The National Centre for Writing (NCW) and British Council has announced they will award more than £50,000 to collaborative projects from UK and international literature organisations and practitioners.
The £50,000 will form seed funding for the International Literature Showcase (ILS), a three-year partnership between NCW and the British Council, supported by Arts Council England and Creative Scotland. It is to showcase talented writers based in the UK to programmers, publishers and teachers of literature in English around the world. Between 2019 and 2021 five writers—Elif Shafak, Val McDermid, Jackie Kay, Owen Sheers and Kei Miller—were each invited to curate a showcase of 10 writers working in the UK today.
An ILS collaboration fund was established to further the impact of the showcase, support international collaboration and aid the research and development of new ways of working in the literature sector. It was open to all UK and international participants of the programme.
Funded projects include a collaboration between the African Writers Trust in Uganda, and New Writing North combining a digital residency and workshops programme for writers aged between 18 and 25. Other schemes include workshops on innovation in the publishing sector featuring UK professionals as part of Tbilisi World Book Capital’s professional programme in Georgia, and mentoring sessions and other development opportunities for emerging playwrights in Malaysia, led by UK writers.
“We are particularly pleased and excited, emerging from these challenging and strange 18 months, to reveal the projects coming out of the International Literature Showcase," Peggy Hughes, programme director at NCW, said. "Facilitating the export of the best new talent from the UK and promoting the international exchange of writers, artists and practitioners is the very heart of this collaboration with the British Council, and the projects selected are a strong testament to the ambition, imagination and innovation of our brilliant participants.”
Sinead Russell, director of literature at the British Council, commented: “We are thrilled to partner with the National Centre for Writing to support this wonderful array of international collaborations between writers, festivals, academics and literature organisations. Echoing the British Council’s wider work, these projects will provide space for UK writers and their overseas counterparts to develop new ways of working, to share their creative practice and to participate in vital conversations about urgent global issues, in a spirit of mutuality and equality. This will encourage new business models and grow international audiences, exemplifying the spirit of collaboration fostered by the International Literature Showcase.”
The learning from all the funded projects will be shared on the NCW website and via British Council networks over the next year. For more information, those interested can visit the website.