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Saturday 9 November

07.30 - 08.30          Breakfast (restaurant)

08.00 International Writers’ Breakfast (restaurant; all welcome)

08.30 - 09.00

09.00 - 10.00 Choice of: 

A3: Creating Creative Spaces in Secondary Schools Olga Dermott-Bond

This workshop will focus on ways to encourage creativity in Secondary School s. The first part of the workshop will share practical ways of developing the creative space of students’ own imagination through writing exercises, playing with language, experimenting with poetic form and ways to overcome the dreaded call of, “Miss, I don’t know what to write.”  The second part of the workshop will move to sharing a range of practical ideas about how to create creative spaces within the school calendar and community, in order to raise the profile of creative writing in schools.

B3:  The Relevant Britain Award Jennifer Young, Sherezade Garcia Rangel

Ever wondered what it would like to be a judge on a literary award? Come play the Relevant Britain literary award game – a workshop or seminar activity designed to overcome resistance, enable debate and enliven discussion over difficult current topics in a safe environment. Be a judge on a fictional literary award and perform your character to the fullest in order to influence the discussion, evidence your point and carry across your objective of awarding or not a current title the Relevant Britain award. Take part in this workshop activity and learn how to carry it through on your own.

C3: Novels and Why We Need Them – Julie Lamin

In the current GCSE English Language examination students are required to answer questions on how writers use language and structure. This practical workshop links the creative process of writing to the analytical responses expected of young people. We step out of the ‘exam factory’ to consider how teachers and writers help young people to experience the relevance of reading and writing; how writers make choices about characters, setting, language and structure; how fiction shows us ‘the truth’ of the world we live in; and how we combine passion for writing with the discipline of editing.

D3: Poetic Collaboration on Place, Landscape and Nature Holly Howitt-Dring, Steven O’Brien

This presentation and workshop will feature four poems from the creative collaboration between Holly Howitt-Dring and Steven O’Brien. This year their ongoing collaboration features poems inspired by landscape, places and nature. Within the compass of their poems they will discuss the challenges and potential of collaborative writing. The second part of the session will feature a short creative workshop where participants will be given creative prompts with which to forge a creative sketch that might eventually work towards a poetic utterance. Attendees will also share preliminary drafts as a ‘commonality’ and decide which key words or phrase that they might jointly use in a poetic collaboration.

E3: Dramatherapy – Sarah Penny

Rites of passage and Rituals of transformation/ an hour of growth, improvisation and exploration using dramatherapy and Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes.  This interactive session is designed to give participants a gap in their busy lives to think about where they’ve been, where they are headed, what their next goals might be, and how to celebrate milestones achieved whilst taking a quick breather.  The session is intended as both a fun introduction to dramatherapy/ CWTP but also a moment of me-time during the busy conference weekend.  Please come dressed in loose comfortable clothing suitable for movement.

F3: Where Work Ends, Writing Begins Romi Jones


Like many freelance writers, Romi Jones has run creative writing workshops in communities since completing MA in Creative Writing in 2005. Her role as facilitator/tutor within disadvantaged communities, including older people with dementia, where there has always been separation between her own writing of prose/non-fiction and her work using participatory practice. However, she often encounters writers, artists, dancers for whom participatory practice is their sole art form. Through activities and discussions, this workshop will invite those who write and teach/facilitate creative writing to interrogate the impact of that work on the writer’s own creativity.

10.00 - 11.00            Choice of:

A4: Giving Effective Feedback – Kerry Young, Joe Bibby

This session will explore the perspectives, skills and approaches needed to give effective feedback to writers. It will focus on the principles of effective feedback and how to create an environment that supports writers and helps them to develop their work. You will have a chance to hear about Kerry’s experience of working with a wide range of writers, from beginner to established, including her experience of working with vulnerable young people and adults. There will be time to share experiences and for questions and discussion.

B4: I want to stand naked in the school hall: The Poetry Society Resources for KS3/4 - Shân Maclennan, Kate Clanchy

The poems written by The Poetry Society’s Foyle Young Poets of the Year annual winners who are all aged between 11 and 17 years always stop you in your tracks like this one, I want to stand naked in the school hall by 17 year old Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith, one of the winners of the 2019 competition. How do these young poets find their voices? Develop their techniques? Hone their ideas? And what about the young people who may never enter a poetry competition? What can poetry do for them?  Next year, as the Foyle Young Poets competition turns 22, The Poetry Society will publish a resource for secondary school teachers to inspire them to nurture young poets and build a poetry culture within their school. The session will be led by poet and teacher, Kate Clanchy with Shân Maclennan, Education Associate at The Poetry Society and will introduce you to the ideas featured in the resource as well as giving you the chance to ask questions.

