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  • NAW 2017

    After seven years of energetic and fulfilling activity, the National Academy of Writing is taking a sabbatical through 2017. A brief amount of that time (though not too brief) will be spent looking back in wonder at a period that has seen the Academy work with some of the finest writers in the English language.

    In this its second decade the NAW has staged events featuring a range of writers from Man Booker prizewinners Kazuo Ishiguro and Alan Hollinghurst to unmistakeable new voices like Sarah Perry and Benjamin Wood. Writers who have contributed to courses and events include Deborah Moggach, A.L.Kennedy, Iain Banks, Sophie Hannah, David Almond, Jojo Moyes, Sir Michael Holroyd, Linda Grant, Keith Ridgway, Deborah Levy, Kevin Barry, Kapka Kassabova, Emma Healey, Max Porter, Naomi Wood, Evie Wyld, Deirdre Madden, Kerry Hudson and John Boyne.

    The Academy has been delighted to collaborate during this period with Pembroke College, The University of Cambridge, Writers & Artists, Birmingham City University, Cheltenham Literary Festival, Henley Literary Festival, Chiswick Book Festival, the Bristol Festival of Literature and the Southbank Centre in London.
     
    Our famous Public Edit, which features a direct edit of stories submitted by the audience, is now established as an exciting interactive literary event that finds something useful to say about stories of all kinds, from writers just starting out to second books by Costa shortlisted novelists. The Public Edit has become a feature of the literary circuit in the UK and increasingly abroad: audiences have put forward texts for the Edit at the EKF Sozopol Fiction Seminars in Bulgaria and at the Dhaka Literary Festival in Bangladesh. 

    In particular, the NAW has been made worthwhile in this period by the committed writers who have taught and attended courses in Birmingham, at the Freeword Centre and Writers & Artists in London, and over the gorgeous summer months in Cambridge. Many thanks to you all.
  • NAW Spring 2016

    As the daylight lengthens and springtime thoughts turn again to the joys of creation, NAW resumes our series of Public Edits hosted by Writers & Artists in London. Everyone attending a Public Edit can submit a 2000 word text - two texts are chosen at random and receive a close reading in front of an audience from NAW Director and writer Richard Beard. The edit for one becomes an edit for all, and NAW's long-running Public Edit is probably best described by one of the many writers who over the years has taken part: ‘as bracing and vital as a Nordic sauna. Beard is authoritative yet sympathetic, insightful but never cutting.’ 

    The first Public Edit of the year features novelist Emma Healey in the guest writer spot. Emma will talk about her process as a writer, describing the nuts and bolts of how she came to write her world-wide bestselling debut novel, Elizabeth is Missing. Those words didn't get on the page by themselves. 

    Also starting in March is the ten-week Writing is Re-writing course designed exclusively by NAW for Writers & Artists. This new and unique course will help writers transform an early draft into a more complete, thoroughly-edited manuscript. The course is for writers of any genre who have already started a novel, and is designed to troubleshoot obstacles and move the work towards a carefully considered and edited reincarnation.

    As well as focused NAW tuition and workshops on works-in-progress, the course will be visited by award-winning authors Elizabeth Buchan, Nikesh Shukla, Sarah Perry and Mick Jackson. Our tour of today's publishing industry will be completed by literary agent Nicola Barr and publisher Alexandra Pringle.

    The course takes place each Wednesday for ten weeks from 16th March to 18th May 2016, and lasts for two and a half hours (6pm-8.30pm). The course is held at Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP.

  • NAW at St Hilda's, Oxford, 25 July - 19 August 2016

    • In July and August 2016 NAW is running a new course in the beautiful and inspiring surroundings of St Hilda's College Oxford. The 2016 St Hilda's College - National Academy of Writing Summer Programme is a four-week residential experience that builds on the successful programme that began in 2013 at Pembroke College, Cambridge. 

      The Summer Programme combines the most effective features of National Academy of Writing and Oxford University teaching. The course will be led by the National Academy of Writing’s Director Richard Beard and by award-winning novelist Kerry Hudson, and is above all about the practice and techniques of writing.
       
      The intensive combination of lectures, supervisions and seminars emulates an Oxford term, with the difference that every class is given by a working writer - the programme concentrates on the practical challenges of creating compelling writing, whatever the approach or genre.

