Ion Trewin, publisher, author and Literary Director of the Man Booker Prizes, is to succeed Melvyn Bragg as President of the National Academy of Writing, a role he has performed with distinction over the last decade.
In making the announcement today Barry Turner, Chairman of the National Academy of Writing says ‘This is a real coup for the National Academy of Writing. Melvyn is a very hard act to follow and we are lucky indeed to have a personality of Ion’s knowledge and expertise across the literary spectrum to carry us forward to our next stage of development.’
Ion Trewin adds ‘I am honoured to succeed Melvyn as President. The Academy does such admirable work for emerging writers and I look forward to playing a part in its future development.’
Melvyn Bragg comments, ‘It has been a privilege and great fun to have been involved from the beginning in the formation of the National Academy of Writing. To see it up and running is a bit of a miracle. I have had 10 years in the job of President and I can’t think of anyone better to hand over to than Ion. I’ve known him for many years. He edited my books when he was at Hodder & Stoughton. He is an out and out literary man and a proven literary politician. Just the man for the next 10 years.’
The National Academy of Writing is a dedicated writing school set up by internationally renowned writers such as Malorie Blackman, Iain Banks, Minette Walters and Philip Pullman. The aim is to convert promise into achievement. Specialised training by their peers is the accepted start for actors, musicians and visual artists. Now, emerging writers also have the chance to develop their talents across a range of disciplines under the supervision of National Academy of Writing tutors.
Comments from two recent students describe the value of the course at Birmingham City University.
Tina Freeth writes: ‘The National Academy of Writing diploma course provided the support I needed to transform from an aspirational writer into a published one. Since joining in the course I have been published in the Original Skin (Birmingham Libraries) and The Map of Me (Penguin) anthologies, and have recently had two children’s books published entitled Day of the Dog and Hot or Not? by leading educational publisher, Franklin Watts.’
Ann-May Mangan says: ‘Qualifying for the National Academy of Writing made me believe in myself enough to start sending my work out. It gave me the push I needed and the outcome has been a book deal with Virago, my dream publisher.’