The event has already received support from renowned authors, commercial and university sponsors, and student writers from across the country. Students and industry professionals will present their work side-by-side, creating progressive dialogue, new work and fresh ideas. The weekend will showcase everything from poetry, fiction, comedy, theatrical writing, audio and new media, with a dynamic series of workshops and music performances, as well as two national competitions.
Sholeh says, "PENCILFest is designed to encourage the birth of a nation-wide network of new and established writers which will live on well beyond the weekend itself, supported by our website, the quality of work showcased at the festival and the atmosphere we’ll create over the weekend. It will hopefully nurture long-lasting relationships and launch several new careers."
The festival will be held on Warwick University campus in The Capital Centre, a brand new complex built in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and dedicated to creativity and performance. Students from over 10 UK Universities renowned for their creative writing programmes, publications and talent are expected to attend.
Sholeh adds, "As home to the Warwick Writing Programme, one of the most established, expansive and well-respected writing programmes in the country it is the perfect place to initiate a student writing festival that is the first of its kind."
Several well known figures from the literary world have confirmed their attendance at the festival including;
A.L. Kennedy, winner of this year’s Costa Book Prize for her novel Day
David Morley, whose poetry collection The Invisible Kings was chosen as Les Murray’s Book of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement
Peter Blegvad, the acclaimed poet, musician and cartoonist behind the strip ‘Leviathan’
Mick Jackson, the Man Booker and Whitbread nominated novelist Maureen Freely, the writer, journalist and translator for Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk
Catherine O’Flynn, winner of the Costa First Book Prize 2008
Jeremy Treglown, ex-editor of the Times Literary Supplement whose biography V. S. Pritchett: A Working Life (2004) was shortlisted for the 2004 Whitbread Biography Award and the Duff Cooper Prize
Nina Raine, winner of both the 2006 Evening Standard's Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright and Most Promising Playwright Award at the 2006 Critics' Circle Theatre Awards.
Adriano Shaplin, playwright and co-founder of The Riot Group whose play Pugilist Specialist received The Scotsman's ‘First of the Firsts’ award at the Edinburgh Fringe 2003.
Download the PENCILFest Programme