Press Release: Man Booker Prize short-listed novelist Yvvette Edwards to be first Writer-In-Residence at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation in partnership with New Writing South

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is pleased to announce a new partnership with New Writing South to ensure that a minimum of 50% of their on-going Writers-in Residence (WiR) programme will support writers of colour. The first of three writers of colour who will have residencies at the College will be Booker Prize short-listed novelist Yvvette Edwards, who was at the College from Sunday, November 1, 2020.

Subsequent New Writing South/West Dean Residents for the academic year 20/21 will be Dagger Award-winning crime writer, Amer Anwar in January 2021 and poet, broadcaster, novelist and activist, Salena Godden in March 2021.

Based in the beautiful Sussex countryside, close to Chichester and in the heart of the South Downs National Park, West Dean College runs a number of short and long arts-based courses including an MA in Creative Writing and Publishing.

Mark Radcliffe, Subject Lead for Creative Writing and Publishing says: “West Dean College is working to support BAME artists through residencies, and is proactively seeking initiatives to diversify opportunities for current and future students and for visiting writers. Writers on the New Writing South / West Dean Residency Programme will be supported to develop their own creative practice through a one week residency providing space and time to focus on writing away from the distractions of everyday life. In addition, writers on the programme are offered a £500 stipend.”

Sharon Duggal, Author and New Writing South Programme Manager says: “Conversations between our two organisations began after I spent a week at West Dean last year as an invited resident. It was blissful to be in that setting and to be given time and space to focus on my writing, but many questions arose for me around who was able to access that space and why this was so limited. It was clear Mark wanted to address this as a priority too so I am very pleased those conversations have evolved into positive action and this partnership is the result.”

Yvvette Edwards is a British East Londoner of Montserratian origin and author of two novels, A Cupboard Full of Coats and The Mother, as well as a number of short stories which have been published in anthologies and broadcast on radio. She is particularly interested in writing that challenges the single narrative, giving voice to characters who are absent or under-represented in contemporary fiction.  Her work has been nominated for a number of literary awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Man Booker Prize.

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has an international reputation for excellence and is a full partner of the University of Sussex. Students get to view or work with material from the College’s amazing Collection and Archive. For Conservation and Fine Art study opportunities, including details on the MA Creative Writing and Publishing see www.westdean.ac.uk.

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Notes to Editors:

New Writing South is a literary organisation for writers across southeast England offering quality training, representation, festivals and events. As well as short courses and masterclasses, they offer a range of services, including long-term mentoring and one-off, one-to-one writers' surgeries. New Writing South is committed to nurturing an inclusive community of writers, regardless of background or previous experience. They offer bursaries for many opportunities, taking part in the TLC Free Reads scheme, running meetup groups for Black, Asian and marginalised writers. Find out more on: www.newwritingsouth.com

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is an educational charity whose mission is to provide the highest quality education in arts and conservation. Alongside the academic provision, the College supports an annual programme of residencies designed to provide research and development opportunities to artists and writers whilst enhancing the learning environment of the College.

  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation was founded in 1971 by the poet and Surrealist patron, Edward James, recognised by BBC Arts as the ‘the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century’.
  • The College is part of The Edward James Foundation (Charity No. 1126084), also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.


For all media enquiries please contact Rachel Aked:
Email: rachel.aked@westdean.org.uk
Telephone: 07790 732448

Or hello@newwritingsouth.com

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ

Yvvette Edwards
Yvvette Edwards