The EACWP in Writing in Education

The EACWP participated as a contributor of NAWE’s official magazine in its recently released Nº 70 issue,  with an article entitled “Seriously Dreaming in Turin”. The text comprises the experience of both our XII symposium and our III International Pedagogical Conference celebrated in Italy this past September (2016)


The latest edition of Writing in Education (No. 70) was launched at the NAWE Conference in Stratford. It is also available online here.

Among a wide spectrum of valuable contributions (around 11 articles and a nourished pill of news, dealing with recent creative writing events), the EACWP is one of the non-English-native speaking organisations invited to participate in representation of continental Europe.

In this link, you may read Paul Munden’s editorial as well as information for purchase options.

The next edition, to be published in the Spring of 2017, will also feature articles relating to the conference, but general submissions are welcome too. Deadline: 31 January 2017.

Ultimately, find below of our full article.

Seriously Dreaming in Turin

seriously-dreamingSeptember 2016. Turin, Italy. The European Association of Creative Writing Programmes (EACWP) celebrates its XII symposium and its III International Pedagogical Conference, hosted by our partner Scuola Holden. Coming from all around Europe, representatives of many of the main actors in creative writing teaching join together to share and think about the future of the Association.

On the 21st and the 22nd of September, in the XII symposium, EACWP members recalled the activities of the past years and elected a new board. President Javier Sagarna (Spain) was re-elected for the next period 2016-2019, in which he will gather around a new team of eight members, standing together as an encouraging example of the diversity and variety of Europe, involving both private schools and universities: Harriet Nachtmann (Austria), Frank Tazelaar (The Netherlands), Gale Burns (UK), Ana Guerberof (Spain), Louise Muller (France), Risto Niemi-Pynttäri (Finland), Erik Vanhee (Belgium) and Simone Fenoil (Italy).

Three pedagogical conferences in six years, a substantial growth from eight to twenty eight institutional members, the strategic collaboration agreement with NAWE, continuous interchanges of teachers and students, job shadowings, multilateral projects like “Fundamentals of Poetry” or “Melting Plot” are some of the achievements of EACWP in this short period of time. As it has been defined by Alain André, our leaving vice-president, the EACWP has been a “sheer miracle” that has survived the hostility of economic weakening and borders walling towards what governments, generally, consider to be a “small and unimportant craft.”

However, the future is coming closer and new challenges are compelling us: growth, internal reorganization, cooperation with NAWE and other associations, alternative funding sources and bilateral and multilateral pedagogical cooperation.

Growth. Even if the EACWP has been conspicuously growing from the EACWP founding (in 2010 we started with 10 members, representing 6 countries and in 2016 we are 28 members, embracing 16 countries) new strategic efforts will be displayed in the coming years in order to geographically enlarge the EACWP project to unrepresented European countries and regions within Europe such as Germany, Sweden and Eastern Europe.

Cooperation. The collaboration agreement with NAWE is considered to be fundamental for strengthening the collaborative strains between insular and continental Europe in a common search and interest towards writing, pedagogy and creativity.  “More than ever —EACWP Vice-President, Gale Burns, underlined in his Board candidacy speech—, especially after Brexit, we are keen in the UK to keep all possible links with the rest of Europe.” The participation of Seraphima Kennedy, NAWE´s Programme Director, and many other British colleagues in the symposium and conference as well as the participation of the President of EACWP in the coming NAWE conference are a clear proof of our mutual determination to work together. Additionally, agreements outside Europe are foreseen with Red PEA (Spanish speaking creative writing programmes of the Americas) in order to welcome new possibilities of partnership.

Internal reorganization. The quick growth of EACWP has required an internal reorganization process that started with the election of the new Board and that will run during the next three years.

Alternative funding. Limited in the last years by the restriction of European grants, new financial plans concerning co-financed exchanges among our members, for instances, will be studied and proposed for developing bilateral and multilateral projects. All members were encouraged to add an item for “European cooperation” in their annual budgets.

Bilateral-multilateral pedagogical cooperation. Reinforcing our pedagogical cooperation around Europe is the strongest priority of the EACWP. Over the coming years, we will boldly continue developing our already on-going projects such as the Teachers’ Interchange Program, which has successfully been bringing together teachers to impart their classes to different institutions all around Europe. New pedagogical projects such as a teachers’ training course, a European summer school and virtual workshops are the upcoming challenges to be pursued in the next years. “Our major contribution now a day —pointed out president Sagarna—is to provide to Europe our vision of multicultural teaching and learning.”

The next EACWP symposium has been appointed in Vienna (2017) and the IV International Pedagogical Conference in Brussels (2018).

The III International Pedagogical Conference

Founded by the worldwide Italian writer Alessandro Baricco, Scuola Holden envisaged the vision of a self-reborn under the name of an innovative interdisciplinary pedagogical proposal: Scuola Holden Storytelling & Performing Arts. Hence, our III International Conference bearded around the pedagogy and didactics dealing with Creative Writing and Storytelling as two separate and complementary languages, mingled and melted by creativity itself.

In contrast to our two previous conference celebrated in Paris (2012) and Orivesi (2014), respectively, the Turin event set forth a new shooting format by fostering short tracks, small workshops, open mics and taster sessions —in contrast to the traditional long-play structures— as sketched tunes to jingle ideas, glimpses and triggers worth spreading. “Europe, the sequel” was also proposed as an innovative segment to bring into light some of the following concerns: How could it happen that, in over half a century, we didn’t manage to build up great tales that could resonate throughout the continent? Why weren’t we able to uphold the narrative power of the ideals Europe was founded upon? Why can’t we find a story that the European people can identify with? Around 40 speakers coming from all around Europe presented and shared their pedagogical views, approaches, initiatives and methods on the 23rd and 24th of September. The conference proceedings will be compiled and published in our EACWP website in the coming months.

Standing in Holden’s refurbished auditorium that sheltered a military arsenal over the II World War, Mattia Garofallo, the speaker in charge of the introductory session of the conference said: “We are glad that this place where soldiers used to build their weapons is now the place where our students build their stories”. Probably this is the best definition of the Europe we dream of, the dream of that Europe that met together in Turin last September.

In the EACWP, we believe that a story is the possibility of dreaming someone else’s dream. Here is our commitment: to continue dreaming seriously.