Eight writers have been awarded bursaries to produce prose, poetry and other chronicles inspired by the landscape of the South Downs National Park.
The Shifting the Gaze project is working with Black, Asian and ethnically diverse writers from across Sussex (including five from Brighton & Hove) and the South East to share new voices and stories about these ancient rolling hills. Over the coming months, these writers will use their creative talents to produce prose, poetry and other chronicles inspired by the landscape and their experiences of it. The £500 bursaries have been awarded as part of Writing Our Legacy’s ‘Shifting the Gaze’ – a project working with Black, Asian and ethnically diverse writers from across the South East.
Georgina, a freelance writer and poet, said: “I was absolutely delighted when I found out I was receiving this bursary. Working on this project is a wonderful opportunity to spend time on the South Downs and research how best to engage the public in this space, making the most of its nature and beauty. The writing work I want to undertake on this project relates directly to my heritage and family.”
Saira Naizi, who has visited over 1,000 hidden gems in London and documented her wanderings on Living London, said: “I love the South Downs and am really passionate about opening up the landscape to others from diverse backgrounds, both through my writing and by organising a trip to the South Downs National Park for young writers from London. Having lived in a frenetic urban area of South London for most of my life, I’ve always escape to the South Downs for peace, space, and inspiration.”
Amy Zamarripa Solis, CEO of Writing Our Legacy, said: “The Shifting the Gaze bursary has already made a seismic shift in providing writers of colour access to the South Downs National Park to inspire and transform their writing practice. We are excited by the talent and variety of these eight recipients and look forward to supporting their journey as writers and of course reading their new work.”
The bursaries will fund the writers to do a three-month research and development project over this autumn and winter. They will also receive guidance from Writing Our Legacy, support from New Writing South, and practical advice from South Downs National Park.
Arts forms supported will include fiction, prose, creative non-fiction, poetry, and journalism.