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The UK's Great Writing international Creative Writing conference is a place to share creative and critical work, to explore Creative Writing, and to discuss those explorations with Creative Writing colleagues from around the world. Launched nearly 27 years ago, each year the conference welcomes creative writers from all over the world -- many of whom work in universities and colleges, or are undertaking graduate degrees in Creative Writing.

Each year the conference is the home to some truly magnificent presentations - some by creative writers who have given many presentations, some by creative writers who are giving their very first presentations! Great Writing is always a friendly, open conference where the focus is entirely Creative Writing and the many ways we can undertake it and understand it. If you think you might enjoy exploring and discussing Creative Writing with others, over a lively two days in the British summer, then why not come along? The cost of attending is always very reasonable, the people you'll meet could well be fabulous (the folks at Great Writing often are!), and the creative and critical work you'll encounter is likely to stimulate your own ideas, your own Creative Writing.

Great Writing has also built distinctively on the growing worldwide interest in Creative Writing research, with conference presenters exchanging new findings and new ideas about the undertaking and understanding of Creative Writing - particularly in the area of practice-led Creative Writing research. Some of the results of this research (both creative results and critical results) you will find published in New Writing: the International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing (Routledge/Taylor and Francis), an independent Creative Writing journal. The Great Writing conference hosts the annual New Writing International Creative Writing Lecture, a celebration of Creative Writing and our keen human interest in it. I very much look forward to seeing you at the Great Writing conference - where you will be warmly welcomed!

Professor Graeme Harper
Founder/Director, Great Writing: the International Creative Writing Conference (UK)


CFP (closed for 2024): Great Writing 2024 - July 13-14 2024

Call for Proposals

Presenter cfp now closed for this year - if places open up a further call will be sent out.

Audience/participation places are available - contact conference@greatwriting.org.uk

all best wishes

Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference
Saturday July 13 – Sunday July 14, 2024

University College London

This is the 27th Annual Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference.

Great Writing includes research, teaching and creative writing practice topics. And more! The conference takes place right in the heart of Bloomsbury, close to the British Library, in London’s fabulous ‘Knowledge Quarter’ – https://www.knowledgequarter.london/  - with a great many wonderful accommodation and restaurant options.

The conference will be held in person. (there will be an additional [free and virtual] “2024 International Creative Writing Forum: The Future For Creative Writing” hosted by the conference attendees/presenters via Zoom on Sunday afternoon.)

Proposal format:

1. Single presentations: 15 minutes, 5 minutes questions.
2. 3 person (themed) presentation/panels: 60 minutes (inclusive).

(Proposals: send a title and a 150 word abstract [as will be published in the conference programme] and a 100 word biographical note [for quotes use single inverted commas, italicize book titles]).  Many thanks!)

Send proposals to: conference@greatwriting.org.uk

Closing Date for Submissions: Sunday January 14, 2024*

Proposals are peer-reviewed. *Earlier submission is encouraged, because presenter places are limited.

For queries contact: conference@greatwriting.org.uk

We look forward to welcoming you to Great Writing 2024!

For more details and updates on the conference can be found here up until conference date.



The Conference

Great Writing began in the late 1990s with a small number of keynote presentations, and a single panel made up of those keynote presenters. The participants at that first conference were involved in discussions with the presenters, and amongst themselves, they expressed ideas, talked about things that might be further explored - but the event was otherwise somewhat singular in direction! That is: a few people talked, most people listened.

By the second year of the conference things had changed: now there would be multiple panels, made up of three individual presenters per panel - each person would have 30 minutes in total to offer something, with the suggested format being 20 minutes for a presentation, 10 minutes for questions. (Writers could propose a single 20/10 presentation, or three presenters could get together to offer a full 90 minute panel proposal). This was later changed to 20 minutes in total (15/5) to allow for even more productive discussion over the conference weekend.

This format proved extremely popular. As did the change of date - where as the January date of the inaugural conference meant cold (and not to put too fine a point on it) wet weather, the summer dates of the second conference promised not only a lively gathering but a warm one as well!

That proved to be the case: and the conference is now always in June or July of each year. The audience too began to widen, from its second year - more international presenters traveled to the UK to be at the second conference. This has become a Great Writing tradition. It seems the idea of meeting each year, in summer, in the UK, to explore Creative Writing - and to consider how it is being taught and researched - was always going to be popular. But there was still one more development to make the Great Writing conference programme really work!

Up until the fifth year of the conference, Great Writing only had critical presentations - that is, up until its fifth year the conference was home to presentations concerned primarily with critical approaches to written works, with the pedagogies of Creative Writing teaching, and with ideas about Creative Writing and other Humanities subjects. The only creative presentations up until then were those that happened as keynote readings or in an impromptu fashion in the evenings of the conference. In the fifth year, that all changed:

From year five, Great Writing became an international platform for both critical and creative presentations!

The logic of doing this hadn't gone unnoticed - after all, Creative Writing is about creative work, and study (and research) in Creative Writing always has creative work at its core. It made no sense not to be offering the opportunity for creative writers to present their creative works - sometimes presentations at Great Writing now incorporate both creative and critical work!

Today Great Writing: the International Creative Writing Conference (UK) offers the opportunity to present either critical or creative work, to socialise with fellow creative writers from around the world, to discuss, debate and explore topics and findings in Creative Writing research (whether faculty or student research), to establish new collaborations and renew established ones, to discuss the teaching and learning of Creative Writing in universities and colleges (or, indeed, in the wider community), and to celebrate the considerable human interest in Creative Writing as an art form, a form of communication, an exchange between people, and as a site of human endeavour.

The Timetable for the Year:

  • A Call for Papers traditionally went out in August, following the preceding conference. (in 2020 for 2021 this occurred in October, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2022 we will trial a new shorter call for proposals period, and a new combined conferenceformat [primarily 'in person" with some opportunities for virtual participation])
  • Calls for Papers remain open until there are no spaces left at the conference. We have "rolling calls", but once all presenter spaces are full these stop. (non-presenter/audience spaces remain open, however)
  • Accepted presenters are asked to register on their acceptance, to secure their presenter place, and to assist with logistics [technology resources, coffee ordering, and volunteer hours devoted to running each year's conference].
  • The Final Programme is constructed around early June, in the year of conference (ie. between 3-4 weeks before the conference).
  • Great Writing occurs in the UK each year in either June or July.
  • The New Writing: International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing welcomes submissions developed into publishable pieces from presentations given at the Great Writing conference - papers accepted are usually published within 12 months.



Great Writing International Creative Writing Conference - July 2024:

Graeme – as Great Writing Conference Director, you can indeed contact me (as below) on any and all of the various aspects of the conference, prior or during conference, or via conference@greatwriting.org.uk That said, there is usually someone other than me who knows more about specific elements (eg. catering, directions, the final schedule) . A full list of contacts is published here, well in advance of the conference dates.

2024 - Great Writing 27 - The Conference Team:

Graeme - graeme@greatwriting.org.uk

Others: Louise, Millicent and Neb. The conference general email is: conference@greatwriting.org.uk and this always provides a secure contact point.