C4: MaxLiteracy: Nonverbal Wordplay – John Berkavitch, Marianne Pape

A 1-hour interactive presentation on the MaxLiteracy nonverbal poetry project, with poet Berkavitch and Marianne Pape from Attenborough Arts Centre. Hear about our MaxLiteracy cultural education partnership with Ashmount School (SEND specialists), and the poems created by nonverbal children in response to the exhibitions at AAC. Exploring the gallery as a language rich environment and developing poetic responses to contemporary art. Learn the techniques for scaffolding language and emotional literacy for non-verbal young people and communication aid users. Prepare to open up the world of art and poetry for more people, with the skills you will gain in this session.  

D4: (i) Teaching for Change in the Creative Writing Classroom – Senja Andrejevic-Bullock

bell hooks said that ‘the classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy’. What does this mean with regards to teaching Dramatic Writing at HE level? Can the pedagogy and the teaching practice for this unique subject be aligned with the concept of education as the practice of freedom? In this paper, I’ll reflect on my efforts to transform my students and myself into ‘critical agents in the act of knowing’ within the field of Creative Writing.

(ii) Why expanding the creative narrative matters – Liz Mistry

In 2017, Riz Ahmed addressed Parliament, highlighting the need to embrace ‘expansive narratives’ that move from the narrow-imagined narratives of the few, to incorporate wider society. In 2018, Penguin Random House adopted a ‘Creative Responsibility: Inclusions’ policy, specifically to redress the existing imbalance within the industry, stating that “too often culture is shaped by people who come from a narrow section of society.” In the current political climate, it is essential to represent a society inclusive of marginalised groups. Through diversity and inclusion in fiction, it is possible to shape and redirect perceptions and embrace the richness of our society.


E4: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime: Issues in and of translation – Moira Egan, Vasilis Papageorgiou

These two extreme terms, ridiculous and sublime, are useful in examining the limits of language and its meanings, both explicit and implicit. What is the role of the extraordinary, the absurd, the unreachable in challenging the conventional, in inspiring the translator to unearth nuances, subtexts, even shortcomings? Our workshop will focus on concrete efforts to apply our reexamination of these terms through the translation of a poem by Moira Egan into Greek and Swedish and a short monologue by Vasilis Papageorgiou from Greek into English.  

F4: The End of the World as We Know It? - Tyler Keevil, Mike DD Johnston

In this practical and interactive session, lecturers DD Johnston and Tyler Keevil use apocalyptic fiction as a basis to explore new teaching techniques applicable to the Creative Writing classroom. D.D. Johnston will lead a role play based on a post-apocalyptic survival scenario, demonstrating how role play can be a development tool for works in progress and a trigger for new projects. Tyler Keevil will reflect on how he adjusted the traditional writing workshop to integrate a collaborative writing project, inspired by Douglas Coupland's apocalyptic short story ‘The Wrong Sun,’ leading to a joint publication for his students.

11.00 - 11.30            Tea/Coffee

11.30 - 13.00            Choice of:

**SPECIAL EVENT** The Devil and the Details – Oz Hardwick & Amina Alyal (includes tour of York; meet at reception)

York, according to figures released in October 2018, receives 6.9 million visitors each year, with the Jorvik Viking Centre, York Minster and, of course, the Shambles being on many ‘must see’ lists. For this, the third – and last for now – NAWE conference in the city, local writers Oz Hardwick and Amina Alyal will lead a leisurely 90-minute walk around some less famous locations as we think about finding inspiration in our everyday surroundings (and enjoy a little of this wonderful city). Participants may want to take a psychogeo-graphical approach, as Iain Sinclair does walking the M25 in London Orbital (Penguin 2003), Will Self walking from London to New York in Psychogeography (Bloomsbury 2007), or Lauren Elkin walking cities in Flaneuse (Vintage 2017).

