Escalator 08

“For young writers, trying to get started can sometimes feel like trying to run the wrong way up an escalator, so it’s great that we’re being given a lift!” - Helen Mort, Escalator 2008 winner

"An inspired innovation" - John Hegley

Escalator Literature aims to make the Eastern region a major driving force for the development of new arts talent, and is open to writers resident in the Eastern region. Each year writers in need of support at critical stages in their careers are selected to benefit from the scheme.

This year Escalator focused on Live Literature for the first time, and in September five writers/performers were selected to work with mentors to create their own one person live literature show. Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of New Writing Partnership says:

"We had applications from King’s Lynn to Southend, showing that that performance poetry, story telling, live literature – what ever you choose to call it! – really is thriving in the East of England. The five winners of places on the Escalator Live Literature scheme this year offer exciting, innovative and challenging visions of the word can be brought to the stage and we’re very excited about working with them over the coming year. Watch out for premiers of their work at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2009!"

The 2008 winners are:

Tim Clare: Norwich, Norfolk
Helen Mort: Cambridge
Molly Naylor: Norwich, Norfolk
Dean Parkin: Beccles, Suffolk
Hannah Walker: Norwich, Norfolk

Each winner will be guided through an Arts Council England Grants For The Arts bid to support their work and be offered places on professional development workshops with stars of the live literature scene, and spend three days working with West End theatre director James Grieve to hone a 20 minute extract from their show to be performed at a showcase in May 2009.

Live literature often mixes poetry with comedy or music and an irreverent look at daily life, with the East showcasing some particularly strong examples – including John Cooper Clarke, the original ‘Punk Poet’, whose work has inspired artists from Joy Division to the Arctic Monkeys; Scroobius Pip, who updates the genre with his hip-hop/poetry cross-over, and the comic stand-up poets John Hegley and Luke Wright. However, Live Literature is not easy to break into, so Escalator 2008 is crucial for those from the Eastern region who are trying to make their mark.

Find out more about Escalator Literature 2008 mentors: Francesca Beard, Matt Harvey, Aöife Mannix, Courttia Newland, and Russell Thompson (creator of Rachel Pantechnicon)

Escalator Literature is managed by The New Writing Partnership on behalf of Arts Council England, East.

Information on the eligibility criteria for Grants for the Arts awards
To find previous years' winners of Escalator Literature, click the links to the left.