Explore future and past residents of National Centre for Writing.
Sofie Verraest (April 2024)
Sofie Verraest writes and performs in Dutch, English, and West-Flemish. Their poetry, prose, and nonfiction are published in magazines and reviews in Europe, the US, and Australia. In 2023 they won the VLOED writing contest and received a talent development grant from Flanders Literature. Earlier, they were selected as fiction fellow of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation (2018), as one of Ninth Letter’s “New Voices in International Writing” (2019), as a writing fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, 2020) and Pogon Zagreb (2021), and as Deus Ex Machina’s Dutch-language talent of the year (2022), and pre-selected for the Iowa International Writing Program (2020). Recent publications include the novella “She Kong” (Failbetter Magazine, 2023) and its Dutch self-translation “Sji Kong” (Deus Ex Machina, 2022), as well as the poetry cycle “Waking Up Going to Sleep,” which was included in Versopolis’s Poetry Expo (2023). They hold a PhD in Literature, teach part-time at Ghent university and the KASK School of Arts, and are fascinated by multi- and translingualism in writing and literature; self-translation; mother tongue concepts; imagination and experience of spaces, cities, and landscapes; flash fiction; water, fluidity, and hydro-feminism; Brussels and its (Southern) Periphery; and folklore 2.0 and how to reimagine folktales and rituals. They live in Brussels and probably so should you.
Sofie is currently working on their first novel, a performance about growing up on language borders both real and metaphorical, and a narrative book of poetry. They will likely spend most of their time in residency on the latter.
This Dragon Hall residency is part of our exchange with Passa Porta.
Lee Yeon Ju (November 2023)
Lee Yeon Ju is a playwright and director from Korea. Her plays, and her novel, focus on the stories of socially invisible people, including the disabled, LGBTIQ individuals, and female workers. She is the winner of various awards, including the 8th DOOSAN Artist Award 2017, and ‘K-Theatre Awards Best 7 of 2019’ from the National Theatre Association of Korea. She will research contemporary British theatre during her residency, supported by the Arts Council of Korea.
Anam Zafar (September 2023)
Anam Zafar is a translator based in Birmingham, UK, working from Arabic and French to English. This year she received a PEN Translates Award for her co-translation, with Nadiyah Abdullatif, of the graphic novel YOGHURT AND JAM (OR HOW MY MOTHER BECAME LEBANESE) by Lena Merhej (forthcoming, Balestier Press). In 2021 she received the Gulf Coast Prize in Translation and the Stinging Fly New Translator’s Bursary. She also volunteers for World Kid Lit, is a member of the Translators Association’s Access Working Group, and is an Editorial Board member for The Linguist. Other collaborations with the National Centre for Writing include a translation mentorship with Meena Kandasamy (2020-21) and delivering creative translation workshops to schools through the Stephen Spender Trust. Twitter: @anam_translates; www.anamzafar.com. Image (c) Aamna Zafar.
This Dragon Hall Cottage Visible Communities residency is generously supported by the Francis W Reckitt Arts Trust.
Margot Douaihy (September 2023)
Margot Douaihy, PhD, is the author of the queer crime novel Scorched Grace, the inaugural title of Gillian Flynn Books. Scorched Grace was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Marie Claire Best Book of 2023, a CrimeReads Best Debut, one of The Guardian‘s Best Recent Crime and Thrillers, and it has been optioned for a screen adaptation. In fall 2023, Margot will join Emerson College as an Assistant Professor in Popular Fiction Writing and Literature. She will spend her residency developing the third book in her mystery series.
As part of our Visible Communities programme, we hosted two translators in virtual residence, Nadiyah Abdullatif and Rabi Thapa.
Nadiyah Abdullatif (June to September 2023)
Nadiyah Abdullatif is a Mauritius-born, Scotland-based editor and translator working from Arabic, French, Mauritian Creole and Spanish into English. Her translations of Mauritian literature, comics and graphic novel excerpts have appeared in Wasafiri, ArabLit Quarterly and The Markaz Review. Her latest project, a co-translation of a Lebanese graphic novel titled Yoghurt and Jam (or how my mother became Lebanese) (forthcoming 2023, Balestier Press), received a PEN Translates award. She has previously been a translator-in-residence with the National Centre for Writing and will spend this year’s residency building her work on Mauritian literature and exploring underrepresented languages and genres in translation.
