School of Literature, Drama and Creative writing appoints four new staff members

The school of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing has announced four award-winning novelists, screenwriters, playwrights and performers will be joining UEA’s renowned Creative Writing programme this year.

A spokesperson for the university said UEA  is ‘delighted’ to welcome the staff: Professor Tessa McWatt, Tom Benn, Molly Naylor, and Ben Musgrave.

Professor McWatt is a Guyanese-born Canadian and British writer who won the 2018 Eccles British Library Writer’s Award. Her fiction has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the City of Toronto book Award, and the OCM Bocas Prize.

Talking of her appointment Tessa said: “UEA’s reputation for excellence comes from its alumni and also its staff, and I’m really looking forward to working with my new colleagues.”

Tom Benn is himself a graduate of the UEA Creative Writing MA. His first novel, The Doll Princess, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, and his first film was nominated for Best Short Film at the BFI London Film Festival last year. Benn has subsequently published two more novels, and will be lecturing in crime fiction.

Molly Naylor, a scriptwriter, poet and director who debuted a solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe to critical acclaim, leading to a national tour and a BBC Radio 4 adaptation. Naylor has also written a TV comedy directed by Craig Cash and broadcast on Sky One. Her first poetry collection was recently published, and she is currently working on a television series and feature film, and will lecture in scriptwriting.

Ben Musgrave is UEA’s other new lecturer in scriptwriting. Musgrave grew up in Britain, Bangladesh and India. His play, ‘Pretend You Have Big Buildings’, won the inaugural Bruntwood Prize. He has since been commissioned by the National Theatre and worked with a range of theatre companies.

Alison Donnell, LDC’s Head of School said she was “thrilled to welcome such talented and internationally-recognised writers to UEA. Their works speak meaningfully to the issues of our time and I am certain that they will inspire our students to achieve their best work.”

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