Award-winning novelist and short story writer, Jon McGregor, has been appointed as Professor of Creative Writing (Writer in Residence) in The University of Nottingham’s School of English.
Jon McGregor won the International Dublin IMPAC prize this year for his novel, ‘Even the Dogs’, and is also famous for his first novel, the Nottingham-inspired ‘If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things’ and short story collection, ‘This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You’.
Jon received an honorary degree from the University last year and has been a guest lecturer in the School of English but takes up a permanent Professorship one day a week for the new academic year.
Reacting to his new role, Jon said: “The thing that has really excited me about this post is that it allows me to continue to be a writer whilst sharing my professional skills, knowledge and experience in a teaching context. Being able to talk to students about what makes a good piece of writing, why this is working, what the writer has done to get at this point and how they can apply that to their own writing, that’s really exciting.
“Universities are a fruitful and energetic environment in which to develop your own creative writing and to be exposed to different ideas of what writing is doing and what writing can be. They have the potential to be very generative for students and young writers.”
Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for the Faculty of Arts, Professor Sarah O'Hara said: “Jon McGregor is one of the UK’s brightest literary talents. His creativity and experience will have a hugely positive impact on students and enhance the University’s reputation as a leader in Arts and Humanities. His appointment is a wonderful addition to our outstanding School of English”.
Head of the School of English, Professor Julie Sanders said: “We have been working with Jon for the past year in his capacity as an honorary lecturer within the School. In addition to his tremendous energy and enthusiasm, as a practising writer Jon is able to bring a unique perspective into his teaching and interactions with staff and students. We are delighted that he is able to join our talented team on a permanent basis.”
The development of a new literary journal for creative writing will be one of Jon’s key missions. The journal will act as a vehicle for students to learn about reading and assessing high quality work. It will allow them to get hands-on editing and collating experience and how to make a number of pieces of work function as a cohesive whole.
Jon said: “It will feature the best of contemporary writers internationally and I will be drawing on my own contacts and The University of Nottingham’s global connections. If a student writes something which is good enough then that would be really exciting for them and a stepping stone in their career but mainly their role would be on the production side. If you can read a piece of work and understand the mechanics and what the writer has done to get to that point then you can bring that to bear on your own writing.
“English is a dominant language all over the world but there are different forms of English. UK writers and American writers can be quite dominant in English language culture but it would be really exciting to find the really strong voices of people who are writing in different forms of English around the world.”
Further details on the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, recent won by Jon McGregor can be found at www.impacdublinaward.ie/2012/winner.htm