Timberlake Wertenbaker and Ali Smith join UEA

The Olivier award-winning playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker and Booker-shortlisted novelist Ali Smith are to join the UEA Creative Writing programme as the inaugural UNESCO City of Literature visiting professors. They will each spend a semester working with students on the Creative Writing programme, offering lectures, masterclasses, individual tutorials and graduate seminars, as well as contributing to literary events in the city. Norwich this year became England’s first UNESCO City of Literature, joining Edinburgh, Melbourne, Iowa City, Dublin and Reykjavik, and it is intended that this permanent designation will be marked by the annual appointment of further visiting professors of similarly international reputuation. Timberlake (pictured), who joins UEA this week for the Autumn semester, won the Laurence Olivier/BBC Award for Best New Play and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play, as well as being nominated for six 'Tonies', for her 1998 play ‘Our Country's Good’. She has written screenplays for film adaptations of Edith Wharton's ‘The Children’ and Henry James’s ‘The Wings of the Dove’, and won the London Critics' Circle Best West End Play Award, the Writer's Guild Award (Best West End Play) and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her 1992 play ‘Three Birds Alighting on a Field’. Ali Smith, who will join the Creative Writing programme in the Spring semester, was shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize for her 2001 novel ‘Hotel World’ and her 2004 novel ‘The Accidental’, which went on to win the 2005 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award. Her appointment marks the continuation of an association with UEA that began with her appointment as a Writing Fellow in 1999.

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