Rabi Thapa (July to October 2023)
Rabi Thapa is a writer, editor and translator from Nepal, now working out of a village in mid-Wales. He is the founder Editor of La.Lit (www.lalitmag.com), and the author of Thamel, Dark Star of Kathmandu (Speaking Tiger Books). For Visible Communities, Rabi is proposing to “translate” the lived experience of the Nepali-origin community in Bannau Brycheiniog through oral histories and media drawn from the community’s activities. He hopes to create a patchwork quilt of the Nepali experience in the region, indicative of how a diaspora can adapt to the circumstances created by a unique colonial history. Rabi also undertook a Visible Communities residency at Dragon Hall in June 2021, during which he worked on a translation of Boni (1991) by the pioneering feminist writer Parijat (1937-1993).
Santanu Bhattacharya (August 2023)
Santanu Bhattacharya is the author of One Small Voice (Penguin Fig Tree), an Observer Best Debut Novel for 2023. He grew up in India, and studied at the University of Oxford and National University of Singapore. Santanu is the winner of the 2021 Mo Siewcharran Prize, the Life Writing Prize and a London Writers’ Award. His works have nominated for the 4thWrite Prize, Blue Pencil Agency First Novel Award, and Pontas/JJ Bola Emerging Writers’ Prize. His short fiction have appeared in Commonwealth Writers’ adda and TOKEN magazines. He is a graduate of the Tin House Writers’ Workshop. He currently lives in London.@santanu_bx on Instagram and Twitter
Csilla Toldy (August 2023)
Csilla Toldy is a writer and translator. Originally from Hungary, she has lived in the United Kingdom since arriving with a writer’s visa in 1996. She has an MA in creative writing for film and television (Sheffield University 2003) and won the Hartley-Merrill and Katapult Prizes with her scripts. Her publications include poetry, short stories and essays in various UK and Irish literary magazines, as well as three poetry pamphlets: Red Roots – Orange Sky (2013), The Emigrant Woman’s Tale (2015) and Vertical Montage (2018) all published with Lapwing Belfast. Her short stories were compiled in Angel Fur and other stories (Stupor Mundi, 2019). Her debut novel Bed Table Door, explores the idea of freedom against the backdrop of the Cold War between socialist Hungary and Thatcher’s England. (Wrecking Ball Press, 2023).
Carole Hailey (August 2023)
Carole Hailey completed the six-month Guardian/UEA novel writing course taught by Bernardine Evaristo, who imbued Carole with such a love for writing fiction that she abandoned her career in law to undertake an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, followed by a PhD in Creative Writing at Swansea University. Carole was a London Library Emerging Writer 2020/21. Her debut novel The Silence Project was published in February 2023 by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books. It is a 2023 BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick and a Kindle No. 1 Bestseller and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award. Carole lives in Wales with her husband and two rescue dogs.
Santanu, Csilla and Carole’s residencies are a legacy of the Desmond Elliott Prize.
Wayne Rée (July 2023)
Wayne Rée (he/him) is a writer from Singapore. He’s the co-creator of the prose/comics hybrid, Work-Life Balance, and the comic, Worlds Apart: A Conversation About Mental Health. He wrote the text-based game, Internal Damnation, and co-created the award-winning audio series, Ghost Maps. “Down Into the Waters”—his contribution to the speculative fiction anthology, Fish Eats Lion Redux—was praised by The Straits Times as “a particularly bright spot” of the collection. Wayne will spend his residency working on his first novel. His residency is generously supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore.
Paige Aniyah Morris (July 2023)
Paige Aniyah Morris is a writer and translator from Jersey City, New Jersey, USA who divides her time between the United States and Korea. She holds BAs in Literary Arts and Ethnic Studies from Brown University and an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers University. The recipient of awards and honors from the Fulbright Program, the American Literary Translators Association, the Daesan Foundation, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, and others, she has translated works by writers including Pak Kyongni, Chang Kang-myoung, Ji-min Lee, Seo Jang-won, and is the co-translator with Emily Yae Won of Han Kang’s forthcoming We Do Not Part. In both her writing and translations, she is deeply interested in the speculative as well as the stories of those on the social margins, including stories by and about gender and sexual minorities, racial and ethnic minorities, migrants, and people with disabilities. During her residency, she hopes to make meaningful connections with other members of the global literary community in Norwich and apply the lessons learned to her continued practice as a Black American translator of Korean literature.
