Biography

Andrew Cowan is a graduate of UEA with a BA in English and American Studies and an MA in Creative Writing. Before joining the faculty in 2004 he was twice a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at UEA, working with students on their expository and creative writing skills. He was a longstanding tutor in Creative Writing for the Arvon Foundation and is the author of five novels, which have been published in 12 languages, including PIG, which won a Betty Trask Award, the Authors' Club First Novel Award, the Ruth Hadden Memorial Prize, a Scottish Arts Council Book Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for five other awards. COMMON GROUND and CRUSTACEANS both received competitive Arts Council bursaries. WHAT I KNOW was the recipient of an Arts Council Writers' Award and was published in 2005. His Creative Writing guidebook, THE ART OF WRITING FICTION, was published by Pearson Longman in 2011. His most recent novel WORTHLESS MEN was published in 2013. His website can be found at: www.andrew-cowan.com

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Career History

Andrew Cowan is a Professor of Creative Writing, co-Director of the Creative Writing programme at UEA, and a  Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is a graduate of the MA and was for some years UEA’s Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow. He is the author of five novels: PIG, which won several literary prizes including the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, COMMON GROUND, CRUSTACEANS, WHAT I KNOW, which received an Arts Council Writers' Award, and WORTHLESS MEN, which was published by Sceptre in 2013.  His Creative Writing guidebook THE ART OF WRITING FICTION was published in 2011.  He teaches on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including the MA in Prose Fiction and the PhD in Creative and Critical Writing. In 2010 he was a keynote speaker at the 'Writing Across Cultures' conference at City University of Hong Kong and the annual conference of the Australian Association of Writing Programs in Melbourne. In 2011 he wrote UEA’s successful bid for a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. He also wrote the bid for which the UEA Creative Writing website – www.newwriting.net - received AHRC funding. In 2012 he was an invited speaker at the AWP annual conference in Chicago, at the University of Fudan in Shanghai, China, and the Festival of International Literature in Bucharest, Romania. In 2013 he was the keynote speaker at the Storyville Festival at Kyoto University of Art and Design and the 1st International Conference, Creative Writing, University of Western Macedonia, Greece, and was a participant at the Sozopol Fiction Seminar in Bulgaria and the International Festival of Literature and Translation (FILIT) in Iasi, Romania. In 2015 he was a visiting professor at the University of Western Macedonia, Greece, and in 2016 he chaired the Creative Writing program review at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and was the external adviser to the BA English with Creative Writing course approval process at Queen Mary, University of London. 

All Publications

Cowan, A.

(2017)

Seals

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Cowan, A.

(2016)

The Rise of Creative Writing

Full Text UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Cowan, A.

(2015)

‘Writing Worthless men: History and the literary’

UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2013)

"This won't do": Pig and the temptation of silence

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Cowan, A.

(2013)

Worthless Men

UEA Repository

(Book)


Harper, G., Xi, X., Sulak, M., Cowan, A.

(2013)

Internationalising the MFA

Full Text UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2013)

Creating an Effective Atmosphere for Writing: the Creative Writing Programme at UEA

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Cowan, A.

(2012)

A Live Event, A Life Event: The Workshop That Works

UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2012)

Losing My Voice

UEA Repository

(Chapter)


Cowan, A., Kelly, S., Beard, R.

(2012)

Whither the Workshop?

UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2011)

The Art of Writing Fiction

UEA Repository

(Book)


Cowan, A.

(2011)

Blind Spots: What Creative Writing Doesn't Know

UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2010)

The Anxiety of Influence: Inside UEA’s Creative Writing MA

UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2009)

Losing My Voice

UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2009)

Walter Barley

UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2007)

Questions, questions: can the creative survive in proximity to the critical?

UEA Repository

(Article)


Cowan, A.

(2005)

What I Know

UEA Repository

(Book)


Cowan, A.

(2002)

Pig

UEA Repository

(Book)


Cowan, A.

(2001)

Crustaceans

UEA Repository

(Book)


Cowan, A.

(1997)

Common Ground

UEA Repository

(Book)


Key Research Interests

My fifth novel, WORTHLESS MEN, which is set on the home front during the First World War, was published by Sceptre in 2013.  In 2011 I published a Creative Writing guidebook, THE ART OF WRITING FICTION, which is structured as twelve chapters with practical exercises conforming to the twelve week syllabus of my undergraduate Introduction to Creative Writing module at UEA.

I am principally a novelist with an interest in issues in Creative Writing pedagogy.

I supervise Creative and Critical writing research students, principally though not exclusively the creative component of their PhDs.

External Activities and Indicators of Esteem

2016:          The Open University, Milton Keynes, Futures for English Studies Seminar: ‘The Rise of Creative Writing’: invited speaker and panellist.

