Futures for Creative Writing Online Conference

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
University of East Anglia




Call for Papers





University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

in association with EACWP

(European Association of Creative Writing Programmes) 


Friday 21 May – Sunday 23 May 2021


Keynote Speakers:




Fifty years ago, in September 1970, Ian McEwan became the sole inaugural student on the UK’s first MA in Creative Writing, established at UEA by the novelist-critics, Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson. 


In 1987 UEA also launched the UK’s first PhD in Creative Writing. A BA in English Literature with Creative Writing was introduced in 1995. An MA Scriptwriting strand was added in 1993, and a Poetry strand in 1996. An MA in Lifewriting – now the MA in Biography & Creative Non-Fiction – was launched in 2001, and the UK’s first MA in Crime Writing in 2015. 


The academic year 2020-21 therefore marks the half-centenary of Creative Writing innovation at UEA and presents an opportunity both to reflect on the development of the discipline of Creative Writing nationally and internationally and to consider how the discipline may develop over the next fifty years.


This online conference seeks to bring together PhD research students, Creative Writing tutors and graduates, writers and scholars to explore the varieties of practice in our discipline now, the points of convergence and contention, and, crucially, the opportunities for future development and the forces that may shape the nature of writing in the academy over the next several years.


Central to the conference will be an acknowledgement of the importance of literature and drama in helping us navigate challenging moments in history. 


Topics for papers will be organised into virtual panels and we’d particularly welcome proposals that address the teaching of writing in response to recent global crises, which might include but not be limited to the following themes:


Innovations in Creative Writing pedagogy:

How creative is Creative Writing pedagogy?

            What place collaboration in our teaching and practice?

Can the workshop work online?


Decolonising the curriculum:

            What assumptions about voice, identity, tradition and genre inform our teaching?

            How might knowledge and authority be dispersed in the classroom?

How do we enable greater inclusion among our students and audiences and in our practice?


Digital Technology and Creative Writing:

            How might the digital inform our teaching, especially in the wake of Covid-19?

            How might the digital influence the nature of writing and reading?

What new forms should we be teaching, and by what means?


Writing and the environment:

What are our responsibilities as teachers and writers?

What new forms may be called forth by the climate crisis?

Might speculative writing help us envision better futures for the planet?


Employability and the Creative Industries:

How do we help our students develop strengths and passions to support them beyond graduation?

What is the relationship between the academy and the creative industries?

            What is the relationship between creative practice and the knowledge economy?


We are keen to explore the expanded possibilities of online conferencing, and welcome suggestions for panels and roundtables that demonstrate the potential for a reconceived pedagogy in Creative Writing. 


For a 20-minute paper or roundtable proposal, please submit an abstract of no more than 200 words to the conference organisers at CW50.conference@uea.ac.uk, including your name, affiliation, email address, and a 120-word biography.  


The deadline for submissions is Thursday 15 October 2020. We will reply to all applicants by Tuesday 15 December 2020. Further information on costs and technical arrangements will be provided in February 2021, when general registration will also open.