A5: (i) Words Make Us Who We Are - Alice Penfold

All students have the potential to be powerful storytellers. But how can they achieve this without a rich vocabulary? There has been an increasing academic focus on the explicit teaching of vocabulary (for example, Alex Quigley’s Closing the Vocabulary Gap offers pioneering ideas for cross-curricular word-learning) but the application of enriched vocabularies to the process of creative writing needs further exploration. My presentation will focus on both how to explicitly develop students’ vocabulary through creative, engaging strategies, such as word-games and competitions, and then how to encourage students to implement more sophisticated word choices effectively in their own creative writing.

(ii) The Teaching Assistant – Jasmine Simms

This presentation, The Teaching Assistant, will show how creative life writing can constitute a valuable form of reflective practice for educators. Jasmine will begin by performing her own stories of working in UK Primary School, which demonstrate how the embodiment of the child’s voice (through flash fictions) might serve as a vehicle for empathy and understanding, bridging the epistemic gap between ‘child’ and ‘adult’ perspectives. Through reflection on her own experiences, as well as on contemporary debates concerning both Creative Writing and Education, Jasmine will make a case for storytelling as vital to our ongoing practice as educators.  

B5: Shape Shifting: Radicalizing the Curriculum – Malika Booker


In an era where marginalized voices are increasingly demanding that institutions, specifically educators ‘decolonize the curriculum,’ how are poetry courses/ degrees, lecturers and workshop facilitators ensuring that this is integral pedagogical practice? We as educators are shaping the taste of future writers, publishers, agents, and editors and if we do not scrutinize our pedagogy then we are responsible for the limitations of the future poets and gatekeepers in Britain. As a poet and educator widening the curricula aperture is an essential part of my pedagogical and poetic practice. In this interactive presentation we will explore strategies through which to revise and reshape the canon.

C5:  How We Write - Sarah Franklin, Anna Kiernan, Liz Flanagan, Amy Lilwall

How does a female writer write in 2019? Are some stories easier to write than others? Writers Liz Flanagan, Anna Kiernan, Sarah Franklin and Amy Lilwall get to grips with the cultural, political and personal variables that guide their pens across the page as they demystify their writing processes - and consider those of other contemporary female writers - in this panel discussion. Each will then present a short creative writing exercise that they most associate with helping their creativity flow.



(i) Building a Course for Creative Writing Teaching in an International Context – Javier Sagarna, Mariana Torres

In the context of CELA (Connecting Emerging Literary Artists) project, Escuela de Escritores committed to organising a training course for four of the writers of the project, in order to prepare them to be creative writing teachers. We used this opportunity to investigate what knowledge would be necessary for a creative writing teacher and designed an intensive course intended to provide insight for the students. The course was built on theoretical and practical classes, as well as creativity and teaching tools. To create a bigger group of students and to enhance the cultural interchange, we invited some of the students of our Masters’ course in Narrative to join and team up with the CELA writers. As a result of the course, they prepared their own creative writing workshops that were introduced and taught to the public to close the course. Using this experience as a starting point, Escuela de Escritores is preparing a complete teacher´s training course in creative writing. 

(ii) Challenging the Unconscious Biases of Creative Writing in HE – Kevan Manwaring

Alain Robbe-Grillet boldly claimed: ‘All writers believe they are realists. None ever calls himself abstract, illusionistic, chimerical, fantastical, falsitical…’ In many academic discussions so-called ‘mimetic fiction’ is seen as the norm and any reference to or inclusion of ‘Fantastika’ (Clute's term) is seen as anomalous and has to be justified. Why is Fantastika (or any genre fiction for that matter) seen as the 'Cinderella' in literary discourse? This paper discusses this and posits a notion: Is this endemic bias because the academy prejudices logical positivism, empiricism and materialism? If so, why do those positions remain largely unchallenged? And to widen the debate: what other unspoken assumptions are there implicit in our choices of texts, pedagogic methodologies, module design, and forms of assessment? Do the recent (often student-led) initiatives to ‘decolonise the canon or curriculum’ need to also happen in other areas, a broader decolonisation of the imaginarium of contemporary writing practice, pedagogy, and institutional procedure? What other elitist, sexist, heteronormative, neuronormal, able-bodied, or ethnocentric biases linger? 

