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Creative Writing at 50 celebrations to launch at UEA in 2020

The University of East Anglia (UEA) will celebrate 50 years of its pioneering Creative Writing programme, starting next year with a programme of events, activities and initiatives.

The university today unveils two initial strands of the anniversary celebration, to run across the 2020/2021 academic year:

• A five-year International Chair of Creative Writing programme is set to launch in 2020. The position will be offered to five prominent writers from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East, each with a year-long remit to find and support emerging voices from that region. Complementing this, UEA will also create a Global Voices scholarship, offering 50 fully paid places on its competitive MA course over five years.

• A city-wide exhibition in Norwich will explore Future & Form. The university will work with six international writers to explore the intersection between writing and technology, looking at new ways to create, share and experience literature. The work will be displayed in 2021.

Prof Henry Sutton, director of Creative Writing at UEA, said: “Since its inception, UEA’s pioneering Creative Writing MA has provided a unique environment for writers to meet, develop and discuss their work. The results have been phenomenal and over the last 50 years the programme’s alumni have gone on to shape the literary landscape of the UK and beyond.

“Building on this remarkable heritage, the anniversary is an opportunity to look ahead to the future of creative writing, in what promises to be a fantastic anniversary celebration.”

Founded by Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson in 1970, the course was the first of its kind in the UK and remains one of the world’s most prestigious creative writing programmes. Ian McEwan was the first student to undertake the course and the programme now boasts a roll call of lauded, prize-winning alumni, in poetry, prose, biography, creative non-fiction, crime fiction, scriptwriting and translation.

Full details of the anniversary programme will be announced in the spring 2020. 

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