Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood will be joining Nottingham Writers and literature lovers to celebrate the opening of the new Nottingham Writers’ Studio in Nottingham’s expanding Creative Quarter, on the 16th May 2014.
Nottingham Writers’ Studio has moved to new premises in collaboration with the Howie Smith Project, converting the disused “Old Pram Shop” at 25 Hockley into an accessible city centre space for members to meet and work.
Nottingham Writers’ Studio was established in 2006 with nine members, including current patron Jon McGregor, award-winning novelist Nicola Monaghan and acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Michael Eaton. Since then, its membership has expanded and diversified to over 140 writers from every area of the industry, from journalists and copywriters, novelists and poets, to publishers and scriptwriters.
The opening event will give members and guests the chance to see the new studio space that has been designed by Robert Howie Smith and Nottingham Writers’ Studio to create a dedicated space to enable committed writers to support each others’ work, to share inspiration, to find quiet spaces to write, and to perform in live literature events. As well as a common writing area, there is purpose-built office space for established writers, a large underground performance space, and a workshop room which will host courses and writers’ days for improving and established writers.
Other creative activities will also be supported within the space, with walls used for visual art exhibitions, and theatre workshops taking place in the performance space. The first official use of the performance space will be to celebrate the release of Nottingham Writers’ Studio’s second journal showcasing members’ work, Secrets. The first journal, Crime, was launched last December at Antenna, and can be read in print and online.
James Walker, Chair of Nottingham Writers’ Studio believes the new venue will change the perception of writing in Nottingham: “Our new premises are street level, meaning people can easily find us and walk in and, as it is so vast, members are more likely to drop by and do some writing. I’m confident we will create one of the most attractive and ambient spaces in Nottingham. And, by renting space to similar-minded creatives and arts organisations we also open up the possibility for new forms of collaboration.”
Pippa Hennessy, Development Director for Nottingham Writers’ Studio, said the new site has been worth the effort: “It’s taken several weeks to make the space ready for use by members, but every minute of it has been exciting. Each time I show someone around there’s something new to say ‘wow’ about. I feel an immense sense of pride in what we’ve achieved, and I can’t wait to put our plans into action. The new premises have given us a huge boost in our aim to become an organisation that writers aspire to join.”
Nottingham Writers’ Studio welcomes interested guests to join them at the launch – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the guest list.
For more information call Development Director Pippa Hennessy on 0115 837 2248 or 07970 274321
Information for editors
Nottingham Writers’ Studio is a vibrant community of writers based in Nottingham city centre providing space, networking, and creative and professional development opportunities for members. As well as monthly socials with talks from respected authors, we run writing groups, host a quarterly live literature event – Word of Mouth, and organise Nottingham Writers’ Days, a series of intensive one-day writing workshops, alongside ongoing workshops and courses. Membership is open to committed writers living in or connected with Nottingham. Current members include novelists, poets, songwriters, scriptwriters, copywriters, scriptwriters, copywriters, playwrights, and publishers at all stages of their careers.
Jon McGregor is an acclaimed writer and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize with his first novel If Nobody Speaks Of Remarkable Things. He won the East Midlands Book Award 2013 for This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You. He is a Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Nottingham University and is the editor of the new literary journal The Letters Page.
Alison Moore is the author of two novels, The Lighthouse and He Wants (to be published by Salt in August 2014) and also a collection, The Pre-war House and Other Stories. The Lighthouse was winner of the McKitterick Prize in 2013 and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2012 and the National Book Awards 2012. She is an Honorary Lecturer in The School of English at Nottingham University.
Michael Eaton is a playwright and scriptwriter. He is best known for his television docudrama scripts, including Shipman, Why Lockerbie and Shoot to Kill and for writing the feature film Fellow Traveller (1989), which won best screenplay in the British Film Awards. In 2013 Charlie Peace: his amazing life and astounding legend premiered at Nottingham Playhouse. In 1999 he was awarded M.B.E for Services to Film. From 2006–2012 he was Visiting Professor in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University.
Nicola Monaghan’s debut novel The Killing Jar was published in 2006 to critical acclaim and went on to win the Betty Trask Award, The Author’s Club First Novel Award and the Waverton Good Read. She has since published Starfishing and The Okinawa Dragon. She also publishes under the name Niki Valentine. She is Course Leader for the BA Creative and Professional Writing at Nottingham University, and was Fellow of the National Academy of Writing from 2006 to 2009. Her short stories and articles have been published widely, and her work has appeared in Granta, the Independent, the Guardian, Marie Claire and the Telegraph.
The Howie Smith Project is a Social Enterprise supporting regeneration and the use of derelict spaces to create artistic opportunity for the benefit of the community, ‘creative spaces for creative people.’ Alongside academic research, several case studies to be documented in line with Robert Howie Smith’s studies have been set up in Nottingham, exploring potential and supporting possibilities.
The first NWS Journal, Crime, is available to read online at: http://issuu.com/nottinghamwritersstudio/docs/nws-journal-00-crime-dec2013