Creative Writing Centre

The Research Centre in Creative Writing provides a forum in which creative writers of all genres can share and learn from each other’s research, and use that knowledge in their teaching and practice.

We also aim to support members in their research by providing opportunities for collaboration, discussion and exchange of ideas both within and beyond their specialist form or genre. The Centre advances the university’s strategic research themes in critical thinking and effective expression with the specific aim of bringing together academic and industry perspectives.

We are one of the largest Research Centres at Bath Spa University. We operate on two campuses and have over forty members. The Centre celebrates a wide range of talent, in fiction, non-fiction, poetry,  spoken word, script writing, writing for theatre, writing for young people, writing digital, nature writing, professional writing and pedagogical research. Many of the writers who belong to The Centre are producing work that is transnational in various ways, and there is strong interest in trans-cultural dialogues and collaborations.

The list of prizes our teaching staff have either won or been shortlisted for includes; The Man Booker Prize, The T.S.Eliot Prize, The Whitbread Poetry Prize, The Costa Prize, The Costa Poetry Prize, The Ted Hughes Prize for Innovation in Poetry, The Bolton Book Award, The Betty Trask Award, The Macmillan Silver Pen Award, the Roger Deakin Award, the Authors Club First Novel prize, the Orange Award for New Writers, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, The Baileys Prize, The Windham Campbell Prize, The Somerset Maugham Award, The Carnegie Medal, The Whitbread Award, The Eleanor Farjeon Award, The Costa Children's Book Prize, The Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, The Michael L. Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcieres (France) and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

The Research Centre hosts a dynamic programme of events, lectures and public readings, featuring a wide range of distinguished writers and practitioners. We also host conferences and symposia at the forefront of literary and research developments in the UK and internationally.

Everything we do starts from our excellence as writers and the excellence of our student writers.



Kate Pullinger launches Breathe

The two year AHRC-funded project Ambient Literature – a collaboration between Bath Spa, UWE and the Uni of Birmingham – saw the publication of the third and final commissioned creative work at the end of January. Breathe, by project Co-Investigator, Professor Kate Pullinger, was made with the London-based publisher Visual Editions and Google Creative Lab Sydney. It is a ghost story to be read on a mobile phone. Breathe leverages data from each reader's phone, including time, location, and weather, in order to personalise the story. It's a 15 minute reading experience, available for free.

Philip Hensher and Sam Harvey's new novels published in March

Philip Hensher's novel The Friendly Ones was published in March 2018. This moving and timely new novel shows what a nation is made of; how the legacies of our history can be mastered by the decision to know something about people who are not like us.

Sam Harvey's new novel, The Western Wind, also published in March, has been chosen as Book of the Month by The Bookseller.

Sian Dafydd launches transnational poetry collaboration

Sian's new poetry collaboration with Anitha Thampi, titled A Different Water, is now available from Paperwall. This is part of an ongoing Transnational project for Literature Across Frontiers.

Project Boast due for March launch

Poets Rachel Bentham and Alyson Hallett have edited a new poetry anthology titled Project Boast, due to be launched on 8th March at the Salt Cafe, Bristol 7.30 – 9.30pm.

"When we discovered that Sarah Guppy, a Victorian inventor and engineer, said it might seem boastful if women spoke about their achievements, we invited 28 poets to respond and explore the idea of what it means to speak out."

Celia Brayfield investigates rebel writers

Celia Brayfield is working on Rebel Writers, a study of the young women writers of sixties London. Written in their teens or twenties, the work of Shelagh Delaney, Edna O'Brien, Lynne Reid Banks, Charlotte Bingham, Virginia Ironside, Margaret Forster and Nell Dunn shares the same themes and a determination to tell the truth about young women's experience not seen since the age of the Brontë sisters. To be published by I B Tauris in May 2019.


Former MA student's novel snapped up for six figure sum

HQ, a division of HarperCollins, has acquired the UK and Commonwealth* rights to MA Creative Writing graduate Melanie Golding’s debut novel Little Darlings within 48 hours of submission of her manuscript. Read the full story.

(*excluding Canada)

The Eyes That Look published in 2018

Julia Grigg (known as a student as Julia Spry-Leverton) has had her first novel published. The Eyes That Look, which was developed on the Creative Writing MA, is the story of an extraordinary Renaissance painting and the young Venetian artist who created it, and is published by Universe Press.

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