E5: (i) From hagiography to historical fiction - Fiona Whyte

In the fictive retelling of an historical event or life primary sources – diaries, letters, contemporaneous reports – are of crucial importance. They represent the voice, the language, the spirit of the time, and are a door into the world the characters inhabit. But what happens when the primary source is itself a construct, a reimagination of a life with the overt purpose of presenting the faith through the example of a saintly figure? This paper will discuss the use of hagiography as a source for historical fiction, addressing the narrative choices, challenges and concerns that both genres share. It will explore how the use of ancient sources such as hagiography can be harnessed as a means to ground story and character in place and time and to unlock authentic voice.

(ii) Story and Practice - Kevin Price

Three words walk into a bar: Study, Practice and Teaching. Study and Teaching both suffer terrible headaches. Not Practice; she knew to duck. She’d heard the story before. Creative writing has three distinct schemata: study, practice, and teaching. Study draws on knowledge of practice and informs teaching, which draws on study to inform practice. The relationships that exist between an individual engaged in any one schema and the activities of the other two produce a transference of knowledge and skills that lay the foundation for transformative experience. This is story, which, this paper argues, is the pursuit of creative writing.

(iii) The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong - Michael Cawood Green

This presentation will consist of a reading from, and speaking to, a recently published novel, The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong. The novel includes a self-reflexive essay on the novel as practice-led research, and is to be published by Goldsmiths/MIT Press as the first in a series on Practice Research. As such it represents a new type of publishing endeavour, one aimed at regenerating university press publishing and reaching a cross-over academic/trade audience. In the words of Goldsmiths Press, ‘Our publishing cuts across disciplinary boundaries and blurs the distinctions between practice and theory, experimentation and convention and the literary and artistic. We hope to create a culture around academic knowledge practices that is more inventive and less constrained, while fostering a unique collaboration between writers, artists, archivists, librarians and publishing professionals.’ In this presentation, I will reflect upon the potential and possible pitfalls of being engaged as a writer of fiction in such a project.

F5: (i) Surfing as Research – Melissa Fagan

My PhD project is a work of creative nonfiction that explores how people and places are connected and disconnected by our shared use of oceans and seas. A key aspect of my research is both experiential and pedagogical: I am learning to surf as a way of engaging with, understanding, and writing about both the act of surfing and the environment in which it takes place. I also teach writing, and have previously taught swimming. My paper explores the creative and pedagogical possibilities of this interplay, and the ways in which learning and teaching across multiple modes can enrich each other.

(ii) Breaking Kayfabe – Wes Brown

In professional wrestling, kayfabe /'ke?fe?b/ is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true”. My research focuses on the pro wrestling concept of kayfabe and explore its application in post-truth discourses of identity. My creative work narrativizes my experiences as a pro wrestler and functions as a dramaturgical study of pro wrestling, a metafiction of my own identity narrative and reveals the autobiographical pact to be itself a form of kayfabe. My presentation will situate my research within narrative theories of identity, counter-essentialist identity politics and theories of gender performativity, with readings, footage of my matches, discussion and practical advice and exercises for writers of autofiction at any stage.

(iii) Word Play: Sport in Creative Writing – Grainne Daly

This paper examines the use of sport in creative writing. If we are to take literature as a tool through which one explores political and social issues, and sport as a vehicle for cultural expression, then we accept there is a broad intersection between sport and creative writing. How does creative literature embody the mythologizing and folkloric elements that are prevalent in sport - the heroes, anti-heroes, victories, tragedies and brave feats of accomplishment?  Language and treatment of sport in key literary works will be discussed as the piece seeks to explore the aesthetic and ideological function sport serves in creative writing.

13.00 - 14.00            Lunch (restaurant)

14.00 - 14.30            MaxLiteracy Awards: inspiring writing through art with Veronica Reinhardt, Jane Sillis (Henley Suite)

MaxLiteracy Awards: inspiring writing through art

These case study vignettes from 2018-19 projects, share learning and experiences from galleries and museums across the country who have collaborated with writers and schools through the bi-annual MaxLiteracy Awards in innovative ways. Hear Gallery-Educators, Creative Writers, Teachers and programme stakeholders talk about what makes MaxLiteracy unique in supporting the creative writing development of young people in a variety of different contexts from those doing well in creative writing to those in challenging, complex circumstances. MaxLiteracy was initiated and is supported by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust and is delivered by Engage and NAWE.