This residency is supported by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.
Stories of Cities, Cities of Stories virtual residents
National Centre for Writing and Jakarta UNESCO City of Literature completed a virtual residency exchange in April-May 2023 for children’s writers and illustrators to reflect on their own creative practice and learn more about the ecosystem for children’s books in each city.
Amanda Addison (May-June 2023)
Amanda Addison is an award-winning author listed for prizes in both adult and children’s fiction. Her short story, The English Way, was selected to represent the UK in a pan European award. Boundless Sky, Amanda’s debut picture book, was listed for The CLIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medal. Most recently her upcoming coming-of-age novel, Where are you really from? – publishing with Neem Tree Press in early 2024– was listed for the Searchlight Writing novel opening award.
She is inspired by the natural world, travel and textiles and often explores themes of home and belonging. She is passionate about inclusivity and diversity in publishing and telling untold stories depicting characters from the Global Majority.
Amanda lectures in Art & Design and also runs workshops in Creative Writing at Norwich City College, Norfolk Museums Service and the National Centre for Writing. Her first degree is in Illustration from Chelsea School of Art and she holds an MA in Writing the Visual.
During her residency, she would like to explore Norwich’s global textile heritage in a picture book format, using material culture as a starting point. She is inspired by the natural world, travel and textiles. She believes in the power of stories as a window to the world, and a mirror to see ourselves and is intrigued as to how a picture book text with a strong link to Norwich could also have a global reach, and perhaps make links to Indonesia.
Hsuan Pai (May-June 2023)
Hsuan Pai is a scientist with a background in molecular plant and microbial biology. She spent a decade working in a plant virus lab at Academia Sinica in Taiwan before becoming a technician at The Sainsbury Laboratory. At her job, she assists the team in deciphering plant immune networks. Outside of academia, Hsuan is passionate about drawing and handcrafting, often drawing inspiration from how the living things work. Since moving to Norwich in 2020, she has found great inspiration in the city’s history and natural beauty. Combining her love for science and illustration, she is interested in using illustrations to communicate scientific concepts. To further develop her storytelling skills, she is currently pursuing a degree in Children’s Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art.
For the Norwich-Jakarta exchange project, her plan is to create a city map that incorporates the landscape, culture, history, food, ways of living, plantation, and other natural resources. As an immigrant, she views this as an opportunity to explore Norwich’s history and bring a fresh perspective to the city’s spirit. She looks forward to learning about the Jakarta participants’ viewpoints on Norwich and exchanging ideas about how foreign tourists and local residents perceive the city.
Noor H. Dee (May-June 2023)
Noor H. Dee is a children’s book author and has published 20 children’s book. Over the years, four of his books have been translated into English and his book entitled 25 Nabi & Rasul (25 Prophet & Apostle), was ranked as a bestseller in the country. In 2019, he was invited to The Asian Publisher Fellowship Program in Seoul, South Korea, discussing Children’s Books and Future Reading in the Digital Age with other delegations from Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc. Two of his recent self-published books, Jus Puisi (Poetry Juice) and Siapa yang Kentut? (Who Farted?) received a positive response by children and parents in Indonesia. Apart from writing children’s books, he is also working as a children’s book editor for Noura Publishing, an imprint of Mizan, one of the major publishers in Indonesia.
He hopes to be able to share his views on the city of Jakarta and get other people’s views on how stories work for children’s development.
Andina Subarja (May-June 2023)
Andina Subarja is a children’s book author and illustrator. She lives in Jakarta and has been a children’s book illustrator from 2013, working along with multiple publishers and children’s organizations. Her published picture books as author-illustrator are Kejutan Kungkang (Sloth’s Surprise) and Gelinding (Rolling). In her spare time, she also writes children’s short stories and poems. Her unpublished picture book MUSIC was included in The Unpublished Picturebook Showcase 2022 by dPictus.
She will bring her time, commitment, and experience as a children’s book author-illustrator to this virtual residency exchange. She hopes to get more experience, knowledge and exposed to Norwich children’s book. She also sees it as a good chance to network with fellow Norwich illustrator and author, and to explore Norwich.
Amanda, Hsuan, Noor and Andina’s residencies are supported by the International Literature Showcase Collaboration Fund. The International Literature Showcase is a partnership between the National Centre for Writing and the British Council.
