Anglia Ruskin students among top Literary Writers

Published: 5 September 2006 at 12:30

A student and lecturer from the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University have been named among the top ten literary talents of the East of England.

They have been selected from writers across the Eastern region to take part in Escalator 2006, the Arts Council England, East scheme for promoting the best new talent in Literature.  As part of the initiative they will be mentored by leading writers in the region and will be fast-tracked through the Arts Council’s grants scheme. 

The 2006 Escalator programme is focused on prose writers; nearly 90 applications were received this year.

Judy Foreshaw, a well established film, TV and screen writer - who also teaches screen writing at Anglia Ruskin University – and Verity Holloway, who is studying for a BA in English Literature and Writing at the University, were both selected as winners by the organising body, The New Writing Partnership.

For several years Judy Foreshaw (from Cambridge) has wanted to develop and radically change her professional writing career from screen to literary fiction and the Escalator Programme will enable her to start making this change. She is working on a novel called The Keeper and the Monkey that deals with the ideological terrorism of the seventies. 

Verity Holloway (who is from Ipswich but moving to Cambridge to live on a full time basis this year) concentrates on fiction and has had several poems published and was awarded a runners-up prize in the Forward Press 2004 Top 100. She writes mainly fantasy, historical and gothic novel-length stories and is particularly interested in themes of madness and reality but is currently unpublished.

The Escalator scheme supports writers at crucial points in their careers, whether they are just starting out as professionals or are experienced writers needing more time, more contacts and some guidance to break through the publishing barrier.

Chair of the Judges, Cambridge-based writer Michelle Spring, comments:

“ Escalator can make all the difference, ensuring that writing talent is developed and brought into the public eye. Only Arts Council England, East offers this combination of mentoring, professional and financial support.”

The judges for 2006 were Michelle Spring, Sal Cline, Midge Gillies, Diran Adebayo and Gillian McClure.

Each of the ten writers will be mentored by one of the judges. They will take part in a series of workshops to enable them to make an application for a grant from Arts Council England, East and they will attend professional development workshops over the year culminating in a fantastic showcase performance of their work in June 2007.

The Escalator Literature programme is part of the Arts Council England, East’s major Regional Talent programme. Designed to promote the best talent in the region to a national and international audience, seven of last year’s ten Escalator Literature winners now have agents for their work.

The programme is managed for Arts Council England, East by The New Writing Partnership in Norwich, a unique company that works to highlight, develop and support creative writing, in order to establish the East of England as a national and international centre of literary excellence.

Katy Price, Lecturer in English, from Anglia Ruskin University said:

“We are incredibly excited for Judy and Verity who are both gifted writers.  They are acutely aware of how this win will benefit them in terms of their professional development and l know that they are looking forward to drawing on the literary strengths of their respective mentors.”

At the same time as the news of the winners was released, Anglia Ruskin University announced the names of its three Writing Fellows who will be working with students on any aspect of their writing ranging from course work to creative writing and letters. Sponsored by the Royal Literary Fund, the three are children’s author Anne Rooney, non-fiction author Francis Spufford and biographer Sally Cline.