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Grass Routes Project

The Grass Routes project is an initiative by Leicester University's School of English, funded by Arts Council England to identify local writers who specialise in transcultural writing. It has 5 stages, firstly there is the survey as detailed below, then a £1000 writing commission! see also below, and finally a Writers Gallery that will consist of 50 of Leicestershires finest authors, an e-catalogue and an exhibition. Leicester University is working in Partnership with Charnwood Arts, Writing East Midlands, Writing Industries Network, Leicester City Libraries, Mainstream Partnership, Word @ the Y, The Asian Writer, Lancaster University, and Short Fuse Fiction.

The Survey

The GRASSROUTES survey of transcultural writing from Leicestershire is now underway. The aim is to have a comprehensive open access database (e-catalogue) containing detailed information about every published title since 1980 in there. All genres are to be included, whether popular or literary.

If you know of any hidden archives of published material, please contact me. If you are a writer with work published (short stories, poems, novels, plays, anthologies and so on) please contact me so I can include your work on the e-catalogue.


‘Transcultural writing’ is broadly defined here as writing that explores migration, travel, race, or cross-cultural experiences of any kind in places near or far, whether that be The Punjab, Lahore, Stockholm or Uganda.

“Published” means that the writing was published in a literary magazine or by a community, independent or corporate publisher. Spoken word can be included if work is published on a spoken word website.

The £1000 Commission

We are now inviting applications from writers living in Leicestershire for a £1,000 creative writing commission, which will take the form of a short story, long poem, poem sequence or performance piece that is also suited to the page. The work should be a maximum of 5,000 words or should take up no more than 5 pages in the case of poetry. The commissioned work will be featured at two GRASSROUTES exhibitions of creative writing in Leicestershire Libraries and in the David Wilson Library at the University of Leicester (to coincide with the Literary Leicester festival).
The commissioned work should take ‘transcultural Leicester’ as its central theme. The successful applicant will receive £1,000 for their work, including all expenses.
Applicants should submit the following in electronic form:

* A CV detailing your writing experience
* A publications list
* A sample of creative work (3 pages max)
* An outline proposal for the commission

These should be sent to Corinne Fowler at no later than 20th April 2011. The application will be considered by a panel drawn from the project partners and will be chaired by Professor Graham Mort from the Centre for Transcultural Writing & Research at Lancaster University. All applicants will be informed of our decision by June 10th 2011. For information about the project see:

For more information check out the Grass Routes site at