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NAW PUBLIC EDITTuesday, 17 March 2015
‘Impressive ... precise, intelligent and unarguable.' Leo Benedictus, Prospect magazine
‘After my initial shock, I felt pathetically grateful.’ Nigel Farndale, Sunday Telegraph
Over several years NAW has developed a live public edit which is a unique literary and Creative Writing event. Richard Beard, the Director of The National Academy of Writing, edits texts of up to 2000 words submitted in advance by members of the audience.
The NAW Public Edit is modelled on the Conservatoire Masterclass for trainee musicians. In high-level music schools, a trainee violinist or trombonist will be offered a public lesson with a visiting professional. The principle is that all practitioners encounter similar problems – same for writers as musicians - so an edit for one is an edit for all.
The NAW, founded by writers, aims to communicate how writers actually get their books written. Writers look closely at specific pieces of writing, their own, and when it comes to published narrative prose most writing is re-writing. And then re-writing again.
The NAW Edit is usually followed by a talk or interview with a guest writer, who discusses whatever techniques help get the words on the page. This is not a reading. Writers who have appeared alongside the NAW Public Edit include Kazuo Ishiguro, Linda Grant, Kevin Barry, Minette Walters, Sir Michael Holroyd, Alison Moore, Iain Banks, Jojo Moyes, Keith Ridgway, Evie Wyld, Alan Hollinghurst and many others.
The next open NAW Public Edit will be hosted by Writers and Artists on 16th June at Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP. The guest writer will be Christie Watson, whose novels Tiny Sunbirds Far Away and Where Women are Kings have been widely translated. She won the Cost First Novel Award and the Waverton Good Read Award.