Writing Schools Around The World: Literární noviny (Prague)

In collaboration with the pedagogical magazine L’Inventoire from our French colleagues of Aleph-Écriture (Paris), Louise Muller, representing the editorial team, has carried out a series of interviews to some of our EACWP members with the aim of inquiring into how writing is taught in Europe and elsewhere, but enphasising the location, the geographical implantation and the close environment of the different institutions. This is the first interview held with Petr Bilek, head of Literární noviny in Prague

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When the school was born? What kind of classes do you offer?

Literární Noviny Academy was founded last year. It is born from the editorial of the literary review of the same name. We propose various types of classes, on Czech literature, or youth literature, for example. We also offer Creative Writing classes since a short time.

What idea on Creative Writing is broadcasted here?

Readers should be the well known writers. Writing is a space of freedom and we help the students find their own voice. By respecting constraints, we overcome traditional rules and create new ones.

What is the story of the school premises? How is it implemented in the borough, what can you find all around?

Classes take place directly in the editorial office, in the attic of an antic brewery, and you can see the exposed beams of the roof. Nowadays, in the courtyard of the brewery, modern dwelling houses were built.  The academy is situated in Vinorhady, a very lively borough, full of little restaurants and shops.

Do you think that the environment of the school has an influence on the students’ writing?

The environment obviously affects the writing, to the ghost sound of the factory, it is hard to write iambic pentameters, indeed…

Get close to the first attainable window and open it. What can you see ?

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It is really hard to open these windows.  It demands a bit of an effort, because they are roof windows. Through them you wan see the sky and the adjacent houses.

If you leave the school and turn right three times, what do you stumble upon? What is going on? Can you make a picture and send us a description?

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You can find a nice quiet neighborhood, villas with small gardens. Not far from there is the house of the famous Czech writer Karel Capek.