14.30 - 16.00            Choice of: 

A6: Seeing More Things - Clare Collison

When Waltham Forest was awarded London Borough of Culture 2019, it developed Ways of Seeing in partnership with the Government Art Collection, installing works of art in unusual and non-traditional venues across Waltham Forest, and delivering on their commitment to providing ‘culture on every corner’. Claire Collison was commissioned to design prompts, provocations, and educational resources for sites including Libraries, Heritage Venues, Primary and Secondary schools, FE Colleges, a Horse Riding Centre, and a newly built sports centre. In this practical workshop, Claire will share ways of applying these creative writing resources generically to all kinds of visual art.

B6: (i) The Disruptors are Coming – Phil Busby

The internet’s changing everything; the way we shop or book holidays … even the way we learn. Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the Wall Project has been demonstrating the power of internet based self-organised learning since 1999. Now, with a plethora of booktubers, platforms, forums and free courses (mostly run by U.S. based commercial fiction writers), Generation Z is spoilt for choice when it comes to writing support. And it’s too late to stop any of this, but not too late to get involved.

(ii) Tools of a Storytelling Revolution - Emma Nuttall

This session will include a discussion exploring the role digital technologies can play in creating literary experiences that go beyond the page, followed by group work sketching out a draft concept. Some questions we might investigate include: why write digital fiction, why is it so cool? How to write,  focusing on available technologies, where to start and a brief look at the evolution of digital fiction; structuring – looking at the narrative structures possible in digital fiction; characters – how characters change in digital environments, including perspective and characterization; the role of puzzles, how gameplay can enhance narrative; and the digital fiction reader – getting interactive!

C6: (i) Podcasting: An Evolving Medium to Teach and to Write - Bryan Wade

For three years I’ve taught a creative writing workshop course for undergraduate and graduate UBC students, Writing for New Media: Podcasting, The primary focus is audio drama (aka fictional/narrative), which in the UK is a vital medium known as radio drama. In North America radio drama was disrupted/sidelined by the 1950’s television/film juggernaut. Is ‘podcasting’ like a Renaissance of creative opportunities for writers? How does one create a syllabus for a medium that only came into existence a decade ago? In this one-hour presentation I will offer insights and strategies for teaching writing workshops in this still evolving medium.

(ii) Writing for the Ear: Future Proofing Creative Writing - Josie Barnard

For Creative Writers who want to not just survive but thrive in our digital age, skills in ‘writing for the ear’ can prove key. Websites feature audio. Social media posts are written as if spoken.  Audio is seeing a major resurgence in mainstream publishing. And, writing for the ear aids development of abilities in creating ‘non-linear’ narratives.  Drawing on an ongoing programme of academic and practice-based research including ‘The Multimodal Writer’ (2019), Barnard argues that, to productively and creatively negotiate the ‘digital turn’, we must embrace our oral tradition. The aim of the session is to equip and inspire. 

D6: (i) Searching for the Trobairitz - Eleanor Yule

This presentation will chart the literary detective trail leading to the creation of Medieval poet and musician, ‘La Belle Dame’, as a central protagonist for a Medieval screenplay. Neglected by the literary world for nearly eight centuries (Bogin,1976) details of the lives of the Trobairitz (1180- 1230) and their surviving work are scant. Building on the literary excavations of second wave feminists, Trobairtiz lyric and recently recovered Medieval manuscripts, (Heldris, 2007) (Hubert & Porter, 1962), this literary journey reveals a “renaissance feminist” (Langdon, 2001), conspicuously absent from depictions in mainstream Medieval film, which tend to define women by their imprisonment within patriarchal regimes.

(ii) Ekphrasis with Visual Impairment - Patrick Wright

The standard approach to ekphrasis (verbal representation of visual representation) is to assume the visual prompt (an artwork for example) is viewed in a brightly-lit room by someone with 20/20 vision. Most of the canonical examples of this genre, such as William Carlos Williams’s poem ‘Landscape with the Fall of Icarus’ and W.H. Auden’s ‘Musée Des Beaux Arts’, are written from the perspective of this normative subject. In this paper, with reference to my own poems, I wish to explore ekphrasis in response to images seen in dim environments or through visual impairment, including conditions such as myopia and astigmatism.

(iii) Average is the New Fantastico - Julian Stannard

Average is the New Fantastico is a collaborative venture - a new publication (Green Bottle Press.)  I have been working with the Sri Lankan born painter Roma Tearne on a word and image project.  I take pleasure in her small canvases, portraits of peculiarity shot through with domestic tension and comic existentialism. Her protagonists are battered, bewildered, determined. They sometimes listen to the Blues.  This is not a conventional Ekphrastic venture.  It’s a kind of cabaret where my poems take part in a strange tango with the paintings. Come and listen, come and see. 