2015:          Sunday Times / Peters Fraser Dunlop Young Writer of the Year event, Foyles, London: invited speaker

2015:          Giannitsa Philological Society, Greece: ‘Can writing be taught?  Teaching the unteachable’ public lecture

2014:          Reels of History: The Great War in East Anglia, Cinema City, Norwich: invited speaker

2014:          Festival of Literature for Young People (FLY), Inspiring Reading Conference, UEA: ‘Teaching Creative Writing the UEA way’: invited speaker

2013:          The Hostry Festival, Norwich Cathedral: Norfolk Authors in Profile: invited speaker
2013:          International Festival of Literature and Translation (FILIT), Iasi, Romania: invited participant
2013:          1st International Conference, Creative Writing, University of Western Macedonia, Greece: ‘Scientific Committee’ and keynote speaker
2013:          International Translation Autumn School, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India: writer-in-residence
2013:          Worlds Literature Festival, UEA / Writers’ Centre Norwich: invited participant
2013 - Sozopol Fiction Seminars, Bulgaria: invited participant
2013 - Kyoto University of Art and Design, Japan, ‘Storyville’ festival: keynote speaker
2013 - The Prince’s Teaching Institute, London: ‘Can Writing Be Taught?’: invited speaker
2012 - FILB: Bucharest International Literary Festival, Romania: invited speaker
2012 - CHASE Consortium Postgraduate Creative/Critical Writing Conference, UEA London, ‘Supervising a Creative & Critical Writing PhD’: invited speaker
2012 - National Academy of Writing Creative Writing Fair, Free Word Centre, London, ‘What is the best way to teach creative writing?’: invited speaker
2012 - Université Paris 8, France, ‘Creative Writing Programs and the Contemporary Literary Field’: invited speaker
2012 - Worlds Literature Festival, UEA / Writers’ Centre Norwich, ‘Fiction, Memory, Truth’: invited participant
2012 - University of Fudan, Shanghai, China, ‘A significant climate around writing: Creative Writing at UEA’: invited speaker

Professional Activities

  • 2015 - Judge, Young Muslim Writers Awards (Muslim Hands in association with the Yusuf Islam Foundation)
  • 2014 - Judge, Words and Women (Arts Council-funded) ‘About’ commission
  • 2014-2015 -  Scientific Committee, 2nd International Conference, Creative Writing, University of Western Macedonia (hosted by Ionian University, Corfu)
  • 2013-date - Board member, UEA-Guardian Masterclasses
  • 2013-date - Advisory Board,Meniscus international literary journal: http://www.meniscus.org.ac
  • 2013 - Judge, Essex Book Festival ‘Get It Writ’ short story competitio
  • 2012-2013 - Scientific Committee, 1st International Conference, Creative Writing, University of Western Macedonia (held in Athens).
  • 2011 - AQA (Assessment & Qualifications Alliance) focus group: Creative Writing at ‘A’ level.
  • 2011 - Steering committee, NonfictionNow conference, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • 2010 - Judge, Inspire, Science Discovery Centre short story competition
  • 2009-2012 - City University London, external examiner, MA in Creative Writing (Novels)
  • 2009-10 - Liverpool John Moores University, external examiner, MA in Creative Writing
  • 2009 - Judge, East Anglia Book Awards
  • 2009 - University Campus Suffolk, panel member, BA (Hons) English revalidation event
  • 2009 - University of Chichester, panel member, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing reapproval event
  • 2008 - University of Chichester, external advisor, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing course review
  • 2007, 2008, 2009 - Judge, The McKitterick First Novel Award (Society of Authors)
  • 2007 - Corby Borough Council, Culture and Regeneration Vision Team
  • 2006 - Judge, Glen Dimplex New Writers Award (Irish Writers' Centre)
  • 2006 - Judge, 'Every Object Tells a Story' (Channel 4/Victoria and Albert Museum
  • 2004 - Arvon/Jerwood Foundation Young Writers' Apprenticeship Scheme, Mentor

Administrative Posts

  • 2016-present: Course Director for MFA in Creative Writing
  • 2016-present: School Promotions Committee
  • 2012-2013: School Research Committee
  • 2012-2013: School Enterprise Officer
  • 2011-present: Director of Creative Writing
  • 2011-2012: Project Manager www.newwriting.net
  • 2009-2013: School Promotions Committee
  • 2009-2012: Deputy Head of School
  • 2007-present: Admissions Tutor, MA in Creative Writing (prose)
  • 2007-2011: Course Director for MA in Creative Writing (prose)
  • 2007-2012: Member of MA Exam Board
  • 2007-2009: School Teaching Committee
  • 2004-2007: Course Director for BA Hons in English Literature with Creative Writing
  • 2004-2007: Member of BA Exam Board