      This year the invitational lectures will be given by a range of internationally prize-winning novelists and writers, including Sophie Hannah, best-selling heir to Agatha Christie, Deborah Moggach, novelist and screenwriter for the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice, A.L.Kennedy, winner of the overall Costa Book of the Year Award and Liz Jensen, nominated three times for the Orange Prize. 

      Tutorials are at the heart of the Oxford University teaching and learning experience. Small groups of students meet with an expert in the field – the tutor – to review and progress their work. Throughout the four-week course students will submit pieces of writing and the supervisor will facilitate a constructive discussion of the work.

      The NAW supervisors this year, and their most recent novels, are Francesca Brill (The Harbour, 2013), Jonathan Gibbs (Randall, 2014), Nicholas Hogg (Tokyo, 2015) and Christie Watson (Where Women Are Kings, 2014)
    • St Hilda's College is now accepting application and enquiries

  • NAW Autumn Season 2015

    During Autumn 2015 there are three opportunities to submit texts to the NAW Public Edit. Or just come along, and see what makes this event one of the most innovative and informative highlights of the UK Creative Writing calendar.

    On 13 October the Public Edit will be at St Hilda's College, Oxford, from 6-8pm. The evening will follow the standard NAW format, where the first hour is the unique NAW Public Edit for which everyone with a ticket can submit a text of up to 2000 words, in any genre of fiction or non-fiction.

    Two texts will be chosen at random and distributed to ticket-holders in advance - novelist, non-fiction writer and NAW Director Richard Beard will then publicly edit these texts, working on the principle that writers face similar challenges and an edit for one is an edit for all.


    In the second hour at St Hilda's, in the fabulous Jacqueline du Pré Music Buildingnovelist Mark Watson will talk about his process as a 
    writer, taking the 'pen or word-processor?' question seriously. How as awriter does Mark Watson get the work of writing done? Every life has its distractions, perhaps especially the life of an internationally renowned stand-up comedian, so how does Mark succeed in fixing the words on the page?

    The same two-hour format will apply for our regular autumn appearance at Pembroke College Cambridge. This year's event will take place from 5-7pm on Monday 23rd November and the guest author will be ManBooker shortlisted author Deborah Levy. As well as novels and short stories, Deborah Levy is an acclaimed writer for theatre, radio and TV.

    The second in a new series of NAW Public Edits, hosted by Writers & Artists at the home of Bloomsbury Publishing in London, is scheduled for 26th November (6.30-8.30 p.m). Submissions of 2000 words, as always, are welcome, and the guest author is Benjamin Wood, whose second novel The Ecliptic was published this summer to wide critical acclaim. Benjamin's first novel The Bellwether Revivals was published in 2012 and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize, and in France won Le Prix du Roman Fnac
    Tickets for these NAW Public Edits are available now, for St Hilda's College in Oxford or with Writers & Artists in London. As at all NAW events, there will be plenty of time for questions.

  • NAW/Pembroke Summer Programme 2015

    In July and August NAW returns to Pembroke College, Cambridge, for the third annual  Pembroke College - National Academy of Writing Summer Programme. This is a residential course that takes place over four weeks in in the beautiful and inspiring setting of one of Cambridge University's oldest Colleges.

    The Summer Programme combines the most effective features of National Academy of Writing and Cambridge University teaching. The course will be led by the National Academy of Writing’s Director Richard Beard and by the award-winning novelist Kerry Hudson, and is above all about the practice and techniques of writing.
     
    The intensive combination of lectures, supervisions and seminars emulates a Cambridge term, with the difference that every class is given by a working writer - the programme concentrates on the practical challenges of creating compelling writing, whatever the approach or genre.

    This year the invitational lectures will be given by a range of internationally prize-winning novelists and writers, including John Boyne, author of The Boy in The Striped Pajamas, Deborah Moggach, novelist and screenwriter for the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice, A.L.Kennedy, winner of the overall Costa Book of the Year Award and Liz Jensen, nominated three times for the Orange Prize. 

    Supervisions are at the heart of the Cambridge University teaching and learning experience. Small groups of students meet with an expert in the field – the supervisor – to review and progress their work. Throughout the four-week course students will submit pieces of writing and the supervisor will facilitate a constructive discussion of the work.

    The NAW supervisors this year, and their most recent novels, are Francesca Brill (The Harbour, 2013), Jonathan Gibbs (Randall, 2014), Nicholas Hogg (Tokyo, 2015) and Lauren Owen (The Quick, 2014).