The University of East Anglia is marking 50 years of its pioneering creative writing MA with a programme of events including a new international chair of creative writing position occupied in turn by five prominent writers from around the world.
Founded by Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson in 1970, the course was the first of its kind in the UK and counted Ian McEwan as its debut student. UEA will now mark the anniversary with a national and international programme of events, activities and initiatives to run across the 2020/2021 academic year.
One of the initiatives is a a five-year international chair of creative writing programme, set to launch in 2020. The position will be offered to five prominent writers from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East, each with a year-long remit to find and support emerging voices from that region. UEA will also create a Global Voices scholarship, offering 50 fully paid places on its MA course over five years.
There will also be a city-wide exhibition in Norwich, displayed in 2021. The university will work with six international writers to explore the intersection between writing and technology, looking at new ways to create, share and experience literature.
Full details of the anniversary programme will be announced in the spring 2020. London-based communications agency FMcM Associates will provide strategic consultancy for the project on a one-year contract.
Professor Henry Sutton, director of creative writing at UEA, said: “Since its inception, UEA’s pioneering Creative Writing MA has provided a unique environment for writers to meet, develop and discuss their work. The results have been phenomenal and over the last 50 years the programme’s alumni have gone on to shape the literary landscape of the UK and beyond. Building on this remarkable heritage, the anniversary is an opportunity to look ahead to the future of creative writing, and we are delighted to be working with FMcM as our strategic partner on what promises to be a fantastic anniversary celebration.”