The first decade of the new millennium witnessed a range of exciting developments in contemporary writings in English. From innovations in recognised forms such as the novel, poem, play and short story to developments in digital writings, creative writings and genres. Alongside these developments, the publishing industry also changed, with technological advances giving rise to the dawn of the eBook and corporate sponsorship igniting debates about the usefulness of literary prizes and festivals.
As the first Research Centre dedicated to the study of twenty-first century writings, Centre 21, based in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Brighton, UK, unites researchers who work on a variety of twenty-first century writings from the contemporary novel, poems and plays to hypertext, digital gaming and contemporary creative writing and visual narratives, journalism and illustration. Operating at the intersection of creative and critical practice, the Centre promotes innovative and original research, utilising staff and student teaching and research as a foundation for a new and engaging intellectual environment.
Centre 21 is run in mutual affiliation with Bloomsbury, a leading independent publishing house. The Centre is also informed by a steering group drawn from publishing, writing and educational professionals including 3:AM Magazine, the Higher Education Academy, Gylphi, New Writing South, Myriad, Fiction Uncovered, Contempo and the C21 Literature journal.
The Centre has its own journal, C21 Literature, that aims to create a critical, discursive space for the promotion and exploration of 21-st century writings in English. It addresses a range of narratives in contemporary culture, from the novel, poem and play to hypertext, digital gaming and contemporary creative writing. The journal features engaged theoretical pieces alongside new unpublished creative works and investigates the challenges that new media present to traditional categorizations of literary writing.
Centre 21 also offers consultancy services within the HEI sector, as well as to government departments and corporate organisations. From bespoke curriculum and resource design, to curriculum and evaluation services and CPD, training and workshops for practitioners, students and the public, we provide a varied and unique range of services to inspire individuals and institutions to think about the role and function of writing in the twenty-first century, as well as twenty-first century writings.
In April 2014, Centre 21 will host the Bloomsbury C21 Conference, a two-day event dedicated to examining developments in writings across the first thirteen years of the twenty-first century. The conference will unite academics, publishers and creative writers to consider twenty-first century literary developments and how they have changed what we write and read today and the future of literature in the new millennium. As part of the conference, 3:AM Magazine will be chairing a panel on C21 Journalism.
Anyone interested in submitting a 15-minute paper for this, or for the wider conference programme, should check out the webpage and get in touch by email. We look forward to seeing lots of 3:AM readers there!
Dr Katy Shaw
Head of Centre C21: Centre for Research in Twenty-First Century Writings;
Principal Lecturer in English Literature,
University of Brighton