Meihan Boey (June 2023)
Meihan Boey is the author of The Formidable Miss Cassidy (Epigram Books Fiction Prize co-winner 2021, Singapore Book Awards Best Literary Work 2022), its upcoming sequel The Enigmatic Madam Ingram (shortlisted for EBFP 2023), and The Messiah Virus (2019). Her short stories have appeared in anthologies Fish Eats Lion Redux and Fright. She is Vice President of the Association of Comic Artists of Singapore; projects include The Once & Marvellous DKD and Supacross. She’s still trying to go Super Saiyan. Her residency is generously supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore.
Dragana Erjavšek (May 2023)
Dragana Erjavšek studied at the Faculty of Philosophy in Nikšić, Montenegro. She works as a journalist and book critic for the daily newspaper Pobjeda. She has published two volumes of poetry and a novel. Last year she was awarded in two regional competitions for her short stories. Her poems, stories and essays have been published in the magazines Glasnici and Fokalizator, as well as in numerous printed and online anthologies. She translated the monograph Bar – The Phoenix Town by Maksim Lutovac from Montenegrin into English and is currently finishing the translation into Montenegrin of the book The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan.
This residency was part of the Translation in Motion project, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Gabriela Manova (May 2023)
Gabriela Manova is a writer, translator, and editor born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Book Publishing and a master’s in Translation. She has worked as an editor and translator of fiction and non-fiction books. Her debut poetry collection was published in 2020. Some of her poems, articles, and translations have been featured in various print and digital editions. Image © Yana Lozeva
This residency was in partnership with the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation.
Akvilė Kavaliauskaitė (April 2023)
Akvilė Kavaliauskaitė is a journalist and prose writer. She was born in 1988 in Ukmerge (Lithuania) and graduated from the Vilnius University Institute of Journalism in 2011. During her studies she started writing articles for various magazines. In 2013, she became one of the creators of a popular TV social documentary Lithuanians Around The World. Her debut novel Two Lives In One Summer (Du gyvenimai per vieną vasarą) was published by Alma Littera in 2015. Five years later, in 2020, she has come back to the world of literature with a collection of short stories called Bodies (Kūnai) published by Balto Leidybos Namai. The book received excellent reviews from readers and critics and won the Lithuanian Book of the Year Award in 2020. The short stories reflect a wide panorama of bodies, deal with corporeality, and are like collages made of details, symbols, and impressions. Image © Neringa Rekasiute
This residency was in partnership with the Lithuanian Culture Institute.
Laimonas Briedis (April 2023)
Laimonas Briedis is a writer and scholar of history, literature and the geographical imagination of Lithuania. A native of Vilnius, he has lived for most of his life in Vancouver (Canada) where he completed a doctoral degree in cultural geography at the University of British Columbia. His creative output stretches from charting a GIS anchored digital map of the multilingual literature of Vilnius to examining the ramifications of being bi-local; placing questions related to belonging, migration, diaspora, translation, poetic vision and memory at the core of his work. The Economist describes Vilnius: City of Strangers as a ‘subtle and evocative book,’ where ‘vanished civilizations and lost empires leave a city stalked by horror and steeped in wonder.’
This residency was in partnership with the Lithuanian Culture Institute.
Marija Girevska (March 2023)
Marija Girevska is a literary translator and an author. After completing her PhD in English (2015), she obtained her second MA in Theology (2018) from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Skopje, North Macedonia, where she teaches. Her publications include books on English Surrealism (2015), Gothic fiction (2017) and Joyce (2019), in addition to numerous articles on Joyce. She was awarded Golden Pen Award for her translation of James Joyce’s Ulysses in 2013. As a Joyce scholar, she has read at James Joyce symposia and lectured at the Trieste Joyce School. She is the Head of the Macedonian Centre for Irish Studies.
This residency was part of the Translation in Motion project, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Anxhela Çikopano Hoxha (March 2023)
Anxhela Çikopano Hoxha is a Theater Researcher by the Academy of Albanian Studies, and a Theater Director. She has a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, with a focus on Albanian drama and customary laws. She began her career as a translator by promising herself that she would bring into Albanian the books she would want to read. Anxhela Çikopano has faithfully followed through the commitment she made to herself by translating a wide range of classic and contemporary authors from English, Italian, and German (+60 books, +300 movies), including British authors such as Gaskell, Galsworthy, Le Carre, Fellowes, and Wesker.