E6: (i) Put the vision back into revision: rewriting pedagogy explored - John Vigna

Central to the writing process is the difficult and deep interrogation of one’s work to address what the real meaning of the text is, and how this meaning is relevant by contributing to the larger discussion of what it means to be human. This presentation offers radical approach to teaching revision that disrupts traditional classroom approaches. From refining one’s work based on workshop feedback to designing exercises and demanding more of the workshop dynamic, this presentation offers a robust, integrated approach to revision. I’ll bring a selection of fresh pedagogical approaches to revision that will offer a range of tools for writers and writing instructors.

(ii) More Things, Horatio - Paul Graves

How do L2 learners of English formulate metaphor, and how can they be supported in metaphoric thinking? A creative writing workshop for advanced learners of English is a good place to observe this process in action. Language learning itself impels the learner out of conventional paths of thought and engenders promising conditions for creativity. This presentation explores how those conditions can best be taken advantage of to encourage L2 creative writers not only to partially reconceive their world but also to produce work in English that can expand our L1 conceptions.

(iii) Happily Ever After - Sigrid Varduhn

Fairy-tales are for everyone´s writing. Their simple structure, one-dimensional characters and common symbols allow jumping in quickly and get writing confidence. Don´t know “Rumpelstilzchen”? You do! He´s related to Tom Tit Tot and the Danish Trillevip. We´ll have a look at the connecting strength of fairy tales, e.g. for writing in foreign languages. Sigrid Varduhn shares her experience with fairy tale writing in Germany in settings from beginner writers to self-coaching. You´ll reflect on your favorite fairy tale(s) as an inspiration for your writing. And you´ll try writing prompts to experience the range of opportunities to work with fairy tales.

F6: (i) Much to Write Home About - Gaar Adams

Home” can be a story’s evocative setting, a character’s personal motivation, or an author’s thematic fixation. Perhaps because of this capaciousness, home is often the most compelling — and daunting — topic to explore across any genre. This workshop presents fieldwork from a decade as a researcher, writer, and educator examining and working with transient populations in the Arabian Peninsula. With several exercises, we’ll consider unique lenses like migration and “third culture kid” phenomenon to develop greater nuance as writers and educators in reckoning with the complex concept of home.

(ii) A-B Tree - Mandy Haggith 

This presentation will introduce the A-B-Tree project, which uses trees to inspire creative writing. The project has developed an interdisciplinary knowledge base about the 18 tree species linked to letters of the Gaelic alphabet, consisting of thousands of tidbits of ecological knowledge, folklore, place names, practical and medicinal uses, plus poems. The poems and tidbits of knowledge are used to support creative writers to generate written content and ideas and to shape that content into poems. The presentation will explore lessons learned about facilitating writing about trees with children, in therapeutic contexts and with more experienced writers such as university students.

(iii) Joined up Writers: The Community Novel - Jane Moss

Can a novel be a collaborative form of community participation? Author and writing group facilitator Jane Moss is investigating how the novel can be a vehicle for participation in a rural and coastal parish in South Cornwall: Mylor Parish, near Falmouth. Jane’s presentation offers insights into the process in which a mix of traditional and digital methods are enabling members of a writing group and the wider community to take part. The presentation includes a practical element in which you can experience some methods of co-authorship and reflect on the use of digital appliances such as smart phones in collaborative writing.

16.00 - 16.30            Tea/Coffee Break

16.30 - 17.30            Choice of: 

A7: Pitching Workshop - Olivia Chapman

This one-hour workshop will teach you in a practical way how to talk about your work, and pitch it to agents / editors / commissioning editors / producers – whatever is relevant to your artform. You’ll learn how to structure your pitch, talk confidently and clearly about your plot and genre, and practise your pitch. This workshop is intended for prose writers (both fiction and non-fiction) and scriptwriters but likely won’t be relevant for those writing poetry. In order to participate fully, you will need to have a complete story (in whatever form) which you can talk about from start to finish. You will learn skills you can transfer to any other story, but to get the most out of the workshop, it will be helpful to just focus on one you can finesse. Although you do not need to be published to attend, you do need to have a complete manuscript to be able to base your pitch on.

