Faculty of Arts welcomes award-winning authors.
02 Oct 2013
The beginning of the new academic year sees some exciting developments in literature at the University of Brighton Faculty of Arts through new collaborations with novelists Isabel Ashdown and Ali Smith.
Isabel Ashdown has been appointed as Writer in Residence for 2013/14 through a collaboration with the publisher, Myriad. Isabel is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: Glasshopper (2009) and Hurry up and Wait (2011) and Summer of ’76, which was published in July this year.
The nine-month residency is the start of a planned three-year collaboration with Myriad which will see authors from across the publisher’s fiction and graphics lists work closely with staff and students. Isabel will work with undergraduates and the wider university community to deliver creative master-classes, literary salons and one-to-one writing clinics. Her experiences, tips and observations will be captured in a monthly university blog, where students will be encouraged to join in the conversation with their own thoughts and comments.
Isabel said: “There’s nothing like meeting and chatting with ‘real’ writers to help demystify the art and craft of creative writing. I hope to help facilitate further opportunities of this kind at the university, with the support of my publishers and the writing community.”
Before being published, Isabel worked in marketing for fifteen years, giving giving up her career to write and study. She graduated with first-class honours degree receiving the Hugo Donnelly Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement, before going on to gain an MA in Creative Writing with distinction.
Dr Jessica Moriarty, Subject Leader for Creative Writing, said “Isabel’s residency will enrich not only the experience of literature and creative writing students but also that of students and staff from across the university. This is a brilliant opportunity for Isabel to share her ideas and experiences with the craft of writing and the Faculty of Arts is thrilled that she will be working with us.”
Candida Lacey, Publisher and MD, Myriad Editions said: “This collaboration goes to the heart of Myriad’s mission to help further our author’s writing careers, build new audiences for their books and team up with other arts organisations to create exciting opportunities.”
This year’s Fresher students are being invited to participate in The BIG READ, which is offering them all a free copy of Ali Smith’s acclaimed novel The Accidental (2005).
Ali Smith first came to the attention of critics with her novel Hotel World in 2001 when it won the Encore Award and, along with The Accidental, was shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize for Fiction.
The Big Read is a joint initiative between the Man Booker and University of Brighton that aims to encourage students from all disciplines to read quality fiction.
First year students are invited to read the novel and join discussions formally and informally throughout the term and there will be a visit from Ali Smith to the Sallis Benney Theatre at the Faculty of Arts Grand Parade campus during November giving students an opportunity to ask the author questions. The event will also be streamed to other venues.
Many staff are building The Accidental into their teaching this term and our literature students will also be hosting regular drop-in reading groups at venues near our campuses.
Copies of the book are currently being distributed, helped by many partners across the university, including the Students' Union.