This residency is part of the Translation in Motion project, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
Amarylis De Gryse (February 2023)
Amarylis De Gryse (b. 1989) lives in Antwerp, where’s she retraining as an organic farmer. Amarylis soon stood out in the writing talent programme set up by the literary organisation deBuren and in 2020 she debuted her novel Pork Ribs, a tragicomic story about caring, loyalty, how memories affect a life and how food can replace all basic emotions. The debut made it to the shortlist of the ‘Bronzen Uil 2021’, an annual Dutch-Flemish literature prize for the best Dutch-language debut. A chapter of Pork Ribs was translated and published on Asymptote’s website.
Her work is notable for tragicomic and absurdist elements, and a delicate prose shot through with melancholy. Amarylis is honing her skill as a narrator of down-to-earth tableaus: she has a good eye for la Flandre profonde and for family entanglements.
Cate West (January 2023)
Cate West trained in Fine Art and graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2019. She was shortlisted for York Festival of Writing’s Friday Night Live and longlisted for Mslexia’s Novel Competition the same year.
Maddie Mortimer (January 2023)
Maddie Mortimer was born in London in 1996. She received her BA in English Literature from the University of Bristol. Her writing has featured in The Times and her short films have screened at festivals around the world. In 2019 she completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course. Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies is her first novel. Image © Kashif Haque
Vida Adamczewski (January 2023)
Vida Adamczewski was born in Peckham and read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University. While studying, Vida was diagnosed with Hypermobility Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue, conditions that render her frequently bed bound. Her writing has appeared in Ambit Magazine, Document Journal, The Byline Times, and The Mays. In July 2021, a staged reading of Vida’s lyric play Amphibian was performed at the Playmill New Writers Festival at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington. Image © Kashif Haque
Akshita Nanda, Crispin Rodrigues, Daryl Qilin Yam, Megan Bradbury (supported by the Québec Government Office in London and l’Entente de développement culturel entre le gouvernement du Québec et la Ville de Québec), Juliette Bernatchez (supported by the Québec Government Office in London and l’Entente de développement culturel entre le gouvernement du Québec et la Ville de Québec), Arthur Reiji Morris, Shin Jung Keun (supported by the Arts Council of Korea), Hayahisa Tomiyasu, Dawid Mobolaji, Yelena Moskovich, Els Beerten, Penny Boxall, Soobin Kim, Clare Richards, Adrija Ghosh, Nadiyah Abdullatif, Lydia Hounat, Vineet Lal, Coco Mbassi, Shagufta Sharmeen Tania, Sylvie Marie and Diana Evans.
Yvette Siegert, Shagufta Sharmeen Tania, Charlotte Geater, Mattho Mandersloot (supported by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea), Anne Amienne, Carrie Patten, Julia Webb, Jennifer Anne Champion, Nuraliah Norasid (supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore), Nazry Bahrawi (supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore), Derek Barretto, Rabi Thapa, Gitanjali Patel, Sawad Hussain, Anam Zafar, Alexandra Birrell, Megan Bradbury, Liz Breslin, Lynn Buckle, Vahni Capildeo, Valur Gunnarsson, Marcin Wilk and Shash Trevett.
Thomas Heerma van Voss, Paddy Richardson, Anita Terpstra, Vahur Afanasjev, Motoyuki and Hitomi Shibata.
Kim Heayon, Kang Young-sook, Katie Hale, Bregje Hofsted, Eva Meijer, Ekaterina Petrova, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Nuril Basri, Agustinus Wibowo, Jeremy Tiang (supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore), Anton Hur (supported by the Literature Translation Institute Korea), JY Yang (supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore), Yoshitaka Haba (part of an exchange exploring literature museums and literary heritage in Japan and the UK, funded by the GB Sasakawa Foundation), Kathleen Vereecken (supported by the Flemish Literature Fund), Debby Lukito Goeyardi and Reda Gaudiamo (in partnership with the British Council as part of the Indonesia Market Focus at The London Book Fair 2019).
Jun Sung Hyun, Jeongrye Choi (supported by Arts Council Korea), Ivanka Mogilska (supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in London and the State Institute for Culture at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh.