prohibition restricts, it also produces, among other things, its own grammar and speech, and applies the theory to his novel, which is partly autobiographical, partly based on ethnographic research.research.

Session: 16:30 - 17:00
Room 2 - 16:30 - 17:00
PAPER NATIONS - THE WRITERS' CYCLE
Bambo Soyinka, Joanna Nissel, Christina Sanders

The Writer’s Cycle is a key supportive resource for writing educators. Developed by Paper Nations with authors, writers, tutors, and literary organisations, The Writer’s Cycle is now available to download. In this session Bambo will discuss how we intend to take forward the concepts introduced in The Writer’s Cycle in our next project: The Writing for All Greenbook. Like the original Greenbook provided a list of safe places for African American travellers before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Writing For All Greenbook will explore the theme of inclusivity and will empower writers to take full advantage of the writing opportunities available across the region.

Room 3 - 16:30 - 17:00
EKPHRASIS: A TOOL FOR VISITOR ENGAGEMENT
Rachel Carney

PhD student Rachel Carney (Cardiff University) will present the ekphrastic writing process as a beneficial tool that can be used in art museums to enhance visitor engagement and promote inclusivity, enabling visitors to engage more deeply with the works of art on display, as they participate in the construction of what will become a complex, shared interpretive space. Drawing on theories from a range of disciplines, she will consider what happens when ekphrasis responds to ekphrasis in a museum gallery, creating a cumulative interaction that becomes more and more intricate, creating layers of meaning and engagement in an ever-extending pattern.

Session: 17:10 - 18:00
Room 1 - 17:10 - 18:00
EMBRACE THE MACHINES!
David Moody, Bern Mulvey

Ready or not, the pandemic has changed the educational landscape, including a move to online learning. Keeping students engaged and participating meaningfully online can be a challenge. In this presentation, the panel seeks to address these issues, as well as hopefully add something to your teaching “tool chests”. David will discuss promoting student agency and choice through the “choose your own adventure” design approach to critical reading and writing coursework. Mark examines the challenges to fostering active learning in asynchronous online learning environments. Bern talks about teacher “presence” in online education, why it matters and how to maintain it throughout.

Room 2 - 17:10 - 18:00
CREATIVE WRITING IN HEALTHCARE EDUCATION
Roshni Beeharry

In this interactive session, Roshni will give an overview her MA in Clinical Education project “The potential roles of creative writing in healthcare education: A systematic review’ (2013). She will give an overview of the study, and how she applied the findings to create and deliver creative writing-based Student Selected Components (SSC), at an Irish and a UK medical school. Roshni will invite delegates to consider and discuss some of the issues arising from this type of work, including interdisciplinary collaboration between healthcare professionals’ writers and academics, in the healthcare education.

Room 3 - 17:10 - 18:00
WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION
Claire Gradidge, Lisa Koning, Andrew Melrose
"Why are we so attached to the severities of the past? Why are we so proud of having endured our fathers and our mothers, the fireless days and the meatless days, the cold winters and the sharp tongues? It’s not as if we had a choice," said Hilary Mantel when talking about Wolf Hall. Writing historical fiction is by its very nature problematic. Not because of the facts history provides but because of, as Mantel also said, “the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.” Three writers/academics will discuss their own novels set in the distant past, the near past and the historical future, talking about how factual events and creative imagination collide into a story worth telling.
Session: 19:00 - 19:50
Main Room - 19:00 - 19:50
IN CONVERSATION: Kate Clanchy
Kate Clanchy
Join our special guests in conversation, including readings from their work.

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