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The National Academy of Writing was set up as a non-profit organisation in 2000 to offer writers practical training of the type available to actors at RADA and musicians at the Royal College of Music. Specialised training both individually and in groups, always by working practitioners, is the accepted start for actors, musicians and visual artists. Now emerging writers can benefit from a similar approach.
"Natural creative talent is not enough. Writers need to learn their skills and perfect their craft. That's the task of The National Academy of Writing, to convert promise into achievement." Jim Crace, Novelist & NAW Patron
NAW courses, based in London, combine the best aspects of NAW Masterclasses, seminars on technique, and workshops. NAW Writers receive expert feedback on a scheduled, regular basis, while visiting NAW Patrons contribute their knowledge of craft and the industry.
The unique Conservatoire-style NAW Masterclasses are delivered by the Director Richard Beard. These public edits are a central component of every Academy course, and Leo Benedictus in Prospect magazine described the NAW Masterclass as 'impressive ... precise, intelligent and unarguable.'
NAW Patrons visiting courses have includes Iain Banks, Jane Harris, Minette Walters, Naomi Alderman, David Almond and Terence Blacker.
Every writer who attends an NAW course submits work for the annual NAW Anthology of New Writing, which is launched at Foyles bookshop.
The Academy is national, and provides literary events around the country to demonstrate the Academy's unique approach to Creative Writing. Workshops, Masterclasses and NAW Patron visits have featured at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Henley Literary Festival, Bristol Festival of Literature, Nottingham University, Birmingham City University and Pembroke College, Cambridge University.
To enquire about hosting an NAW event, please contact email@example.com
NAW and the Publishing Industry
The Academy is led by practising writers and has extensive contacts in the industry through the NAW Board of Trustees, Patrons and Partners. The Academy is supported by leading writers - the Academy Patrons - who visit Academy sessions to discuss battles with craft and technique as well as challenges within the industry. Editors, agents and other industry professionals - our NAW Partners - may also give presentations offering insights into their work.
‘The National Academy of Writing is a most welcome addition to the landscape of publishing. By offering first class editorial assistance and professional guidance, for new writers the course may be that vital help to bridge the gap between writing and publication.’ Ion Trewin, NAW Honorary President
The aim of the founders is for the Academy to become a showcase for national and international writing talent.
Richard Beard has published five novels and three books of creative nonfiction. The novel Damascus was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Muddied Oafs was short-listed for the British Sports Book Awards. In 2008 he was short-listed for the BBC National Short Story Award and in 2010 long-listed for the inaugural Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. Lazarus is Dead (Harvill Secker 2011) is his most recent book.
Rena Brannan was born in Seoul, Korea and grew up in the United States. She has been short-listed for the Harper’s Bizarre/Orange Short Story Competition, the Mslexia Short Story Competition, Yellow Voices Play Writing Competition, and the BBC 10-Minute Shorts Competition. In 2006 she co-produced Henry Green’s Nothing at the 59 E 59 Theater for the annual Brit’s Off Broadway Festival in New York. Her play Sidekick had a rehearsed reading at the Royal Court in 2010, and her cartoon series GAYDAR can be found on the online magazine whensallymetsally. She is currently working on her new play Club F*ck.
Ion Trewin was literary editor of The Times before becoming a publisher with Hodder & Stoughton and then Weidenfeld & Nicolson, where he was managing director and editor in chief. His own books include the highly praised Alan Clark: The Biography, and since 2005 he has been literary director of the Man Booker Prizes.
Francis Bennett has worked in publishing for over forty years. In 1987 he co-founded Book Data, and was its Managing Director until 2005. He has served as Vice-Chairman of the Book Development Council, Chairman of the Society of Bookmen and has received a British Book Award 'Lifetime Achievement'. He is currently Deputy Chairman of Yale University Press in the UK. He is the author of three novels.
Mary Tapissier has worked in academic journals, Children's and Religious Publishing and Corporate Publishing Management. She was a Director of Hodder Headline Ltd, and following her retirement has served as a Trustee of the Poetry Book Society and chaired ABPTOE (the Association of Bookseller and Publishing Training of Europe).
George Brock is Professor and Head of Journalism at City University London. He worked at The Times for 28 years. He is a board member of the World Editors Forum, a member of the British committee of the International Press Institute, and a governor of the Ditchley Foundation. He broadcasts and lectures frequently and reviews for the Times Literary Supplement.
Andrew Cowan is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. He is the author of five novels, including Pig, which won a BettyTrask Award, the Authors' Club First Novel Award, the Ruth Hadden Memorial Prize, a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. His Creative Writing guidebook The Art of Writing Fiction was published by Pearson in 2011. His new novel Worthless Men will be published by Sceptre in spring 2013. His work has been published in ten languages.