Writers’ Centre Norwich and British Council have awarded £35,000 in funding to bring literature organisations and writers together on collaborative projects, as part of the International Literature Showcase.
In June 2017, writers and literature professionals from across the world attended ILS Norwich, a week-long summit which offered a rare opportunity to make connections, form partnerships and discuss the future of literature together. Having met one another at the event, organisations as far afield as the British Virgin Islands, Bangladesh, Latvia and New Zealand will now benefit from funding to enable them to realise new projects around writers and writing over the course of the next six months.
The projects, which range from hosting British writers at festivals and for residency programmes, to the creation of new poetry films to tour the world, and ground-breaking new translation work, will be featured on the International Literature Showcase website from January 2018, accompanied by behind-the-scenes blogs.
Chris Gribble, CEO of Writers’ Centre Norwich, said: “We're really excited to announce the first round of projects coming out of the ILS. Encouraging the export of the best new talent from the UK and promoting the international exchange of writers, artists and practitioners is at the heart of our endeavours and the projects chosen for the first round really demonstrate the ambition, diversity and reach we'd hoped to achieve.”
Cortina Butler, Director Literature at British Council, said: “We are delighted to see the first projects from the latest International Literature Showcase start to take shape. Creating opportunities for artists and creative organisations in the UK and around the world to develop their careers and form lasting cultural relationships is core to the British Council’s purpose. The ILS creates the spark of connection but these grants from the ILS Fund can play a crucial part in turning that initial interest into fruitful collaborative partnerships.”
Moving Pictures and Borders, an international writing and film project matching writers with filmmakers across six partner organisations: Wordlife (UK), Dhaka Lit Festival (Bangladesh), Bocas Lit Festival (Trinidad & Tobago), Croatian Writers Society, Mile End Poets (Canada) and Open Book Festival (South Africa). Each organisation will also host an event as part of their festival showcasing all the new work created.
The Spoken Word Theatre Forum, an artist-led partnership between Sophia Walker (UK), Dike Chukwumergie (Nigeria) and Melizarani T Selva (Malaysia). This will run for a pilot year before expanding into Canada and Trinidad & Tobago.
Young people’s poetry project exchange between Spread the Word (UK) and National Arts Council Singapore. Caleb Femi, the Young People’s Laureate for London, will collaborate with Pooja Nansi, the Youth Poet Ambassador for Singapore.
Translation project between Tilted Axis Press (UK) and Ajar Press (Vietnam).
Week-long masterclasses for eight Caribbean writers with prize-winning poet Raymond Antrobus. At the end of the week Moko Magazine (British Virgin Islands) will host a mini book-fair and readings.
Festival performance opportunities
Residencies at International Writers and Translators House (Latvia) and Literature Across Frontiers (UK) with Kerry Hudson (UK) and Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK). They will receive a 4-week residency alongside writers from around the world, as well as the opportunity to read at the two main Latvian literary festivals.