ICCW Day, School of English – Wednesday 5 February 2014

The Institute of Creative and Critical Writing is delighted to announce two excellent speakers for the first of its ICCW Days of 2014, on Wednesday 5 February 2014, in rooms B614 and B609, Baker Building, City North Campus. All current students in the School of English and all Birmingham City University university staff are invited to join us.

1. At 11am Alan Mahar will give a guest lecture on literary fiction in room B614: ‘The Beautiful Line – and Beyond’. There will be time for questions and answers at the end, and the event will conclude by 12 noon.
2. At 3pm Peter Sansom will give the ICCW guest seminar in room B609, on his life and practice as an editor, publisher and author – and how to forge your place in literary culture. Peter will speak for 45 minutes, before opening up to 45 minutes of discussion with those in attendance.
Alan Mahar was born in Liverpool in the first half of the last century, studied English in London, worked as a library assistant alongside Philip Pullman and moved to the West Midlands to teach English in FE Colleges, which he soon stopped as he rashly thought he could make a go of writing. Years of learning to write stories, reading, reviewing and teaching creative writing culminated in the publication of a bundle of short stories in prestigious magazines. He struggled to write his first novel, but Flight Patterns was published by Gollancz in 1999 followed by After the Man Before (2002, Methuen). In 1983 he founded Tindal Street Fiction Group and was one of the people who set up the prizewinning publisher Tindal Street Press, of which he was Publishing Director from 1997 -2012. During that time three of its books were listed for the Man Booker Prize, two for the Orange, and the Press had two Costa First Novel winners and three nominations for the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Alan is now a freelance writer working as an editor and a reader for The Literary Consultancy, a visiting lecturer in creative writing at several Midlands universities and pushing on with a novel for which he received a major Arts Council Prize in 2002. He is excited that he’s just started writing short stories again after a decade doing publishing instead of the proper stuff of writing.

Peter Sansom is a poet and tutor. His publications include On the Pennine Way (Littlewood, 1988) and Everything You’ve Heard is True (Carcanet, 1990), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His poetry commissions include The Guardian, The Observer, Radio Three, The Big Breakfast, a billboard in the centre of Lancaster and The Swedish Club (a Marine Insurers in Gothenburg). Over the last 25 years, Peter has led writing workshops in hundreds of schools and workplaces, been Writer in Residence for Marks & Spencer and The Prudential and regular tutor for the Arvon Foundation. He taught the MA Poetry at Huddersfield for 10 years, was Fellow in Creative Writing at Leeds University, and leads monthly Writing Days and the advanced Writing School course at The Poetry Business. He is a director of The Poetry Business in Huddersfield, and co-editor of The North Magazine and of Smith/Doorstop Books.

Both events promise to be fascinating.

Gregory Leadbetter, Director of the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing

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