Come one, come all to the Surrey New Writers Festival!

I’m very excited to announce the first annual Surrey New Writers Festival! The Festival will take place March 15th and 16th. Events are open to the public and will be held on campus and in the town of Guildford; see our website for a full schedule and details on the exciting speakers and artists who will be involved!

The Surrey New Writers Festival is affiliated with the Creative Writing programmes at the University of Surrey. We aim to create a festival that will engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and to create opportunities for artists and audiences to interact and discuss the rewards and challenges of a writing life. Our programming is of interest not only to current and potential Surrey students, but also to the wider community of Guildford and surrounding areas. The Festival will be of interest to writers, readers, artists, and anyone who is interested in creative industries.

Some of the 2013 programme highlights include: artists who work with digital text and poetic performance; songwriters-in-residence; a Festival Book club; panel discussions and talks featuring publishers, writers, translators, editors and agents; a Twitter flash mob; two exciting launch parties. A number of events are ticketed; tickets can be purchased through the University of Surrey box office, or at the door.

As Festival Director, I’ll be posting here in more detail about individual events as we get closer to the Festival. Right now, I’d like to make special mention of two literary contests run by the Festival for University of Surrey English and Creative Writing programme students: The Lewis Elton Gallery Ekphastic Poetry Prize and The Haywood Prose Prize. The deadline for both contests is March 29th, 2013. For more information, see: