Saturday, 16 August 2014

ABOUT mentors and judges

On Friday we launched our amazing new commissioning competition ABOUT which offers women writing in the East of England paid time to write and mentoring to create a text for publication and performance. See our dedicated blog page - About comp -  for more details and information on how to enter.

Below are the profiles of the judges and mentors for ABOUT and also the names of the project’s main supporters, including Arts Council England which has awarded us a generous grant. Thank you to all.

Our four mentors who will judge entries for ABOUT and will help the winning writers to craft their texts are Words And Women organisers Lynne Bryan and Belona Greenwood, theatre director Adina Levay and performance poet Hannah Walker. Our special guest judge is Professor Andrew Cowan, Director of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Lynne’s profile and Bel’s can be found on the ‘We are’ page of this blog. Adina’s profile and Hannah’s and Andrew’s are here:

Adina Levay is one of Hungary’s leading theatre directors. She was visiting director at three leading repertory companies: the New Theatre, Budapest, the National Theatre in Miskolc in Hungary, and the Jokai Theatre, in Komarno, Slovakia.
Since coming to the UK, Adina founded and became the Producing Artistic Director of Chalk Circle, a Norwich based small-scale theatre company set up in 2012 to create and produce contemporary and innovative theatre.  For Chalk Circle she produced and directed Alice's Adventure, a new piece of writing by Belona Greenwood and curated by the Norwich Writers' Centre for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, at the Playhouse. She also produced and directed 4.48 Psychosis at and in partnership with The Garage in Norwich, as well as We Lost Elijah, by Ryan Craig, a joint project with The Garage for the National Theatre Connections Festival, and the Contemporary European Drama Review.

Hannah Jane Walker is an award winning poet, scriptwriter and producer described by What's On Stage as “quietly profound”. Her poems are full of sharp edges and unexpected angles as well as warmth and empathy for fellow humans. With collaborator Chris Thorpe she has made The Oh Fuck Moment, a “clever, strangely poignant mix of poetry and performance” (The Guardian) and I Wish I Was Lonely, “so cunningly and playfully constructed, that it feels like a gift” (The Guardian). The shows are part performance, part poetry gig and part interactive experience; they are about the difficult and uplifting moments we face in the process of trying to be a person. Hannah has toured nationally and internationally, had plays and poems published by Oberon Books, Penned in the Margins and Nasty Little Press among others, she has written for The Guardian, run workshops in widely unusual places such as trains and boats and produced projects which put young people at the centre of their own learning and take creative risks. She believes in being tough on your own writing. She loves collaboration.

(c) Martin Figura
Andrew Cowan is the Director of the Creative Writing programme at UEA.  His first novel, Pig (1994), won a Betty Trask Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, The Authors' Club First Novel Award, a Scottish Arts Council Book Award, the Ruth Hadden Memorial Award, and was shortlisted for five other literary awards.  Common Ground (1996) and Crustaceans (2000) both received Arts Council bursaries. What I Know was the recipient of an Arts Council Writers' Award and was published in 2005.  His creative writing guidebook, The Art of Writing Fiction, was published in 2011, and his fifth novel, Worthless Men, was published in 2013.

ABOUT is supported by Arts Council England, The Forum Trust, Unthank Books, and Writers’ Centre Norwich

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