Harper-Wood Creative Writing & Travel Award

Award details

The Harper-Wood Creative Writing & Travel Award for English Poetry and Literature is to encourage a project of creative writing by making it possible for the holder to engage in relevant, project-related travel and study.

Please note that the Award is intended primarily for creative writers who are in the initial stages of their careers. Applications are encouraged from writers whose work has not yet achieved book-length publication (e.g. novel, book of short stories, poetry collection, play).

Applications are usually accepted in February, and at this time a written notice with further details is published.

Previous holders include Madeleine Pulman-Jones, Thom Gunn, Michael Hofmann, Giles Foden, Amit Chaudhuri, Gaby Wood, Sarah Howe, Isabella Hammad, Erin Soros and Vahni Capildeo.

The 2023-2024 Harper-Wood Award-holder is Mukahang Limbu from the University of Oxford. Mukahang has taken over from the 2022-2023 award-holder Lucy Thynne.

Applications for the 2024-2025 award are now open

Further information

During the period of tenure, the Award Holder is expected to engage in a course of study or research, not necessarily attached to a university or other institution, leading up to the production of original fiction, poetry or drama. If, however, the candidate proposes to study or research at a University or other institution, such an attachment need not be finalised before applying for the Award. 

All or part of the period of tenure must be spent in a country of the candidate's choice, outside the United Kingdom (i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The Award refrains from imposing too many rules and regulations in an attempt to remain faithful to its ethos of enabling a period of creative writing in English Literature. In their application, however, candidates should give a detailed outline of their projected course of study/research and travel plan, and they should make a strong case for its relevance to the creative writing project.

It is a condition of election that at the time of the election the candidate be a graduate of any University of Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales), Ireland, the Commonwealth or the United States of America.  

The Award is tenable for one year and is not renewable. The Award Holder will be admitted to membership of the College and will normally be expected to take up their Award on 1 October of that academic year. The Award Holder will be invited by the Fellows in English to visit the College either during or immediately after their tenure, to give one or more talks about their experience.

Funding of the Award will be determined by the College Council in light of the candidate’s qualifications and financial circumstances (including payments from other sources), up to a maximum of £17,600. This sum is intended to cover accommodation and other living expenses during the successful candidate's tenure. Additional financial assistance is also available to enable the successful candidate to meet travel costs incurred.

Applications for the 2023-2024 Award are now closed.

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