Is NON-FICTION the New Fiction? Event at City University

  • Internationally renowned novelist and cultural historian Marina Warner, award-winning writer and journalist Dr. Julie Wheelwright and writers Marina Benjamin, Olivier Kugler, Jack Underwood and Joanna Walsh, will be taking part in a special one-off event discussing the Creative Non-Fiction genre, at the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre, City, University of London on January 19, 2017 at 6.30pm.

    Marina Benjamin, Olivier Kugler, Jack Underwood and Joanna Walsh, who have just been announced as the shortlisted writers for the £10,000 Arts Foundation Creative Non-Fiction Award 2017, will be speaking about why they have chosen to write within creative non-fiction, a burgeoning form of literary work which often brings together such seemly disparate forms as poetry, philosophy, travel writing, memoir and reportage.

    Is Non-Fiction The New Fiction? is FREE but to reserve your place go to;

    Using narrative techniques often identified exclusively with fiction, they will explore through their own writing how and why this hybrid genre offers them the freedom to express their ideas and experiences that might previously have been limited to dramatic forms.
    They will be joined by celebrated guest novelist, critic and cultural historian Marina Warner whose writing has not only produced hybrid genre forms but tackled and popularised a wide range of cultural issues.

    Marina’s books include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (l976), Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (l982) and Monuments & Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form (l988). In l994 she gave the BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of Six Myths of Our Time. Her study of the Thousand and One Nights, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and The Arabian Nights (2011) was awarded a Sheykh Zayed Prize in 2012, a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Truman Capote Prize. Her third novel, The Lost Father, was short-listed for the Booker prize in l988. Marina is a Fellow of the British Academy, was awarded the DBE, and is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College. She was given the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities in 2015.

    The event will be chaired by one of the judges for this award Dr. Julie Wheelwright, who is programme director of the UK’s only dedicated MA degree in creative writing (non-fiction) at City University, London. An award-winning writer and journalist herself, her books include The Fatal Lover: Mata Hari and the Myth of Women in Espionage, which was translated into five languages.

    The creative non-fiction genre is burgeoning in popularity in the UK. Perhaps as a reaction to the current sound bite news style, there is a new hunger for longer more in-depth pieces that allow the reader to reflect on a deeper level and where the use of literary techniques allow for an aesthetic quality to the writing. As a sign of the increasing recognition afforded to the genre, The 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to a writer of creative non–fiction, Svetlana Alexievich. Current best-sellers in the genre include Helen MacDonald’s H is for Hawk, Chris Packham’s Fingers In The Sparkle Jar and The Optician of Lampedusa by Emma Jane Kirby.

    More information on the shortlist go to