B7: Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp - Tim Kelly, Alyson Morris

We gave them food and shelter, but until now we never listened to their stories… [Stergios Michos, Greek Councillor] In 2017 a group of creative writers and filmmakers visited a refugee camp in Northern Greece, with the intention of getting the migrants and local Greeks together to tell each other their stories. It was hoped that hearing each other’s stories would bridge the gap between the two communities. None of the teachers had ever run classes in such a situation before: nobody knew what might transpire or what stories would emerge. The result is Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp.

C7: Professional Skills for a Revolution - Niki Valentine, Rod Duncan

Niki and Rod will discuss and present work from their third-year undergraduate module, Professional Writing Skills, describing its impact on their teaching and practice as novelists. The module introduces students to the concept and practicalities of publication and to the landscape of the publishing world. Working individually or in small groups, students are challenged to conceive, design and create their own publications, and have the option to present this work at a literary festival. Thus they graduate as published writers, with skills valuable to the traditional publishing industry, and to themselves if they choose the path of the indie writer-publisher. 

D7: Survivors with Biros - Anna Morvern

What is it like to survive childhood sexual abuse and trauma? Survivors With Biros is a survivor-led project enabling survivors to use expressive writing. Based in Ireland, it was established during the abortion rights campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment, which witnessed the power of story-telling to influence social change.The project has engaged with different community spaces as a means of linking writing projects with activism. Anna Morvern, project facilitator, will reflect on the work to date, exploring the writing methods used to promote surviving and thriving, and speaking about the challenges of activist-linked writing. Q & A included.

E7: Women’s Whispered Wisdom  - Mel Perry

The spoken word poetry scene has blossomed in recent years, giving opportunities for individuals and communities to voice their passions, fears and desires.  This environment can be a place for personal and social change.  As a poet, performer and writing practitioner I have enjoyed a therapeutic benefit of sharing my own writing at open mic and spoken word events. I am curious about the experience that vulnerable people might have when they read their work at an event. This participative workshop will provide a space to hear about the experiences of a group of women survivors of domestic abuse in west Wales, and consider the impact this might have on our practice.

F7: Applied Drama Techniques – Emily Capstick

Drama is increasingly used by heritage & cultural organisations to engage and educate visitors. While it can be both entertaining and an effective device for presenting facts, its real power lies in the opportunities it provides to explore the significance and complexity of these facts.   Drawing on diverse projects (including Chester Zoo’s songbird conservation project, Viking celebrations in Sweden & ‘Finding Our First World War' at Imperial War Museum North) this practical workshop will introduce drama techniques, consider how these can develop for creative writing and how this writing can then be shared with others.

17.30             NAWE AGM  Henley Room, Park Inn York, followed by welcome drink for new members

The NAWE AGM will be held on Saturday 9th November. All NAWE members are invited to attend, not just conference delegates, and the event is free of charge. The Company Directors (formerly the Management Committee) and Company Secretary will report on the association's activities over the year, and present the annual accounts (for the year ending 31 March 2019). 

The event includes the election of committees, according to their three--year cycles. This year, there will be elections for both the NAWE Management Committee and the NAWE Higher Education Committee.


The agenda, minutes of last year's meeting and full draft accounts will be available on the NAWE website to download. You must log in as a member for the file to appear. Members are warmly invited to attend – and/or lodge any items of other business in advance of the meeting.

18.30             Dinner – Restaurant

20.00             Evening Event: Reading & Q&A with Paul McVeigh 

Paul's debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Prix du Roman Cezam. 

Paul wrote plays and comedy with his shows touring the UK and Ireland including the Edinburgh Festival and London's West End. His short stories have been in The Irish Times, The London Magazine, Faber's 'Being Various', Kit de Waal's 'Common People', on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and Sky Arts. He co-founded the London Short Story Festival. 

Paul also writes for The Irish Times and his work has been translated into seven languages.

Paul McVeigh

8pm: Paul McVeigh

Paul's debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize and The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Prix du Roman Cezam.

Paul wrote plays and comedy with his shows touring the UK and Ireland including the Edinburgh Festival and London's West End. His short stories have been in The Irish Times, The London Magazine, Faber's 'Being Various', Kit de Waal's 'Common People', on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5 and Sky Arts. He co-founded the London Short Story Festival.

Paul also writes for The Irish Times and his work has been translated into seven languages.