UEA creative writing 50th anniversary project

To celebrate 50 years of Creative Writing at UEA, the university has announced a new project, aimed at an exploration and development of the relationship between literature and technology. ‘Future and Form’, as it has been named, will see a collaboration between writers and technology partners across nine months, with the evolution of storytelling in a changing cultural and technological environment as the focus to their investigation, including new methods of writing and disseminating works. The project was announced as Arts Council England granted £240,000 for it and it will culminate in a six-venue exhibition and sweeping interactive online platform scheduled for spring 2021.

UEA has partnered with arts organisations across Norfolk, and the University hopes to form new national and international partners.

Henry Sutton, Director of Creative Writing at UEA, and the project’s lead, said: “We are thrilled to officially announce this unique opportunity for our writers to venture to the border of where writing meets technology. At the inception of this project, we couldn’t have imagined the unprecedented time in which we now find ourselves. The present circumstances will challenge our writers a step further in the development of their collaborations. Future and Form is bound to deliver exhilarating, surprising results for everyone, and perhaps even more so in light of the exceptional crisis we are living through. We are extremely grateful to Arts Council England for their generous support, and delighted to have such amazing writers and such a stellar line-up of partner venues and technology collaborators for this project. We look forward to seeing both the physical and digital productions as part of our anniversary programme in spring 2021.”

The Arts Council England has given a grant of £240,000, calling the project “outstanding”. Hedley Swain, Area Director in the South East, said: “It will be really exciting to see how

Future and Form will harness digital technology…to take new works of literature into places it’s never been before. I hope these new works will inspire more people to explore creative

writing, both through reading and as writers in their own right.”

Head of the project and director of Creative Writing at UEA, Henry Sutton, has suggested that “The present circumstances will challenge out writers a step further in the development of their collaborations. Future and Form is bound to deliver exhilarating, surprising results.”

Chris Gribble, CEO, National Centre for Writing, said: “The Future and Form project aligns perfectly with the aims and remit of the National Centre for Writing. It offers an exciting, innovative and visionary way to look ahead to the impact of the digital on literature and vice versa, as well as to investigative ways to imagine literature into an increasingly networked world.”

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Bryan Mfhaladi and Eliza Jack

March 2021
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