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University lecturer honoured with Society of Authors award

16 August 2018 @TeesUniNews

 

A university academic has seen her name alongside some of today’s most prominent literary figures after winning a prestigious prize for her debut collection of poetry.

Jenna Clake, writer and Lecturer in Creative Writing (Image: Tom Pilston)
Jenna Clake, writer and Lecturer in Creative Writing (Image: Tom Pilston)

Jenna Clake, a lecturer in creative writing in Teesside University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law, was among the winners of the respected Society of Authors 2018 Authors’ Awards.

The awards are run for authors, by authors, and annually recognise the best and most promising voices of the year. In previous years the awards have recognised the early works of some of today’s most recognised writers such as Zadie Smith, Seamus Heaney, Helen Dunmore, Hari Kunzru, Carol Ann Duffy and Mark Haddon.

This year, award-winning actor, presenter and director, Stephen Fry, presented the celebration. A host of debut names along with recognised writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry shared a prize fund of £98,000, making it the UK’s biggest literary fund.

Jenna was presented with the Eric Gregory Award for Fortune Cookie, her debut collection of poetry that deals with the ordinary: domesticity, gender roles and the bizarreness of everyday lives and relationships.

The poetry prizes are amongst the most prestigious in the UK with the Eric Gregory Awards given for collections of poems, published or unpublished, by a poet under the age of 30. Jenna’s name now sits alongside past winners including Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, Alan Hollinghurst, Simon Armitage and many more.

Jenna said: 'It was an honour to win the Eric Gregory Award. I was very surprised – it was the first year I applied for the award so I certainly didn’t expect to win. It is a great accolade to be listed alongside so many accomplished authors, and for my book to get that kind of attention is fantastic.'

It is a great accolade to be listed alongside so many accomplished authors, and for my book to get that kind of attention is fantastic.

Jenna Clake, Lecturer in Creative Writing

Originally from Staffordshire, Jenna moved to the North East this summer to take up her new role in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law. She will be teaching on Teesside University’s new BA (Hons) Creative Writing programme which will help students develop professional skills in writing, editing, publishing, performance, and writing group facilitation.

'The creative writing degree at Teesside University provides students with the transferable skills to be successful in a variety of disciplines. Our students gain professional skills through a range of opportunities and projects designed to help them use their writing to make a difference,' Jenna added.

'Students learn how to communicate effectively, how to write for different audiences, problem solve and grow their understanding of critical contexts and frameworks. The modules on the course help us to think widely about how our writing can be applied in the real world.'

Teesside University’s BA (Hons) Creative Writing course is available through Clearing and students can start as early as this September. For more information or to apply for a place through Clearing, call the dedicated Clearing hotline on 0800 952 0226 or visit the website.


In the News

Poetry prize for university lecturer
Northern Echo, p50, 17/08/2018, Northern Echo, online, 17/08/2018
Creative writing lecturer Jenna Clake has been honoured with a prestigious poetry prize at the Society of Authors' Awards.