Two outstanding fiction writers have each been awarded £10,000 to spend six months working on their first novels at the University of East Anglia.
Shubhangi Swarup, from Mumbai, has been awarded a new Charles Pick Fellowship for South Asian Writers, which is dedicated to the memory of the distinguished publisher and literary agent Charles Pick.
She will be joined by UEA Creative Writing MA graduate Megan Bradbury.
Pick’s career began in 1933 and continued until shortly before his death in January 2000. He encouraged young writers at the start of their careers with introductions to other writers, and practical and financial help.
The fellowships are designed to continue this spirit of encouragement by helping unpublished writers.
This year, for the first time, one of the two Charles Pick Fellowships awarded annually at UEA has been dedicated to the work of a South Asian writer.
The support will give Shubhangi, a journalist and volunteer worker helping Mumbai street children, time to focus on her novel ‘Faultlines’.
The work of fiction is based on a geological crack which separates two continental plates – beginning in the depths of the Andaman Sea and ending in the highest Himalayan passes.
She said: “Everything that I know about writing is self-taught and learnt on the job, which is why I’m exhilarated to be awarded the Charles Pick South Asia Fellowship.
“Writing is a lonely process, especially for aspiring writers like me, where getting someone to even read your manuscript is a minor accomplishment.
“This fellowship won’t just remove the financial strains of my creative endeavour - it will also give me guidance and the strength to find my own voice.”
Meanwhile Megan will work on a novel which documents the cultural development of New York City through the lives and work of four cultural innovators - the novelist Edmund White, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, city planner Robert Moses and poet Walt Whitman.
Since graduating from UEA’s creative writing programme in 2005, she has worked as an editorial reader and creative writing mentor.
Shubhangi and Megan will join the university from October.
Find out more about Charles Pick Fellowships
Earlier this year a Charles Pick Archive
containing memoirs, correspondence, diaries, photographs, taped interviews, and newspaper cuttings was donated to the university by his son Martin Pick.